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Lecture 5

GEOG 2UI3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Charleston, New York, Gateway Cities

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Robert Wilton

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GEO 2UI3 – Foundations: The U.S. Urban System – Lecture 5
Origins of U.S Urban System
1. Frontier urbanization (1500s-1780s)
- Urban settlements: outposts of colonial exploration & exploitation (Spanish, French, Dutch,
- Gateway cities: ports that served as:
Conduits for outward movement of staple commodities and inward movement of
Ruling of colonial territories
E.g. Boston, Charleston, New York, etc.
Conduits between Europe and the Americas – outward movement of staple goods
Gateway cities were political and military sections
- Subsequently
Entrepots: ports develop relations with each other, trade
Gateway cities – primary relationship is back to Europe
Hinterlands develop own market centres
Small towns develop as depots for staple goods
After making connections, they develop their own markets – hinterlands
See Vance (Urban View 3.2)
2. Mercantile Era (1790-1840)
- Independence meant:
European ties replaced with domestic trading relationships
Increased accumulation of domestic capital
Expanded political functions for urban centres
Westward expansion
New urban centres: St. Louis, New Orleans (trade; water transit)
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