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Abstract

With the intensive migration of the American public from rural to urban settings in the mid-nineteenth century came many logistical problems. Chief among them was the contention that the city was a place fundamentally void of, or else lax with morals. The examination into these issues explores why Americans felt the city was a catalyst for immorality, specifically examining prostitution and the exploitation of the working poor. It seeks to answer these questions within the framework of the anchor text, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Blithedale Romance”.