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Toward an Urban Society, 1877-1900

The development of American cities radically altered the nation's social environment and problems. The journalist who exposed How the Other Half Lives in urban tenements was Jacob Riis. If an American became ill in the 1870s, home care would be the accepted form of tratment. Most Americans in the 1880s were church-attending Protestants. The Comstock Law legislated public morality. The most famous of the urban political bosses in the late nineteenth century was William Tweed. The common-law doctrine of femme couverte was revised to adapt to the changes of the period. As a result of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, African American education was to be separate but equal to white education. Booker T. Washington believed that self-help was the best plan for African Americans. The Social Darwinists believed the laws of nature applied to society. According to Henry George, there was a wide gulf between rich and poor.

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