Following the Civil War, volunteers returned to civilian life, often in cities that experienced a series of severe economic depressions across the last decades of the nineteenth century. Across repeated efforts to deal with municipal crises of unemployment and disaster, elected officials and activists developed new organizational models of municipal governance that harnessed private, voluntary efforts to urban social problems. The result was a new model of urban governance that made use of innovations such as the Charity Organization Society, elite social clubs, and federated fundraising.
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