Essay On The Great Chicago Fire Of 1871

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Many times, the strength of an establishment is not fully realized until it has proven its ability to overcome a setback and become better for it. Chicago is a primary example of a city which proved its strength by undergoing disaster, and becoming better for it. Perhaps the most jarring of these disasters was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, symbolized by the second of four stars on the Chicago flag. This tragedy, claiming the lives of hundreds and causing millions of dollars in damage, was horrid, but the city overcame and grew to be one of America’s most influential cities. A crucial element of Chicago’s history, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 can be understood by studying the cause of its severity, its impact on the city, and the recovery efforts of the people. The widespread effects of the fire were caused by adverse weather conditions and the origin of the fire. The months leading up to fire incorporated all the elements …show more content…

The primary suspect was Catherine O’Leary, an Irish immigrant whose sour attitude had given her a bad reputation in the town. The children in the town began a story in which Catherine’s cow kicked over a lantern, and the nativists were quick to place the blame on her, but she denied any blame for the fire. As jokes and songs began to emerge about her, her son spoke to a newspaper saying “that she is regarded as the cause, even accidentally, of the Great Chicago Fire, is the grief of her life. She is shocked at the levity with which the subject is treated and at the satirical use of her name in connection with it.” It has become clear over time that although the fire began in the O’Leary barn, Catherine did not begin the fire, and she has been cleared of all charges, but at the time, after nine days of questioning fifty people, the newspaper published a report that did not replace the blame on anyone, but did not remove the blame from her

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