The Chicago World Fair

353 Words2 Pages
Chicago’s World Fair of 1893 was an incredibly popular and immensely influential social and cultural event. Millions of Americans experienced the Fair during its six months of existence on the shores of Lake Michigan, and millions more have lived with its legacy throughout the twentieth century. The fair was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus landing on America and beginning to colonize it. The driving force of this fair was simply to be better than the one France had just put on in Paris. The location chosen for this fair was obviously Chicago, which means that all the pressure to make it amazing was put on them. Construction of the 14 great buildings was the most important part of the fair. They wanted the buildings to represent the prestige of the United States. However, the making of these buildings left many people in the city worried. The streets were becoming filthy and polluted, sanitation was becoming a major issue, and there was corruption in the local government. Another major issue that arose was the economic depression that was coming about. Many people believed this was brought on by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Over this 4 year depression 15,000 businesses failed, 600 banks closed, 50 railroads became insolvent, and at least 2.5 million Americans were unemployed. The Electricity Building really seemed to draw visitors. This building seemed to give the fair the edge that it needed to surpass the France fair. The building featured a moving sidewalk, launches, elevated trains, and thousands of incandescent lights. Many of these things were completely unheard of to the visitors at the fair. The building specifically showed examples of how much progress America has been through technologically. Overall, the point of the fair was to make sure that the rest of the world could see how far America had progressed and
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