Coney Island at the Turn of the Century

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During the late nineteenth century, America was undergoing a cultural change in society. An island with Amusement Parks and vast beaches was underway in development to change the face of America in ways no one could have imagined at the time. The island was referred to as Coney Island. Coney Island Amusement Parks was built in a span of 30 years that would provide the American people a place to relax and enjoy time together with their friends and family. As a whole, Coney Island at the turn of the century, offered the ways of the future in distinctive ways; through technological advances of the era. Around 1900, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company created steam railways that connected Manhattan and Brooklyn, thus making Coney Island much more accessible to people living the city (Source 2). Coney Island was a symbol of America in the early twentieth century, where all of America’s values and traditions were defined and brought into one place. In a sense, Coney Island took Americans from the Victorian age, to a more modern and futuristic sense of what America could potentially become. Changing economic and social conditions helped to create the basis of new mass culture that was carried on into the new century (Source 1) As the industrialization brought new technology and ideas, the ways of American life changed almost instantly. Many inventions were being tested to see how well they would do throughout Coney Island. Many people started to take notice of these change and started talking more and more about it. Traditional concepts were now being challenged and overshadowed as to what was to be created in Coney Island. “Now machines of industry are becoming instruments of play”, recalled Fred Thompson, crea... ... middle of paper ... ... about leisure and entertainment at the same time. All in all, Coney Island brought different perspectives on the changing culture in America at the turn of the century. Now men and women were able express themselves in ways they never could have before, technological advances were well on their way into the modern era, and the morals people had changed drastically compared to the Victorian era. Coney island forever changed America, and created new views on leisure and entertainment. Today leisure and entertainment are a part of cultural society everywhere. Works Cited 1. Kasson, F. John. “Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century” New York: Hill and Wang, 1978 2. Berman, John S. Coney Island. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2003 3. McCullough, David. “American Experience: Coney Island.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/coney/inc

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