The Industrial Revolution and the Growth of Cities



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Concerns of Jefferson
Many feared that city life would be harmful, especially for the massive populations of working poor. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, a rural Virginian, was especially concerned. "The mobs of great cities," he said, "add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body.”
The French political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville was both impressed and disgusted with
Manchester, England, in 1835. "Smoke, thick and black, covers the town," he wrote. "Some
300,000 human creatures move ceaselessly through that stunted day. A thousand noises rise endlessly from out of this dark, dank maze. ... The steps of scurrying crowds, the cranking of wheels grinding against each other, the scream of steam escaping from furnaces. ... Yet out of this stinking drain the most powerful stream of human industry springs to fertilize the whole world.
From this filthy sewer pure gold flows."

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