khams9 asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Why did the USA experience such a tremendous acceleration of urbanization in the last decades of the 19th cent?

thanks in advance

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In a phrase, the industrial revolution.

    With the work of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford (more early 20th Century), and various other innovators, the shift from an agrarian society to an industrial nation commenced. Various machinery that allowed one man to do the same job it once took many meant that less people were needed to gather resources, and more were needed into turning raw materials into finished products. This effectively separated the nation into two groups. For lack of better terms I'll call them gatherers and creators. One on side you would have people gather the materials needed for various products, while on the other, many different products would be created. For example, a farm would gather corn, but corn could be processed to become corn meal, harvested for corn oil, canned, or treated in various different ways. Since it is by far cheaper to transport one good to one location than it is to send the same good to several locations, cities would begin to form based on the creation of new jobs that the technology of the time presented. To put it simply, technology creates jobs and people move to work at these jobs. More jobs in one place means that more people will move in that same space. Cities form to accomodate the influx of workers.

  • DON W
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    One of the primary reasons was the growth of industrialization, which provided a large number of jobs at factories in urban areas. Folks began to move from farms to the cities in order to obtain one of the new jobs. The factory jobs, while hard work, provided a more steady income than farm labor.

    In addition, those were the peak years of immigration. New arrivals to the US tended to settle in the cities rather than in the countryside, again to get some of the new jobs being created.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Follow the jobs. If you have better farm equipment and you don't need as many of your children to hang around the farm to help, they would need to find work elsewhere. With industrialization, factories became the new way to make money and offered large earning potential at the start.

    Whenever there is a migration of people you want to understand... just follow the money.

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