Excerpts from How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob RiisThe first tenement New York knew bore the mark of Cain from its birth, though a generation passed before the writing was deciphered. There had been tenant-houses before, but they were not built for the purpose. Nothing would probably have shocked their original owners more than the idea of their harboring a promiscuous crowd; for they were the decorous homes of. It was the stir and bustle of trade, together with the tremendous immigration that followed upon the war of that dislodged them. In thirty-five years the city of less than a hundred thousand came to harbor half a million souls, for whom homes had to be found. Within the memory of men not yet in their prime, Washington had moved from his house on Cherry Hill as too far out of town to be easily reached.
HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES: STUDIES AMONG THE TENEMENTS OF NEW YORK by Jacob A. Riis FULL AUDIOBOOK
How The Other Half Lives
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The photographs served as a basis for future " muckraking " journalism by exposing the slums to New York City's upper and middle classes. They inspired many reforms of working-class housing, both immediately after publication as well as making a lasting impact in today's society. In the s many people in upper- and middle-class society were unaware of the dangerous conditions in the slums among poor immigrants. After the Civil War , the country transformed into an industrial superpower and became largely urban. This migration was vastly different from the previous booms due to the influx of non-western European and non-Protestant individuals, therefore making the split between the "new" and "old" immigrants much larger. In the years after the Civil War, many of the former residents of the most notorious slums were wealthy enough to move out of these conditions, or had died in the war.