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AICP Exam - History

Timeline of American Planning History, 1785-1899

1785 Ordinance of 1785. Provided for the rectangular land survey of the Old Northwest. The rectangular survey has been called "the largest single act of national planning in our history and ... the most significant in terms of continuing impact on the body pol
1791 In his Report on Manufactures, Alexander Hamilton argues for protective tariffs for manufacturing industry as a means of promoting industrial development in the young republic.
1818 In a speech before Congress, Henry Clay proposes a plan (called the American System) to allocate federal funds to promote the development of the national economy by combining tariffs with internal improvements, such as roads, canals and other waterways.
1825 Erie Canal completed. This artificial waterway connected the northeastern states with the newly settled areas of what was then the West, facilitating the economic development of both regions.
1839 The National Road terminates in Vandalia, Illinois. Begun in 1811 in Cumberland, Maryland, it helps open the Ohio Valley to settlers.
1855 First "model tenement" built in Manhattan.
1862 Homestead Act opened the lands of the Public Domain to settlers for a nominal fee and five years residence.
1862 Morrill Act. Congress authorizes land grants from the Public Domain to the states. Proceeds from the sale were to be used to found colleges offering instruction in agriculture, engineering, and other practical arts.
1864 New York Council of Hygiene of the Citizens Association mounts a campaign to raise housing and sanitary standards.
1868 Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux begin the planning of Riverside Illinois, a planned suburban community stressing rural as opposed to urban amenities.
1869 The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads meet at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10 to complete the first transcontinental railroad.
1878 John Wesley Powell's Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States is published. Includes a proposed regional plan that would both foster settlement of the arid west and conserve scarce water resources.
1879 Progress and Poverty published. In this influential book Henry George presents an argument for diminishing extremes of national wealth and poverty by means of a single tax that would capture the "unearned increment" of nat'l development for public uses
1879 Debut of the "Dumbbell Tenement," so called because of its shape. A form of multifamily housing widely built in New York until the end of the century and notorious for the poor living conditions it imposed on its denizens (lack of light, air, space).
1879 Establishment of U.S. Geological Survey to survey and classify all Public Domain lands.
1880-84 Building of Pullman, Illinois, model industrial town by George Pullman.
1890 How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis, is published; a powerful stimulus to housing and neighborhood reform.
1891 General Land Law Revision Act gave President power to create forest preserves by proclamation.
1892 Sierra Club founded to promote the protection and preservation of the natural environment. John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, and a major figure in the history of American environmentalism, was the leading founder.
1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago commemorating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. A source of the City Beautiful Movement and of the urban planning profession.
1896 United States v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Co. The first significant legal case concerning historic preservation. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the acquisition of the national battlefield at Gettysburg served a valid public purpose.
1897 Forest Management Act. Authorized some control by the Secretary of the Interior over the use and occupancy of the forest preserves.
1898 Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, by Ebenezer Howard, a source of the Garden City Movement. Reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of Tomorrow.
1898 Gifford Pinchot becomes Chief Forester of the United States in the Department of Agriculture. From this position he publicizes the cause of forest conservation.
Created by: mrk598
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