Milwaukee, the History of a City

Milwaukee, the History of a City

Milwaukee, the History of a City

Milwaukee, the History of a City

Excerpt

The story of the growth of Milwaukee to metropolitan stature transcends local interest not alone because of the city's nationwide reputation for honest and effective municipal administration nor because of the Germanic and socialistic ingredients of its culture which in the popular mind have differentiated it from the other major cities of the nation. The townsite promotion in its early history demonstrates an important, if frequently neglected, aspect of the westward movement of population in the United States. Its evolution from Deutsch- Athen to American metropolis reveals the role of the city both in the transmission of ideas from the Old World and in their transformation in the New. And inasmuch as its rise to metropolitan proportions coincided almost exactly with the occurrence of this phenomenon in the wider nation, the city's adjustments to the problems of urban living reflect the details of a significant and pervasive contemporaneous activity in the United States at large. In short, its experience recapitulates in many ways the as yet unwritten history of the city in American life.

The attempt to delineate the broad span of city building within the limits of a single volume has been deliberate. By so doing it is possible to disclose the outlines of the evolving urban entity with a clarity that rarely results when the concern is with all-inclusive institutional and biographical detail. Such compression has imposed the necessity of selection and generalization, practices which present especial hazards in the writing of urban history. This follows from the scarcity of monographic studies in the local field and from the want of available personal papers, a situation which exists in part because of the in-

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