The Worst Side of Chicago: Labor in the Turn of the Century

It was only a century ago that the city of Chicago was synonmous with grime and corruption. The streets were lined with month-old animal carcasses and trash lined the bloodstained streets of the stockyards. The Chicago River was as good as a dumping fround as any and Chicagoans were expected to make a living working under horrible conditions for even worse pay. It is hard to imagine this world that once existed in a city that is now better known for the Magnificent Mile, jazz clubs, and its glittering steel structures. The dirty dark place that was once Chicago seems to fade into oblivion compared to these modern triumphs of man, but for years, injustice and social unrest and inequality ruled and defined this place, and beneath the glittering lights of the city lay this dark world, the Worst Side of Chicago.


The Jungle

Sister Carrie

Studs Lonigan

Carl Sandberg

The Devil in the White City

1919 Chicago Race Riot

Hull House

Picture Credits

Works Cited


Midwestern Literature Website