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there are in Prague; and more Italians than there are in Rome! 1,500,000 increase in ten years—equivalent to the combined populations of Boston, Kansas City, and San Francisco. More people respond to the authority of the mayor of New York than did to the first President of the United States; and the employes of the city constitute an army larger than marched with Sherman to the Sea. Area, 327 square miles. 5,000 miles of highways; 2,000 miles of sewers; 341 miles of water front. A birth every four minutes; a death every seven minutes; a marriage every eleven minutes! Annual school bill, $30,000,000; $15,500,000 for police protection; $8,250,000 for fire protection; $10,000,000 for charities; cost of a single election, $1,050,000! Bonded debt, $800,000,000; annual budget, $175,000,000!
These figures give but a general idea of the immensity to which our city business has grown. The expenditures of Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Boston are second only to those of New York. Compared with the aggregate expenditures of our cities, the expenditures of our national government shrink to insignificance. Even the construction of a Panama Canal does not greatly outclass in magnitude the project of New York's new water supply, and a dozen cities are confronted with undertakings only less stupendous. It is only necessary to compare the amount of taxes raised in any city for local purposes and the support of the city government with those raised for state and county purposes to get an idea of how intimately the government of every city affects its citizens.
Nor are these financial and political problems the only or most difficult problems which the city presents. There are economic and social problems even more knotty and difficult to solve. Questions of proper housing, the elimination of the slums, the prevention of the white slave traffic, vice, and drunkenness, and of the protection and development of children in the cities—all these are problems for whose solution we would be willing to pay well if we could find one satisfactory. The social problems of the city, or rather the social aspects of the problems of the city, for the social, political, and economic problems are all bound up together, are the most perplexing with which the city administrator has to deal. National problems are largely matters of policy, as are also state problems, but municipal problems are problems of every-day life, problems of preserving the proper setting for the home and the proper atmosphere for its enjoyments and benefits. And these are becoming increasingly numerous and complex as the population of our cities grows apace.
(2) Growth of Cities. The growth of cities was one of the most striking characteristics of the nineteenth century. At the time of the adoption of the federal constitution we were a rural and an agricultural nation; only 3.3 per cent. of the population lived in cities. There were only six cities with a population exceeding 8,000. Today, 46.3 per cent of the population of the United States are living in cities of 2,500 or over, and there were 2,405 such cities in 1910. There were 603 cities of 10,000 population and over as compared with the six cities of 8,000 in 1790. And in many states the percentage of the population living in cities approaches 90 per cent. In Rhode Island, for instance, over 95 per cent. of the population is living under urban conditions. In Massachusetts 90 per cent. live in cities, while in New York over half of the population of the state is found in New York city alone. Even in the western prairie states the urban population is increasing much faster than the rural. And the remarkable thing about the growth of urban population is the rapidity with which some of the American cities have grown to their present size. In but little over 100 years New York has grown from a city of thirty thousand to one of nearly five million, and is now increasing nearly 4 per cent. per year. Chicago in half that time has grown from a village to a city with a population of over two million. "In 1907 there was still alive in that city the first white person born within its present limits.” Seattle, Tacoma, and other western cities are more recent examples of phenomenal urban growth with which we are all familiar. Forty-two million of our population are city dwellers, and if we include villages which are incorporated 50,500,000, or 55 per cent., of our inhabitants are residing under conditions which are urban in character. Surely the twentieth century belongs to the city.
The causes of city growth have been both economic and social. Improvements in agricultural machinery and methods have divorced men from the soil, have made it possible for a smaller part of the population to raise enough for the food supply of the entire population, leaving large numbers free to go to the city and engage in commerce and industry. One man with a machine can often do more work than a dozen formerly could. It has been estimated that on the large farms of the West, which often reach 40,000 to 50,000 acres, 400 farm hands can raise as much grain as 5,000 peasant farmers. On the other hand, the demands of commerce and industry draw men to the cities in increasing numbers. The introduction of machinery and the factory system, large scale production with its division of labor, the attraction of one industry for allied industries, and the demand for banking, merchandising, and communication facilities which they create, and the marvelous development of transportation which has extended the market to worldwide proportions and greatly reduced the obstacles of time and space, are all economic forces which are impelling men toward the cities. Then there are social advantages in the cities which have greatly contributed toward their growth. The city is the place of social attractions and intellectual advantages. There are the theatres, the libraries, the colleges, the parks, and the opportunities for amusement, recreation, and sociability. There are the opportunities for promotion and advancement, jobs, chances, variety, excitement, novelty, and change. All these are social forces which draw men to the cities. And progress hastens the migration.
Political, educational, and religious causes also work sometimes to develop cities, as in the case of national capitals, university towns, and cities like Salt Lake City, Zion City, etc.
(3) Consequences of City Growth. The concentration of population in cities has had social, economic, and political consequences of far-reaching importance. The social results have been hinted at already. The city has replaced the simplicity, freedom, and equality of country life with the complexity, dependence, and inequality of life in the city. It has increased the opportunity for vice, crime, and disease, has undermined the family, and impaired the home. It has collected a heavy price for the advantages which it offers. It has sent women and children to the shops and factories, taxed virtue, increased poverty and suffering, and created the tenement and the slum. It has modified the economic standing of society. The city has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. The city dweller has become a tenant. Only 4 per cent.