Urbanization: Economic Stratification

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The Industrial Revolution that began in 1700 has transformed the population, culture, and the geographical use of space as the world evolved to accommodate new forms of agriculture and was spurred by the growing ability to manufacture and consume.


By 1950 these urban areas had matured and aged into the modern model of urbanization. Along with the restructuring of the geography, the social and political structure was also transformed. "Urbanization is a two-way process because it involves not only movement from village to cities and change from agricultural occupation to business, trade, service and profession but it also involves change in the migrants attitudes, beliefs, values and behavior patterns (Urban growth and urbanization, 2006). While immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Poland came together with the freed slaves to form large urban areas, they often failed to assimilate into a homogeneous group. In fact, the different cultural groups remained isolated and formed interdependent neighborhoods that were built around their specific ethnic or cultural needs. It is tempting to view the urban areas as the victims of cultural bias or racial prejudice. However, all these urban areas also had the issue of economics in common. The wealth that the migrants sought by marketing their labor in these industrialized areas was not realized as the urban areas became economically stratified and were excluded from the promise of the American middle class.

The urbanization process across the 250-year span of 1700-1950 was a gradual evolution based on the rising technology that was available at the time. In the early 18th century, mechanization was introduced into the workplace with inventions such as the loom for textiles. ...
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