SECTION A— CHARACTERISTICS OF A CITY
- Cities developed only when an increase in supply of food made it possible to support a wide range of non-food producers.
- They were often centres of political powers with administrative network, trade and industry.
- In medieval Europe, some towns and cities also emerged in the periphery of religious institutions like the church or important buildings.
- Majority of European countries remained rural long after the Industrial Revolution began in Britain.
- Migrants from rural areas were attracted to the textile mills of Manchester and Leeds in large numbers after 1850s.
- Special features of the city of London in the year 1750 were:
(i) Colossal city or Metropolis, densely populated, the capital of the region.
(ii) Population 6,75,000.
(iii) Rate of growth of population from one million in 1810 to four million in 1880.
- According to Gareth Stedman Jones, in the 19th century England, London was “A city of clerks, shopkeepers, small innsters, skilled artisans and a growing number of semi-skilled workers, soldiers, beggars, servants, casual labourers.”
- Industries : Shipping and dockyards, clothing and footwear, wood and furniture, metals and engineering, printing and stationery, precision products like surgical instruments, watches, precious metals. During First World War manufacture of motor cars and electrical goods.
- Marginal groups: Society transformed in terms of quality of life, morality and distinction between the rich and the poor. Crimes increased as cities expanded. Petty thieves, and poor people were estimated to be 20,000 in number in London during the 1870s.
- Remedial measures included high penalties for crimes and work offered to the deserving poor.
- Philanthropists concerned about social morality and industrialists watched and investigated the lives of criminals.
- Condition of the children and women worsened as industrial employees. Paid less wages, forced to work in mines and factories.
- Improvement with the passage of Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870 and the Factory Act of 1902, which prevented children from industrial work.
- Housing: Housing was a huge problem for urban population. Factory workers lived in tenements run-down and overcrowded houses in the poor section of large cities.
- Housing was a threat to public health, fire hazards were expected and there was a fear of rebellion and revolt by the working class (Russian Revolution of 1917 that led to communism in Russia).
- Mass housing schemes for workers were planned.
Fig: Houses in urban colonies
- Cleaning London: It was an immediate problem due to the growth of slums. Life expectancy of a worker was at an average 29, as compared to 55 among gentry. Steps taken to clean London were:
(i) Decongestion of localities by introduction of rent control
(ii) Increasing green open space by building suburbs or countryside homes for the rich.
(iii) Landscaping and building cottages for single families etc.
- Transport in the City: To solve the problem of congestion of traffic, the first underground train opened on 10th January, 1863 between Paddington and Farrington Street in London. 10,000 passengers were carried on that day.
- Underground trains, though objects of cynicism in the beginning, partially solved housing crisis by carrying large masses to and from the city to the suburbs.
- By the 20th century, most large cities like New York, Tokyo, Chicago possessed underground train networks.
SECTION B— SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE CITY
- Family life affected in industrial cities, family ties loosened up due to industrialisation.
- Status of women changed and varied among the working class, middle class and upper class.
- The upper and middle classes faced higher levels of isolation. But their lives were made easier by the rising number of domestic maids who cooked, cleaned and cared for young children at lower wages.
- A quarter of a million domestic servants existed in London, according to an 1861 Census.
- Women of lower classes, who worked for wages, had more control of their lives.
- Men, Women and Family: Public spaces were male-dominated as women lost their industrial jobs and were forced to withdraw into their homes.
- Political movements like the Chartist Movement, demanded voting rights for all male adults and 10-hour movement for limiting the working hours in factories.
- Women’s property rights, adult franchise came much later in the 1870s after a lot of struggle.
- Wars changed the urban family in the 20th century. Families turned nuclear.
- Industrial cities became centres of new market for goods, services as well as ideas.
- They provided mass work, demands for rests on Sundays and other common holidays were raised.
- Leisure and Consumption: Cultural events increased as a form of leisure. Operas, theatres, classical music performances were patronised by the wealthy Britishers during the London Season.
- London Season was a traditional celebration time for the upper class after Christmas and Easter.
- The Pubs were meeting places for drinks, news debates on different issues by the working class.
- Libraries, Art Galleries, Museums, etc. were established in the 19th century, which increased historic sense and pride in British identity and achievements.
- Music Halls and Theatres were popular places of entertainment for the lower classes. Holidays by the sea were encouraged for the working class.
SECTION C— POLITICS IN THE CITY
- London Riots: 1886 winter witnessed a 10,000 strong crowd of poor people marching to London from Deptford. They demanded relief from terrible conditions of poverty; dispersed by the police.
- 1887 riot or the Bloody Sunday of November was the brutal suppression by the police of a similar march.
1889 was the year when dockworkers went on a 12-day strike to gain recognition for their union.
Baron Haussmann’s Paris: A forcible reconstruction of cities to enhance their beauty and
impose order called Haussmannisation of Paris, it evicted the poor from the centre of Paris
to beautify the city and reduce possiblity of political rebellion.
