This surge in immigration was primarily driven by economic opportunities in the United States, which was at the height of the industrial revolution. This combined with a desire among some to escape growing political instability in Europe, while ethnic and religious violence led Jews from the Russian Empire in particular to seek a new life elsewhere.

Elisha Otis was an American mechanic who invented the safety elevator, which featured a mechanism to prevent the platform from falling if the hoisting cable failed.

Tweed’s corrupt practices were exposed by investigative journalists such as those at The New York Times and he was regularly attacked by Thomas Nast, the political cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly whose cartoons helped to identify Tweed in Spain.