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Chapter 15

NS - Chapter 15 – Population and Urbanization.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

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Chapter 15Population and UrbanizationUntil the Industrial Revolution cities were incapable of supporting more than about 5 percent of the total societal population largely because of the absence of agricultural surpluses large enough to feed a big urban populationIn addition high mortality rates especially among children under 10 years dictated that even with high birth rates urban population growth was limitedDemographic transition theory holds that the main factors underlying population dynamics are industrialization and the growth of modern cultural valuesIn the preindustrial era both birth rates and death rates were high and population growth was therefor slowIn the first stages of industrialization death rates fell so population growth was rapidAs industrialization progressed and peoples values about having children changed the birth rate fell resulting in slow growth againMalthus argued that while food supplies increase slowly populations grow quicklyBecause of this presumed natural law only war pestilence and famine can keep human population growth in checkIn contrast Marx argued that overpopulation is not a problem of too many peopleInstead it is a problem of too much povertyMarx said that if the exploitation of workers under capitalism is ended then poverty will disappear along with the overpopulation problem
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