Transportation Essay, Research Paper
The industrial era of America helped to bring about modernization of transportation in urban areas. Many factors contributed to the rise of the modern city, including economics, politics, and technology. The ancient cities of Europe were very small in size and had a relatively small population. With the emergence of transportation technology, the sizes of cities and population grew. Also, the rise of the modern city and the rise of transportation technology had a great effect on the people and development of the city.
As transportation technology emerged, the boundaries of the city were able to expand by people now having the opportunity to live away from their work. The introduction of the horse and buggy allowed mobility from the city, to the outskirts of the city, and within the city itself. It allowed the radius of the city to grow because the people no longer have to walk everywhere and so with easier accessibility to the city, businesses, and a central area of commerce was created and began to separate residential and businesses. Technology itself has created cities and urbanized areas. During the era of the railroads, many gateway cities were created along the route of the railroad as transfer points of goods. One example of this is the Illinois Central Railroad, as stated it Harrigan and Vogel, the company was denied concession of running its tracks though southern Illinois towns and ran its tracks else where and in doing so created its own gateway towns which competed with already existing cities. In a twenty-year period the cities and towns on the railroad line went from ten to eighty one towns and cities. Also, the population of these towns and cities excluding Chicago increased fourteen fold, from 12,000 to 172,000. The creation of these western railroad towns opened up western farmlands and turned the United States into the world s greatest agricultural producer. The agricultural surplus that began to emerge in the nineteenth century in turn became a further stimulus to growth of American cities (Harrigan, Vogel 31, 32). With this expansion of urbanized areas, American cities never have been the same.
When the cities began to evolve from a mix of both commerce and residential, to strictly commercial, the development of communities outside of the major metropolitan area began to emerge. These communities were called suburbs . The purposes of these suburbs were for the new middle class to live away from their work. During the middle of the nineteenth century a new middle class began to develop, that consisted of merchants, physicians, attorneys, and manufacturers, wanted to live in the country, and have easy accessibility to the city. By the end of the nineteenth century all the major cities in America had communities on the outskirts of the cities that were occupied by mostly the new emerging middle class. A perfect example of the commuting suburb is Brooklyn. In the early 1800 s Brooklyn was a mainly agricultural community, and its connections with the city were minor. By the mid 1800 s there was regular steam ferries across the East River to Manhattan, and Brooklyn attracted much of the new middle class. The attraction that Brooklyn had was the community feeling with only a ferry ride to the city. As Walt Whitman said, men of moderate means may find homes at a moderate rent, whereas in New York City there is no median between a palatial mansion and a dilapidated hovel. The steam ferry was a major factor in making Brooklyn a commuting suburb. Before the steam ferry it was just a agricultural community, but when as the industrial revolution came about and the new middle class emerged and new transportation technology developed, people were now able to live away from their jobs and left the poor and wealthy in the city.
As discussed in Harrigan and Vogel, transportation technology has greatly effected the way modern metropolis has evolved. In the beginning of the industrial era, most cities had a radius of only about 2 miles due to that these cities were only walking cities and because of that, business and residential locations were all mixed together. With the introduction of transportation technology people were able to move away from the congestion of the city and have homes away from work. With that, communities emerged that consisted of commuters that traveled to the cities to work. These communities were called suburbs . So, with one advancement in technology, the modern metropolis has changed forever and is still ever changing with new advancements. Telecommunications and the internet, which can connect someone that lives in a small town that is over one hundred miles from a major city, to any major corporation in any city all over the world, are two such advancements.