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culture of consumption

prevalent in american society during the industrial age, a culture based on consumption, materialism and money

Thorstein Veblen

economist, wrote Theory of the Leisure Class, condemned and criticized conspicuous consumerism, where status is displayed and conveyed through consumption.


name for rural farmers. came about because the farmers place in the economy is declining, as is the percentage of people who live in rural areas

upward mobility

a form of vertical mobility in which a person moves up in economic/social status, possible in America through individual effort

new immigration

a change from northern/western european immigrants to southern/eastern european immigrants. They settled in urban areas and were significantly different from native americans (poor and Catholic)


an employer who exploits Italian immigrants in the U.S., they pay for italians to come over in return for work


a person who favors those born in his country and is opposed to immigrants, specifically, a native born American who wants to limit immigration (and outside influence). They hated minorities, immigrants and Catholics


poorly built, overcrowded housing where many immigrants lived

settlement house

community center organized in the late 1800s to offer services (educational, housing, food, sanitation) to the poor

Social Darwinism

The application of ideas about evolution and "survival of the fittest" to human societies – particularly as a justification for their imperialist expansion and racism

Immigration Restriction League

A nativist group who wanted to restrict immigration into the U.S. to certain groups they deemed desirable. Because of them congress passed a bill in 1897 requiring a literacy test for immigrants.

American Protective Association

An organization created by nativists in 1887 that campaigned for laws to restrict immigration

How the other Half Lives

Book written by Jacob Riis documenting the poverty of the immigrants in the cities (has photographs)

Social Gospel

Movement led by Washington Gladden – taught religion and human dignity would help the poor over come problems of industrialization. Didn’t focus on religion, but on the fact that improved living conditions begot improved morality

Hull House

Chicago settlement house founded by progressive reformer Jane Adams in Chicago in 1889

Jane Addams

an American social worker, sociologist, philosopher and reformer. She was also the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and a founder of the U.S. Settlement House Movement (founded the Hull House).

Lillian Wald

founded the Henry Street Settlement and Visiting Nurse Service which provided nursing and social services and organized educational and cultural activities. She is considered the founder of public health nursing and believed that the best way to help poor immigrants is to live and work among them

Louis Sullivan

architect known for his steel framed skyscrapers (he’s considered the father of skyscrapers) and for coining the phrase ‘form follows function’

John L. Sullivan


Jacob Riis

an immigrant, he became a reporter who pointed out the terrible conditions of the tenement houses of the big cities where immigrants lived during the late 1800s and the general ills of American society. He wrote How The Other Half Lives in 1890.

Washington Gladden

Congregationalist minister who followed the social gospel and supported social reform. A prolific writer whose newspaper cloumns and many books made him a national leader of the Social gospel movement.

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