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CHAP. II of our great cities. Now that settlement is completed the ambitious farm youth without large capital has only the option of becoming a tenant farmer or going to the city.

The City

ward Drift a World



It Is
Caused by

sion of

The indraught to the cities is not peculiar to the United States. "London is probably two thousand years old, and yet four-fifths of its growth was added during the past century. From 1850 to 1890 Berlin grew more rapidly than New York. Paris is now five times as large as it was in 1800. Rome has increased 50 per cent. since 1890. St. Petersburg has increased fivefold in a hundred years. Odessa is a thousand years old, but nineteen-twentieths of its population were added during the nineteenth century. Bombay grew from 150,000 to 821,000 from 1800 to 1890. Tokio increased nearly 800,000 during the last twenty years of the century; while Osaka was nearly four times as large in 1903 as in 1872, and Cairo has more than doubled since 1850. Thus in Europe, Asia and Africa we find that a redistribution of population is taking place. The movement from country to city is a world phenomenon.” 1

Despite the denunciations of cities by philosophers and the idealizations of the country by the poets, the cityward flow continues because its causes are fundamental.


I. The application of mechanical power to transportation has the Expan- so cheapened carriage that interchanges of goods have waxed Commerce like Jonah's gourd. Ever greater is the proportion of our consumables brought to us from beyond the hundred-mile zone, from beyond the thousand-mile zone, from overseas, from the ends of the earth. Gulf Streams of traffic pour between regions, countries and climates. Wherever there is a break in transportation, i.e., wherever cargoes shift between wagon and rail, land and water, canal and river, river and sea, and wherever traffic brooks gather into a river or a traffic river is split among canals, there a city springs up. These swelling streams of commerce permit an ever larger contingent to make a living from handling, storing, exchanging and forwarding a mass of goods which grows faster than the population, faster than the total product, and which must make an ever-longer journey in order to reach the consumer.

2. Two generations ago the typical farm family produced for 1 Josiah Strong, "The Challenge of the City," p. 18.



Growth of

the Fac

tory Sys


self a large part of the manufactured goods it consumed. The women of the house, busy with hand card, spinning wheel and bom, worked up into clothing the fleeces of the farm flock of sheep. Rag" carpets covered the floor and home-made quilts tem of and comforters the beds. The hide of the beef killed for family Manufac consumption as well as those of a calf or two were taken to the tannery and after six months brought home and worked up into foot gear, sometimes by the men of the family but more often by a traveling shoemaker. In the smoke house were curing hams and bacon, while from the ashes in the leech was drained the lye which, boiled with refuse fat, furnished soft soap for the family. Candles were moulded from the tallow of the slaughtered beef. The orchard supplied fruit, cider and vinegar. "Sweetening came from the "sugar bush" or the patch of sorgum cane. Farm machinery did not exist, and the wooden parts of the farm implements were made on the place, the iron parts being furnished by a cross-roads blacksmith.

Since this period we have seen a development of machine industry which has concentrated in towns at least five-sixths of the making industries which formerly supplied the wants of the farm family. Nor can we foresee that any rural handiwork except the manufacture of food products for consumption by the family is likely to escape the reach of the power-driven machine. In some regions, perhaps, specialization has gone too far. As a result of girls' canning clubs, sewing clubs and the like, the people of the grain-growing regions in particular will become less dependent on the city for their food and clothing. Nevertheless, it appears unEkely that there will be left outside the towns many who do not give their entire effort and attention to some purely extractive industry like agriculture, mining, or lumbering.

3. The introduction of power-driven machinery on the farm diminishes the number of hands required in agriculture and releases a part of the rural population for some other pursuit.

4 The very abundance of modern production gives the city more to do. The poor lay out most of their income on country product. As they prosper, more of their every gain in purchasing power goes to support town industry rather than rural industry. This is because, the better the ware, the more of its value lies in the workmanship and the less in the material. More of the price of the fine shoe goes for elaboration than of the

The Rise

of the


of Living

CHAP. II price of the brogan. So is it if you compare pastry with bread,

The Development of Government Serv.


the business suit with blue jeans, porcelain with crockery. The coarser goods stand for extraction, the finer goods for elaboration. Hence, as people live better, their consumption calls more for elaborative industry and less for extractive industry, i.e., for the labor of city rather than of country.2

5. Thanks to the host of new duties assumed by government, the public service grows rapidly and the proceeds of taxation contribute more and more to the maintenance of city dwellers. Few, indeed, are the public servants who live in the open country.

