Thursday, November 27, 2014

Population Decline

This video shows how the population has declined in recent years in Kansas, however, new ideas are arising to attract people to the region.

Chapter 11: The Great Plains

In this post, I will focus on the next door neighbor to the Corn Belt region and Chicago, The Great Plains due to both regions blending in together. This will be a compare and contrast post of the Great Plains and Chicago, in terms of historical settlement.

Map of the Great Plains

Like Chicago, European settlements arose near rivers, stream or other bodies of water within the Great Plains in the 16th century. Most of the region was acquired through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. By the 1880s, the region was mostly settled by Euro Americans. In Chicago, however, it wasn't until 1781 when someone officially settled within the area.

In 1862, the Homestead Act went into effect stating that a quarter of federal land will be given to those settlers who chose to live on, cultivate, and improve the property. This was an effort to get more people into the regions since it was acquired in 1803. In 1869, with the transcontinental railroad and the discoveries of silver and gold, more settlers showed in the region. A similar story happened in Chicago as the population boomed when railroads developed somewhere near the 1840s.

A family settling into the Great Plains after the Homestead Act went into effect.

Communities began appearing across the Great Plains with most people being of European descent. One could find Norwegians, Swedish, Belgians, and Icelanders throughout. However, within Chicago, one could find Irish Catholics as they have flocked from Ireland to the United States due to the Great Famine.

Raising cattle became important in this region and the cattle industry boomed. So much so, that the slaughterhouses in Chicago felt its effect.

Cattle Industry in the Great Plains

Since 1920, the rural region of the Great Plains have lost a third of their population with 6000 ghost towns in Kansas alone. Farms/farming and difficulty in finding employment were the main causes of this decline, however, modern developments were rarely seen as well so less people were attracted to the region. However, in Chicago, one could see that the population has risen to 3 million. It was until 1950 that population shrank marginally for other reasons such as people wanting to move within suburbs. The arrival of Latino and Asian-American settlers has helped the population in the Great Plains region in recent years, but the population still manages to shrink.


Friday, October 10, 2014

The History of Chicago Through Videos!

The 1909 Plan of Chicago

                                                         The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Chapter 3: Historical Settlement of Chicago

1673 was the year that Jacques Marquette, a French-born Jesuit, discovered the area come to be known as Chicago with a group of Europeans and locals. It will not be until 1781 when someone has officially created a permanent settlement in the area. His name was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an African American. He chose the area near the Chicago river for trading purposes, however, soon the river will be occupied by Fort Dearborn.

1833, Chicago became a town and in 1837, Chicago had reached a population of 4170 and thus, became a city. In the 1840s, many Irish Catholics flocked to Chicago due to the Great Famine. Population boomed to about 300,000 as railroads developed. Heavy industry required skilled workers and many Europeans were attracted to Chicago such as Swedes, Germans, Dutch, and English.

In 1840, Chicago was the 92nd most populated city and, in just twenty short years, it became the 9th.

However, when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 occurred, it destroyed many buildings and killed roughly 300 people. Rebuilding the city became a priority after that.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Today's Chicago's foundations were based on the architects' designs for reconstructing the city after the Chicago Fire. Daniel Burnham was the one who created the first urban plan of the city.
1909 Chicago Plan
Between 1870 and 1900 Chicago grew from 300,000 to 1.7 million due to its growing and flourishing economy.

Chicago's first skyscraper: the Home Insurance Building
In 1885, the first skyscraper in the world, the Home Insurance Building, was built by William Jenney. It was this building that started the creative architectural structure of Chicago today.

In 1889, we see the Hull House open its doors to waves of immigrants by Jane Addams. These immigrants came to find work in meat packaging and other factories/industries. They were poor and needed a place to stay and found a home in these settlement houses.

In 1886, the Haymarket affair occurred where protesting workers were fired on by police. This caused unrest in protest and labor. Many African-Americans migrated to Chicago during the World War I era and found opportunities awaiting them there.

In the 1930s, Chicago had officially reached 3 million population wise. However, 1950 saw the very first time where population shrank due to jobs being scarce and being moved and people moving into suburbs.

The 2000 U.S. Census displayed the first increase in population since 1950.