Regional Societies-TheNorth&Midwest

Marisa Mortari

Northern Society

The Wealthy Upper Class

  • Consisted of prosperous bankers, manufacturers, merchants
  • Lived in lavish homes with running water, elegant furnishings and many household conveniences
  • Concerned with maintaining their status

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The Urban Poor

  • Lived in small crowded apartments, cellars, or attics
  • Few conveniences and no sewers
  • Neighborhoods filled with crime, disease, and filth
  • Disease killed many people

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The Middle Class

  • Possible to make it to the middle class from being poor
  • The middle class arose during the early 1800s
  • Lived in simple but comfortable homes
  • Consisted of prosperous artisans, farmers, lawyers, ministers, shopkeepers, and their families
  • Homes had conveniences such as bathing stands and bowls, iron cookstoves, lamps, and rugs.
  • Bought basic necessities
  • Specialization of male and female roles

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Male Roles

  • Expected to work outside the home and earn money for the family
  • Shifted from farmwork to work in factories, offices, and mills

Female Roles

  • Expected to stay at home with children
  • Expected to do house work
  • "Cult of true womanhood"

Middle Class Children

  • Typically did not have to work to help support family
  • Boys were sent to school
  • Lived at home longer than kids do now

The Rise of Trade Unions

  • Even though there was economic prosperity, many families were still living in poverty
  • Children in harsh working conditions in factories
  • National Convention in 1834: Founding of the National Trades Union
  • NTU gave workers reforms (i.e. shorter work day)
  • Workers used the strike to protest against low wages or wage reductions
  • Tensions arose between wealthy factory owners and poor factory workers
  • Union activity and strikes forced politicians to deal with these problems


  • More than 1.5 million Germans immigrated to the US during 1831-1860
  • Came because of religious or political motives
  • Looking for economic prosperity
  • Went into baking, brewery, butchery, cabinet making, or cigar making.
  • In larger cities the Germans were close knit, read German newspapers, and attended lessons in German

Nativist Response

  • Some people protested the arrival of immigrants
  • Nativism: favoring native-born Americans over foreign born
  • Viewed immigrants as politically corrupt & socially inferior
  • Some wanted to restrict the immigrants from having the right to vote or hold public office