Monday, December 15, 2008


Work , life and leisure in the cities of contemporary world.
Q. Which were the ancient towns & cities and where did they emerge?
They first appeared along the river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur and Mohenjadaro.
--the ancient cities could only when the increase in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range non- food producers.
--cities were often the centres of political power, administrative network, trade & industry, religious institutions & intellectual activities.
--they supported social groups such as artisans, merchants & priests.
Cities which are great in size & complexity, which are densely settled , which combine political.& economic functions for the entire region, and support very large populations.
URBANISATION: Development of city or town.

--Many decades after the beginning of the industrial revolution, most Western countries were largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills setup in the late 18th c.
--London, by 1750’s one out of every nine people living in Wales & England lived in London.
--It was the colossal city with large population which was fast multiplying.
--it was a powerful magnet though it did not have many large factories.
--It was a city of clercks, shopkeepers, small masters & skilled & semi artisans, casual laborers, street sellers and beggars.
--London had apart from the Dockyard five major types of industries: a) clothing & footwear, (b) wood & furniture, (c)metals & engineering, d) printing & stationary ,(e)precision products-as surgical instruments, watches & objects of precious metals.
--during the First world war London also started manufacturing motor cars & electrical goods.
As London grew the crime flourished and soon it became the object of prime concern.
--the police were worried about the law & order
--philanthropists were anxious about the public morality.
--the industrialists wanted a hard working and orderly workforce.
--population of children was counted, their activities were watched & they ways of life were investigated.
--in the mid-19th c Henery Mahew wrote several volumes on the London labour complied the list of the ones who made living from the crime.
--these criminals were in fact those who made their living stealing lead from the roofs, food from the shops and clothes drying on the hedges.
--there were other who others who were more skilled at their trade, expert in their jobs, they were cheats, tricksters & pickpocket and thieves.
--in an attempt to discipline them heavy penalties for the crimes were imposed& work was offered to those who were considered ‘deserving poor.’
Women in the 18th c and early 19th c were employed in factories in large numbers.
--with the technological developments they gradually lost their industrial jobs & forced to work in households.
--a large number of women used to increase family income by taking in lodgers or through such activities as tailoring, washing & making match box making.
--there was once again in the20th c as women got employment in wartime industries & offices, they withdrew from domestic service.
Large number of children were pushed into low paid works, often by their parents.
--it was only after the passage of Compulsory Elementary Education Act of 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1920, that children were kept out of industrial work.
Older cities like London changed dramatically when people began pouring in after the industrial revolution. Factory or workshop owners did not house the migrant workers.
--individual landowners put up cheap, & usually unsafe, TENEMENTS for the new arrivals.
--better –off city dwellers demanded that slumps be simply cleared away, but gradually larger & larger number of people began to recognize the need for housing for the poor.
Q Why was there an increasing concern for Housing poor?
There were reasons for it:
1.--the vast one room houses occupied by the poor were too small & were seen as the threat to the public health, as they were over crowed & badly ventilated and lacked sanitation.
2.-- there were worries about fire hazards created by poor housing.
3. -- there was a wide spread fear of social disorder, especially after Russian Revolution. Worker’s mass house schemes were planned to prevent the London poor from turning rebellious.
A variety of steps were taken to cleanup London.
1.--Attempts were made to decongest localities.
2.--green the open space, reduce pollution, landscape the city, large blocks of apartments were built.
3.--rent control was introduced to ease the impact of severe house shortage.
4.--the congestion in the 19thc also led to a yearning for clean country air.
--many wealthy residents of London were able to afford a holiday home in the countryside.
--demands were made for new ‘lungs’ for the city .
5. -- some attempts were made to bridge the gap between city & countryside through the Green Belt around London.
6.--Garden City , a pleasant space full of plants& trees, where people would both live & work. This was also to produce better quality citizens.
(Raymond Unwin & Barry Parker designed the garden city of New Earswick.) There were common garden spaces & beautiful views..., but only well-off people could afford them.
London underground Railways partially solved the housing crisis by carrying large masses of people to and from the city.
--the very first section of the underground in the world opened on 10th January 1863 between Paddington & Farrington street in London.
--At first people were afraid to travel underground.
--it was felt that the ‘iron monster’ added to the mess & unhealthiness of the city.
--its construction led to massive destruction..
--in London railway led to massive displacement of London poor, especially between two World Wars.
It became a huge success as the population in the city became more dispersed.
--better planned suburbs & good railway network enabled large number of people to live out side London and travel to work.
--these new conveniences wore down social distinctions and also created new ones.
In thec18th c , the family had been unit of production & consumption as well as political decision making. But the function and shape of family were completely transformed by the life in industrial city.
a) The family ties between he members of households loosened .
b) among the working class the institution of marriage tended to break down.
c) women in the upper& middle class in Britain faced increasingly higher levels of isolation, although their lives were made easier by the domestic maids who cooked, cleaned and cared for children on low wages.
d) women who worked for wages had some control over their lives especially among the lower social classes.
e) family as an institution had broken down.
The city encouraged the new spirit of individualism among men& women and a freedom from the collective values that were the feature of the smaller rural communities.
--but men & women did not have equal access to this new urban space. As women lost their industrial jobs , conservative people rallied against their space in the public spaces, women were forced to withdraw into their homes.
--public spaces increasingly became a male preserve and the domestic sphere was seen as the proper place for women.
--political developments of 19th c as Chartism movement demanding vote for all males and labour movement –limiting hours of workers in factories, mobilized large number of men.
--gradually women did come to participate in political movements for suffrage that demanded the right to vote or married women’s right to property.
By the 20th c the urban family had yet been transformed partly by the wartime work done by women, who were employed in large numbers to meet war demands.
--the family now consisted of smaller units.
--family became the heart of a new market—of goods & services and of ideas.
For the wealthy Britishers there had been an annual ‘London Season’.
1.Several cultural events, such as the ‘OPERA’, THE THEATRE & CLASSICAL MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, were organized for an elite group of 300-400 families in the late 18th c.
2.working classes met in the PUBS to have drinks, exchange news & sometimes to organize political actions. types of large scale entertainments for the common people came into being, some made it possible with the money from the state.
4. LIBRARIES, ART GALLERIES& MUSEUMS were established in the 19th c to provide people a sense of history& pride in the achievements of British.
5. MUSIC HALLS were popular among the lower classes and became great mass entertainment for mixed audiences.
6.British industrial workers were increasingly encouraged to spend their holidays by sea, so as to derive the benefits of the sun and bracing winds.
In late 1887 a riot occurred. Out door work came to a standstill, London poor exploded in riots, demanding relief from the terrible conditions of poverty. It was brutally suppressed by the police.
2. Two years later, thousands of London dockworkers went on strike and marched through the city. The 12 day long strike was called to gain recognition for the Dockworker’s union.
3. Large masses of people could be drawn into political causes in the city. A large city population was thus both a threat and an opportunity.
In 1852, Louis Napoleon III (a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) crowned himself emperor and under took the rebuilding of Paris.
--the chief architect of the new Paris was Baron Haussmann, he came up with the forcible reconstruction of the cities to enhance their beauty and impose their order.
--the poor were evicted from the centre of Paris to reduce the rebellion & beautify the city.
--Straight, broad avenues or boulevards and open spaces were built.
--full grown trees were transplanted.
--policemen were deployed, night patrols begun and bus shelters and tap waters were introduced.
I nspite of the views of people that the city was monstrously transformed, Paris soon got converted into civic pride and the new capital became the toast of all Europe. Paris became the hub of many new architectural , social, & intellectual developments.

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