6. Generally people must reside where they get their living. Nevertheless, social, æsthetic and educational advantages have a bearing upon the local distribution of population. Both city and country are becoming more desirable places to live, but which improves faster? In our time the city has gained electric street railways, electric lights, asphalt pavements, rubber tires, pure water, parks, playgrounds, public baths, social centers, housing The Amell regulation, palatial free high schools and municipal universities. The open country has gained better roads, the oiled highway in places, the automobile, rural mail delivery, the telephone, in some homes acetylene gas and running water and in a few places the the Coun- consolidated school and the community house. On the whole, town life has gained more attractions than country life, and the town's lead in attractiveness constantly broadens.

oration of City Life,

and the Diminish

ed Social

Prestige of


Excess of
Males in
the Rural

7. Once the country was a magnet for the wealthy because feudal tradition had haloed the life of the country gentleman. The townsman retiring rich withdrew with his dependents and servants to a mansion on an estate. This exodus of the leisured to the country offset a little the rush of the ambitious in the other direction. But, the world over, the rôle of country gentleman appeals less, while the passion of the wealthy for city excitements, amusements, and dissipations seems to grow.


The make-up of the urban element is by no means the same as that of the rural element. With us agriculture is so male that

2 Of course, if population increases more rapidly than goods, particularly foods, as appears to be the case in this country during recent years, so much of the national income can be devoted to manufactured goods and extractive industries will become relatively more important.


Cuntry spinsters and widows undertaking self-support seek the CHAP. II ities. In rural America there are 110 men to 100 women, while n urban America there are only 102 men to 100 women. The The holds true of western Europe, but in Russia, where women do Seid work, they are less apt to wander to the city than the men. In the Orient, where woman is not a free agent, no woman migrates to the city save as member of a family.


of the City Is that of

It is the producer rather than the consumer who betters his lot The by removing to the city. A man with several dependents is shy ci going where living is dear. The city therefore drains from the country the young unencumbered adults, leaving an excess of

ren and aged. A third of our city-dwellers are in the age roup 25 to 44 years, but only a quarter of our country-dwellers. No wonder the growing city throbs with energy and hope while the traits characteristic of the depleted countryside are deliberateness, reserve and conservatism.

Oversea migration drops people down in cities, and most of Sem abide there, prisoners of ignorance and inertia. In a setred country receiving immigrants the cities become more polyglot 1 foreign than the rural districts. After our agricultural fronber came to an end, foreign immigration saturated American cities with foreign-born and contributed more to urban growth than the tide from the farms. Hence the open country is the strong

d of old Americanism, while the great city is a cosmopolitan Pabel. About two-thirds of our farm residents are of native stock, while, as one runs the gamut from farms to towns, from toans to cities, and from small cities to big, this element shrinks ent in the great cities it is a bare quarter. Conversely, the foren stock, which is represented on the farms by a fifth, makes seven-tenths of the metropolitan myriads.

This flooding with a type comparatively backward and custombound explains why, in respect to early marriage, divorce, family sze, male ascendancy, patriarchal authority and child labor, ceran of our Northern cities exhibit the traits of rural Eastern Europe rather than those which generally characterize an urban population.

Who is more forlorn than the lone man or the lone woman on a farm? Since boarding houses are unsuited to the country, agriculture commands people to marry. Everywhere in the country stricts married life begins earlier for both sexes, lasts longer

the Young

and Active

The City

Less Na

tive than

the Open




In Country

than in


CHAP. II before being broken by divorce or death, and, if thus broken, is more likely to be succeeded by a new union, than in the large cities. Family life prevails, therefore, in country rather than in city, and this is so because on the farm the family is a more natural and indispensable unit for life and work.

Irregular Sex Relations in

the City

City Life Discourages Prolificacy

The City
Drains the

Its More

In view of the niggardly satisfaction the city affords the mating instinct, no wonder a market for female virtue springs up in the city. Comments an expert on the U. S. census figures for 1900, "The foregoing figures showing the much smaller proportion of married persons in large cities, especially in the earlier years of adult life, would support the belief that where married life is so much less prevalent, the unlawful indulgence of sexual desires is probably more prevalent." Since urban economic conditions call into being prostitution, this abominable plague does not die out of itself. It can be extirpated only by social effort.

The urban element reproduces itself less than the rural element not only because it is less domestic, but also because its children are more of a burden and less of an asset. Once child exploitation is curbed, the rearing of a large family costs the farmer much less than the city dweller. In certain of our Northern cities, full of foreign-born who exercise no forethought in the matter of family, this economic check is not manifest, but in the more native South the proportion of children to women is about half as great in city as in country.


Is it milk or cream that the cities with their constant suction abstract from the rural population?

Perhaps the trait most distinctive of those who follow the call Country of of the distant city when farming stagnates is the spirit of initiative. They have it in them to make a start, in spite of home ties, the bonds of habit, and the restraints of prudence. Had they not emigrated, their spirit of initiative would have shown itself along other lines. They would have been among the first in the community to change their method of farming, to introduce some new crop, to embark in an untried industry, or to promote some community enterprise. A heavy outflow of this element need not leave the community poorer in physique, or brains, or character, except as these are correlated with initiative, but it does leave it poorer in natural leaders.

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