Baron Haussmann was the chief architect of Paris during the reign of King Louis Napoleon III (1852), one fifth of the streets of Paris were his creation. Buildings were designed on straight, broad avenues or boulevards and open spaces. Though his creation provoked criticism, but gained worldwide popularity and inspired many in the 20th century. Fig: Baron Haussmann
SECTION D— THE CITY IN COLONIAL INDIA
- Urbanisation was a slow process. Only 11% of Indians lived in cities by the beginning of the 20th century.
- Only three Presidency cities– Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. They had common features like major ports, warehouses, homes, offices, army camps, educational institutions, museums and libraries.
Bombay– The Prime City
- Its size expanded from the late 19th century and population grew from 6,44,405 in 1872 to nearly 15,00,000 in 1941.
- A group of seven islands, originally controlled by the Portuguese gifted to King Charles II of England as dowry by the Portuguese King in 1661. East India Company shifted its base to Bombay from Surat in Gujarat.
- Bombay, a major outlet for textile goods in the beginning. By the end of 19th century, it became the centre of administrative and industrial control in western India.
- The defeat of the Marathas in the Anglo-Maratha wars led to Bombay becoming the capital of the Presidency in 1819.
- Main settlers: Bankers, traders, artisans and shopkeepers. Establishment of textile mills led to migrants coming to the city.
- Bombay grew in importance as a junction head of two railways.
- Housing and neighbourhoods: Not a planned city, housing and water crisis occurred by the mid-1850s.
- There was less average space for an inhabitant, greater average density of persons per house in Bombay as compared to the city of London.
- City planning began in Bombay from fear of plague, in London from fear of revolution.
- In 1800s Bombay was divided into a native town where most Indians lived and a European or a White town where a European suburban and industrialised zone in the north developed.
- Richer elites like the Parsis, Muslim and upper caste traders lived in sprawling spacious bunglows like the Europeans.
- More than 70% of working people lived in the thickly populated chawls – multi-storeyed structures built in the native parts of the city. 90% of mill workers lived in Cirangaon, a mill village.
- 80% of the total population, according to a census, lived in one room tenements. Average number of occupants 4 and 5.
- Streets used for activities like cooking, washing and sleeping alongside liquor shops and akharas.
- A jobber acted as the village headman. He settled disputes, organised food supply and informal credits.
- Bombay Improvement Trust established in 1898 which focussed on clearing poorer homes out of city centre. 64,000 people lost their homes to trust schemes by 1918.
Rent Act passed in 1918 to keep rents reasonable, created a housing crisis as landlords withdrew houses from markets.
Land Reclamation: Expansion of land difficult due to scarcity of land. Land reclamation only solution.
- Seven islands joined together
- In 1784, under William Hornby, a great sea wall built to prevent floods.
- The tip of Malabar Hill to the end of Colaba was reclaimed by a private company called the Back Bay Reclamations in 1864. The city expanded to about 22 square miles.
- The Bombay Port Trust built a dry dock between 1914-1918 and created the 22 acre Ballard Estate, in which developed the famous Marine Drive.
Bombay as the City of Dreams: Bollywood became the name of Bombay film industry– Mayapuri, a city of dreams– by 1925.
- Most actors were migrants from Lahore, Calcutta, Madras and other parts. They contributed to the blending of culture, dream, stars as well as slums of Bombay.
- The first film to appear was Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar’s wrestling match in Hanging Garden in 1896. Dada Saheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
SECTION E— CITIES AND THE CHALLENGES OF THE ENVIRONMENT
- Biggest impact on environment due to expansion of cities. Natural features transformed.
Pollution of water, air and land due to housing, festivals etc.
- Excessive noise pollution due to vehicles, factories and crowds.
- Use of coal in homes and industries, common agents of pollution in 19th century England. Leeds, Bradford and Manchester the most polluted cities.
- Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853 attempted to control pollution by legislation.
- Calcutta was the most polluted city in India due to dependence on dung and wood as fuels.
- Introduction of railway lines in 1855 led to more pollution in 1863. Calcutta became the first city to get smoke nuisance legislation.
- The inspectors of Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission managed to control industrial smoke but domestic smoke continued unabated.
- The cities, however, continued to flourish as they provided freedom and individualism through many opportunities.
Similarities between Baron Haussmann in Paris and Lew Kuan Yew in Singapore
Forcible reconstruction, the poor evicted, took 17 years to build with straight roads and avenues, one-fifth streets completed by 1870. Policemen employed for night patrols, shelters, taps and large numbers employed in building activities. About 3,500,000 people displaced from the centre of Paris. Met with criticism, but Paris became the toast of Europe, centre for new architectural, social and intellectual activities.
A rich, well planned city, a model for city planning worldwide. Before 1965 overcrowding, lacking in sanitation, poor housing and poverty like other Asian cities. Lee Kuan Yew began a massive housing and development programme in 1965, 85% of the population given home ownership. Well ventilated, tall housing blocks, well serviced. Buildings redesigned social lives, crimes reduced by external corridors. Aged housed alongside families, blocks for community services. Migration into city controlled. Chinese, Malays and Indians monitored to prevent racial conflicts. Inspite of high material comfort, criticised for lacking a lively and challenging political culture.