American Industrialization and Its Impacts on Urban System Essay

Pages: 3 (1167 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Urban Studies

American Industrialization Urban Systems

The industrial revolution, as it is termed changed the role of cities to a fundamental level in the history of America. Industries tend to congregate at major sources of resources including but not limited to communications, transportation and labor. The growth of cities in the U.S. can even be linked directly to industrialization, as the greater the needs of the market the greater the size of cities that grew around industry to feed it. Capital had to be available, hence communications with foreign investors was needed, until such time as urban centers began to provide their own capital systems and lending. (Kantor, and David 86)

The Industrial Revolution fundamentally transformed the role of cities in capitalism and created a national urban system based on market competition. This new urban economy had enormous local political implications. Not least, it enabled some city governments to achieve powerful market positions and secure relative economic independence. This new reality would change the bargaining positions of local government and business. (Kantor, and David 86)

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Urban centers grew exponentially, physically, culturally and socially as a result of industrialization. Many labor needs in the northern cities in the U.S., based near waterways and shipping centers, were met by recruited immigrants from nearly every nation in the world, at different times and for different industries. (Hommann 33) All these people, as well as the industries they worked for an in needed infrastructural supports, systems to get clean water, dispose of waste and transport people and goods. Road building and city planning began with urban needs, as they were required and according to a sort of natural design, then city planning came into the picture to resolve many conflicts that developed.

Essay on American Industrialization and Its Impacts on Urban System Assignment

City planning has thus been preceded in America by extensive free and unplanned urban development and is still overwhelmed, if not engulfed, by it. This chapter gives an overview of the efforts of American planning to stem or correct economic and developmental devastation. While it is true that the laying out of streets is but one phase of city planning, it is an important one. Obviously a city must be built around designated channels of movement, and its street layout markedly affects everything that follows. As we have seen, virtually all attempts at grandeur had to give way to the speculative gridiron plan. (Hommann 47)

The fact that true urban centers exist at all owes a great deal to industry growth. Systems that developed as a result of supporting industry became rapidly urban in character, with entire populations of people and industry requiring dependency to survive. What this means is that cities needed to meet the needs of all, with building, roads, water and food.

urbanization and urbanism must be explained as contingent historical processes. Kingsley Davis (1955:429) has remarked that "compared to most other aspects of society -- e.g., language, religion, stratification, or the family -- cities appeared only yesterday, and urbanization, meaning that a sizable proportion of the population lives in cities, has developed only in the last few moments of man's existence." Urbanization is the demographic expression of agricultural commercialization, industrialization, market centralization, and state formation. Although these processes have unfolded most rapidly under western capitalism (Walton 301)

Western capitalism, fed by growth in all areas of the world, with regard to demand for new and innovative products and processes spurned on extreme city building, sometimes with plans and politics in mind and place to develop them, sometimes as a power play between the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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