Textbook Notes (362,796)
Canada (158,054)
Sociology (1,479)
SOC205H1 (16)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Canadian Urbanization in Historical and Global Perspective

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University of Toronto St. George
Brent Berry

January 20 , 2013 Chapter 1 Canadian Urbanization in Historical and Global Perspective The City in History - Canadian urbanization has been intimately linked to urban power and urban factors elsewhere in the world - Cities have existed for about 10,000 years, with the oldest city (Jericho) dating back to 9000-8000 B.C. - Early cities were located in Middle East, India, China, Mesoamerica, etc - Urbanization did not have one place of origin from which it spread but that human settlements occurred both as a response to the need for protection and as a reflection of power - Development of agriculture, government, writing, literature, science led to development of cities - Characteristics of early cities: o They were the centres of a civilization in which there was some sort of dominant authority  A principal factor in the organization of larger and more permanent settlement was leadership, not only to organize people but also to build the structures necessary for more compact living o None of the early settlements grew continuously  All of them collapsed and were essentially lost until they were rediscovered by archaeologists  Urban centres were not linked but were scattered throughout the world The Agricultural Revolution: Precursor to the Modern City - The key for the development of permanent settlements was the domestication of plants and animals o This is usually understood as the first stage in the agricultural revolution (the second stage, mechanization of agriculture, occurred later) o Humans were able to settle down and plant seeds to grow their own food and maintain their own livestock o Without a sense of territorial permanence, cities would not have been possible o Agriculturalists produced more than they needed to survive (food surplus). Food surplus could support city dwellers who would build, think, invent, and create. These urban dwellers are released from subsistence concerns and can create works of art, build bridges and public buildings, and focus on health care or leisure pursuits as careers - Agricultural revolution made it possible for cities to grow and develop with a much more complex division of labour - The ability to produce a surplus had four consequences: 1. Development of a much more complex division of labour in which people could specialize in various non-agricultural pursuits 2. The production of a surplus supported a more hierarchical society in which the leaders could extract a portion of the surplus in the form of tax, which could be used to control those not engaged in agriculture 3. The existence of a ruler-controlled surplus required an administrative structure to manage the surplus and the social controls that rewarded those who conformed to the wishes of the leaders and punished those who did not 4. The differences in the redistribution process accentuated (emphasized) social inequalities - It is often thought that the fullest development of the ancient city can be seen in the cities of Greek and Roman culture from about 1000 BC to AD 300 - Most significant city of the era was Rome (had more than 1 million residents), there was a complex road system, a water system of aqueducts, splendid public spaces i.e. public baths, etc January 20 , 2013 The Rise and Fall of Cities - Cities at this point of history were almost always the centre of some kind of empire - In whichever empire, the city needed a vast hinterland to supply its needs and therefore was often the centre of trade and commerce - Cities also reflected the desire of their leaders to expand their territorial influence - In almost all cases, the collapse of an empire had a devastating effect on the city that had been created as its centre – so great that it literally disintegratth and was abthdoned - The later medieval period and the Renaissance, from the 12 through 16 century, are generally known as a time of growth and rebirth as the small cities of Europe (i.e. Venice, Paris) began to blossom with new ideas as expressed in art and literature o As the population of these cities increased to 50,000 – 100,000, residents were forced to move beyond the walls of the city. Lack of adequate sanitation, and crowded conditions made the cities less than hospitable, and about 1/3 of population of Europe died as a result of plagues Capitalism, Industrialism, and the City - Trade had always been an important urban function, and the location of a city was often related to its position on trade routes - A significant development in the feudal and post-feudal period was the emergence of craft production, money exchange, and trade, which produced a new social class of urban entrepreneurs who over time became more powerful o This development is often referred to as the emergency of capitalism, which transformed social life and established what is called a market economy in which labour was no longer exchanged for non-monetary subsistence but could be exchanged for monetary reward - The Industrial Revolution (dated from invention of steam engine in England in 1775) symbolizes the dawn of a new era that had huge significance for cities o In contrast to cottage crafts based in the household, the factory separated place of work from place of residence o Also introduced a more complex class system – an increasingly powerful entrepreneurial class on the one hand and a poorly paid class of labourers on the other, with a new middle class of merchants and administrators o Both slums and middle-class suburbs emerged with the Industrial Revolution o Factory owners minimized costs to make a profit and often exploited labour for maximum gain o Workers were needed, people flooded into the cities to get jobs but there was little infrastructure to support them, resulting in a polluted industrial city with poor working conditions and crowded living conditions - The factory became an important symbol of a new kind of city because it represented space- intensive and labour-intensive activity - Large numbers of people could find gainful employment in a relatively small space (the factory), which made larger, denser cities possible o Also introduced unemployment - England was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, and it offers a good market of the rapid rate of urbanization that was in many ways caused by urbanization Colonialism and the Rise of New Cities - Another factor in world urbanization was the rise of the nation-state in Europe as central governments sought to consolidate their power over their own territories - Colonialism entailed European nation-states seeking to control the new lands not only as a means of extending their influence but also to satisfy the demands of their urban marketplaces January 20 , 2013 - In order to export precious metals, fish, furs, spices, or tropical fruit, a port city was usually established in the new territory that would serve as the beachhead for colonial influence and trade - From 1500 to 1900, the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French eagerly explored the globe, and throughout the Americas, Africa, and Asia, cities were developed to serve as conduits for extraction and domination - Characteristics of colonial cities: o They were administrative centres structured by representatives from the empire government, its financial institutions, and its merchants o They served as an intermediary between the empire and the colonial hinterland and its treasures o These colonial cities were conduits of economic and cultural penetration into the colony o A social polarity existed between the expatriates and the unskilled or semi-skilled indigenous peoples  Colonial cities were divided between the foreign elite and the poorer indigenous people  Cities were built essentially by moving indigenous peoples out of the way - The colonial city reflected the interests of the colonizers in architectural design, layout, and law - Colonial cities often became primate cities, which greatly surpass the size of any other urban area in a country o Usually located on or near the coast and serve as the major conduit for foreign influence into the country o Values & way of life of people in a primate city are considerably different from those who lived in countryside o Primate city has extraordinary power and control over its national territory o Many primate cities started out as colonial cities, and for reasons of geography and power, their influence grew (i.e. Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Jakarta, and Bangkok) Urban Restructuring and the World Economy - The linking of merchant capitalism with industrial capitalism energized and supported global urbanization, which is under-girded by what we now call the world economy o This means that the manufacture and trade of goods would no longer just be the prerogative of one section of the world but that there would now be a
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