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Coney Island

            At the turn of the Twentieth century radical sociological changes and movements began to take hold of the prevailing American culture, and a major factor that contributed to these new changes was the advent of the amusement park. According to John F. Kassons" Amusing The Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the century, the amusement park (Coney Islands" amusement parks in particular) played a significant role in the shift of attitudes, morals and overall lifestyle of our society. Early in the twentieth century the industrial revolution began to take shape and with this emergence of industrial life, urban cities began to spring up all over the nation and immigrants began to migrate into the U.S. (most of these immigrants were European),as a result of these changes entrepreneurs and members of high society took it upon themselves to provide quality, cultured forms of recreation to catour to this mass industrial culture, these individuals were referred to as the genteel reformers. Individuals such as William C. Bryant, Andrew J. Downing and Henry W. Bellows all advocated more refined types of entertainment, examples of this kind of entertainment would be Central Park and Chicagos" Colombian Exposition but the mainstream public was not able to appreciate or recognize the significance of these forms of entertainment so another type of entertainment was established, the amusement park. With the upsurge of the amusement park many dominant ideals and ways of life established in the nineteenth century began to change and began to be overshadowed by new ways of thinking. The new Mass culture craved entertainment where as before the same mass culture craved the more basic things in life. The inhabitants of this new industrial society related well to the amusement parks and in Amusing The Million a point was made that, "the loud noises and raucous atmosphere of city life was similar to the atmosphere in the amusement parks making it easier for the members of urban society to relate to this new type of entertainment".

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