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Characteristics Of The City Class 10 History NCERT
Class 10 History students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Characteristics Of The City in standard 10. This NCERT Book for Grade 10 History will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks
Characteristics Of The City NCERT Class 10
Characteristics of the City
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one hand and towns and villages on the other? Towns and cities that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range ofnon-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power, administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions, and intellectual activity, and supported various social groups such as artisans, merchants and priests.
Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine political and economic functions for an entire region, and support very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern world. We will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples of metropolitan development. The first is London, the largest city in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and the second is Bombay, one of the most important modern cities in the Indian subcontinent.
1.1 Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City in England
Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern period. However, even as late as the 1850s, 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 set up in the late eighteenth century. In 1851, more than three-quarters of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas. Now let us look at London. By 1750, one out of every nine people of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century, London continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the 70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about 4 million
The city of London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations, even though it did not have large factories. ‘Nineteenth century London,’ says the historian Gareth Stedman Jones, ‘was a city of clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a growing number of semi skilled and sweated outworkers, of soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers, and beggars.’ Apart from the London dockyards, five major types of industries employed large numbers: clothing and footwear, wood and furniture, metals and engineering, printing and stationery, and precision products such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal. During the First World War (1914-18) London began manufacturing motor cars and electrical goods, and the number of large factories increased until they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in the city.
1.2 Marginal Groups
As London grew, crime flourished. We are told that 20,000 criminals were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of widespread concern. The police were worried about law and order, philanthropists were anxious about public morality, and industrialists wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force. So the population of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their ways of life were investigated.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes on the London labour, and compiled long lists of those who made a living from crime. Many of whom he listed as ‘criminals’ were in fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were others who were more skilled at their trade, expert at their jobs. They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves crowding the streets of London.
In an attempt to discipline the population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’. Factories employed large numbers of women in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. With technological developments, women gradually lost their industrial jobs, and were forced to work within households. The 1861 census recorded a quarter of a million domestic servants in London, of whom the vast majority were women, many of them recent migrants. A large number of women Activity used their homes to increase family income by taking in lodgers or through such activities as tailoring, washing or matchbox making. However, there was a change once again in the twentieth century. As women got employment in wartime industries and offices, they withdrew from domestic service.
Large number of children were pushed into low-paid work, often by their parents. Andrew Mearns, a clergyman who wrote The Bitter Cry of Outcast London in the 1880s, showed why crime was more profitable than labouring in small underpaid factories: ‘A child seven years old is easily known to make 10 shillings 6 pence a week from thieving … Before he can gain as much as the young thief [a boy] must make 56 gross of matchboxes a week, or 1,296 a day.’ It was only after the passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1902, that children were kept out of industrial work.
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