Chapter

Strangers and Visitors: Or, The Impossibility of Tourism in American Cities, 1830s–1870s

Catherine Cocks

in Doing the Town

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520227460
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926493 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520227460.003.0002
Strangers and Visitors: Or, The Impossibility of Tourism in American Cities, 1830s–1870s

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This chapter talks about the thousands of Americans, along with immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and a slew of other countries, who contributed to the unprecedented rate of urban growth in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The grounds of the expositions provided a model for a refined and republican urban landscape, and the way that visitors perceived and moved around the fair grounds offered an alternative to existing urban spatial practices. The emergence of new ideas about leisure, pleasure travel, and urban life signaled the reconceptualization of urban space and social relations in ways that made urban tourism possible. In trying to reconcile the contradictions among profit, refinement, republican egalitarianism, and the ideal of separate spheres, trains and hotels both legitimized public leisure and shifted the boundary between public and private spaces and behaviors.

Keywords: Americans; immigrants; urban growth; United States; republican urban landscape

Chapter.  13211 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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