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Doing the TownThe Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, 1850-1915$
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Catherine Cocks

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520227460

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520227460.001.0001

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“Why Not Visit Chicago”: Tour Companies and City Business Organizations, 1870–1915

“Why Not Visit Chicago”: Tour Companies and City Business Organizations, 1870–1915

Chapter:
(p.106) Four“Why Not Visit Chicago”: Tour Companies and City Business Organizations, 1870–1915
Source:
Doing the Town
Author(s):

Catherine Cocks

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520227460.003.0005

This chapter discusses the startling juxtaposition of an American city, less than one hundred years old and notorious for its vulgar commercialism, to two of the great capitals of Europe, which marked an important change. When entering the nation's cities, well-to-do Americans necessarily confronted the tensions among their republican principles, their refined ideals, and the vigorous expansion of a market economy. Organized businessmen believed that their campaigns for city beautification and tourism would inspire civic spirit and social unity. The Chicago Association of Commerce published its guidebook “for the dual purpose of properly guiding and assisting in the entertainment of visitors to Chicago and to instruct Chicagoans themselves in subjects of civic interest.” Such knowledge would encourage a proper appreciation of the city was well as enable the locals to help tourists find and interpret the sights.

Keywords:   American city, vulgar commercialism, republican principles, Association of Commerce, Chicago, civic interest

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