History of Chicago
Rapid expansion (1837-1885)
More and more people moved to the city and the already strong trade continued to grow. Chicago’s population rose from just 100 in 1830 to 100,000 by 1860. This also increased land prices.
In 1848 the first railroad was opened, which also ran to Chicago. By 1850 Chicago already had 30,000 residents. An end to the influx was not in sight – the general conditions at the traffic junction were too favorable.
In 1871 the Great Fire of Chicago raged, which destroyed most of the city. 125 bodies were recovered, but it is estimated that 300 were dead and 18,000 houses were destroyed. 100,000 people became homeless. It had to be rebuilt. Home Insurance Building was the first structure to combine the new technical achievements. With its original ten floors and 42 meters high, it is considered the first modern high-rise in the world.
Industrial great power (1885-1918)
On May 1, 1886, the Chicago unions staged a strike to reduce working hours from twelve hours a day to eight hours. When police cracked down on May 3 and strikers were killed, a riot broke out in what went down in history as the Haymarket Riot. Since then, it has been commemorated annually on May 1st, Labor Day.
Otherwise, the end of the 19th century was not a calm phase either. Corruption experienced its first heyday. Most of the city’s politicians were for sale. The mayor of the city was Hempstead Washburne. Election fraud was the order of the day.
Long working hours, low wages, and inhumane working conditions made Chicago the cradle of the American trade union movement.
City of jazz and gangsters
In 1922 Chicago became a jazz metropolis. Big names like Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, and Jelly Roll Morton livened up the black clubs. Chicago jazz was born. But it wasn’t just jazz that came to Chicago through Afro-Americans. It became the center of black organizations – both PUSH, founded by Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the more militant Nation of Islam (Black Muslims). It was founded by Elijah Muhammad in 1930.
But the mafia also made a name for itself in Chicago. Unscrupulous gangster bosses like Bugs Moran, Johnny Torrio, and Al Capone. They sold illegally produced alcohol. In 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago managed the first controlled nuclear chain reaction as part of the Manhattan Project, which aimed to build nuclear weapons.
During the government of Richard J. Daley as a mayor, the brutal crackdown on antiwar demonstrators fell in 1968. In August 1968 there were violent clashes against the Vietnam War. In 1969 the Chicago Seven were charged for this.
In 1983, Harold Washington became the first black mayor. He won re-election in the spring by four percentage points over Epton. He ruled Chicago until his death in November 1987.
Ethnic origin is becoming less important for future generations. Especially with children from mixed marriages. This also applies to the numerous descendants of German immigrants who live in and around Chicago. Many of the residents are of Irish descent. There is therefore a large Saint Patrick’s Day Parade every March.
The Chicago River is also colored green to celebrate this day. A large number of Americans of Polish origin is also striking. Almost half a million people of Polish origin live in Chicago.
Violence and Crime
The city faces a high number of gunshot victims. Since the beginning of this year, 13,937 have been killed and 27,920 injured. These included 754 children between the ages of 0-12. Killed and injured young people between the ages of 12-17, 3,127. And the year is not over yet.
Unfortunately, the potential for violence in Chicago is very high. There are lots of shootings, gang wars, drive-by shootings. Most of the time, innocent people are shot dead, and many children are among the victims. Deaths are mourned every weekend.
Alone last WE 7 children were injured and a 4-year old died. He was in the house when the fatal shots rang out. 280 children have already been hit by bullets this year, 35 died from gunshot wounds. This pointless dying must come to an end.
The Mayor has no control
Mayor Lightfoot has no control over this city. Even with gun control, there is no end to violence in sight. Guns are bought illegally. Gangs engage in gang wars. And children always get caught in an exchange of fire. Innocent children whose lives will simply be wiped out. When will something be done about it?
These politicians just aren’t capable or they don’t care. As long as their own life is protected. Now they also want to defund the police. In a city where violence is the order of the day. What’s going on in their heads?
There were demonstrations in Chicago for a criminal. BLM and Antifa also take to the streets for other criminals. It seems that these children’s lives don’t count for these organizations.
Pros and cons
Life in Chicago isn’t cheap. For a single person, the monthly expenses are € 866.83 (1028.90 USD) excluding rent. It is 9.76% more expensive than in Vienna. Rents in Chicago are 62.23% higher than in Vienna.
Restaurants, groceries, and cigarettes are also a lot more expensive than ours. For example, a pound of minced meat costs around 12 USD. Cigarette prices per box vary between 10-15 USD.
For a small apartment (1 bedroom) you pay 1,811.01 USD in the city center, and 1,198.82 USD outside the city. If you want a larger apartment (3 bedrooms) the prices vary between 3,600 USD in the city and 2,200 USD outside.
An average monthly salary is 5,100 USD. If you have children, preschool costs 1,500 USD per month for one child. International Primary School is 23,297 USD per year for one child. The prices for daily food are roughly the same as here in Austria.
The bottom line is that Chicago is relatively expensive and also the city of crime. Chicago also has a very high unemployment rate. I wouldn’t recommend immigrating to Chicago unless you have contacts there or family members. There are cheaper and safer cities in America where life is still livable.
There are a lot of attractions for tourists. These include the Chicago River, Willis Tower, Lake Michigan, Sheed Aquarium, and Skydeck Chicago. The top activity is the Ferri wheel at Navy Pier. River trips on Lake Michigan are also offered. The gangster & ghost tours are very attractive for Tourists.
We also recommend city tours, bus tours, and walking tours. Sightseeing & helicopter flights and the architecture of Chicago. Not to forget the museums and exhibitions.