Chapter

The Suburban Solution

in Chicago Made

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226477015
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226477046 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226477046.003.0003
The Suburban Solution

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Chicago's transformation into a great industrial metropolis after the Civil War was made possible by its leaders' ability to mold the prairie into industrial territory. Businesspeople, politicians, middle-class observers, and workers increasingly looked to the suburbs as spaces where the problems of the older areas could be avoided, and in the process they made new economic geographies. They sought a suburban solution. Even though this was riven by conflicts of all kinds and created through the action of thousands of actors, a modern suburban reality did emerge. Chicago's elites were able to juxtapose and merge in both symbolic and material ways, images of heroic man (the white settler and entrepreneur), an unruly and unproductive nature (the prairie and the American native), and the good of the common weal (a capitalist urban economy).

Keywords: prairie; industrialization; metropolis; suburbs; economic geography

Chapter.  9079 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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