The Devil In The White City Analysis

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The American dream was generated from the minds of Enlightenment thinkers, such as Locke and Rousseau, and mandated in the constitution by the founding fathers of the new nation. The American dream stated that every United States citizen should have equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative1. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, illustrated the true nature of reaching the American dream and the legacy of Enlightenment thought through the opportunities, dangers and obstacles of the World’s Fair Exposition in Chicago in the year of 1893. The historical story began in 1889, when Paris opened the Exposition Universelle, a glamorous fair with a tower standing over one thousand feet into the air, the “Eiffel Tower”. Larson explained how at this time, America’s pride in its growing international standing had led to a new level of patriotism. The Eiffel Tower humiliated the United States, implying that the nation was careless about its appearance (15). It was previously…show more content…
Of course, the initial assumption was that the World’s Fair would be held in the capital, Washington (15). Larson showed the growing sense of pride not only of the nation as a whole, but through the growing competitive nature of the cities. Chicago, New York, and St. Louis saw the Fair as an opportunity that could help their economic and social stature within the nation. It was decided by Congress that the matter would be put to a vote. Larson argued that Great Fire in 1871, established the “Chicago Spirit”, a unique and powerful force of civic pride, that distinguished the city from the others. The restored city had become the nations leader in commerce, manufacturing and architecture, but it still lacked the cultural and social refinement of New York (16). In February of 1890, Chicago was voted the chosen location for the fair and given the opportunity to create a new identity

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