Defence against enemies. - Commerce - Manufactures. - Political forces. - Social forces, i.e., culture, education, art, fashion, amusements. - All forces intermingled in the larger cities. - Final basis, energy, enterprise and intellect of people.
Defence against enemies, the chief factor in primitive times creating cities, survived as an influence affecting the first settlements in this country, the early forts on the Atlantic Coast and in the West drawing population around them in the same way that the Roman camps on the borders of the Danube and Rhine, and the Cossack camps in southern Russia started cities. With the establishment of civilized government the necessity for defence has vanished and population is concentrated either by commerce or manufactures, or by the less important political and social factors.
Commerce, or the distribution of commodities, involves their storage and transfer, and requires warehouses, docks and freight depots, while the population engaged in this business requires residences, shops and public buildings. Where the products handled are of low value, and the handling is a simple transshipment, the result of even a large flow of commodities in locating population at a point of trans-shipment may be small. It is when the transfer of goods is accompanied by a breaking of bulk or by a change of ownership, there being then added the complex mechanism of commercial exchange performed by importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, insurers, brokers and bankers, that wealth is accumulated and localized, with consequent power to control business for local benefit.
Manufactures are of constantly increasing importance in city growth, owing to the development of the factory system and the advantages of labor supply, transportation, and markets in the larger cities. Diversified manufactures are a creation of the last fifty years, the law of development being an evolution from a rough working of coarser forms of necessary articles in the newer sections of a country, through various grades of refining and specialization, to a great variety of necessaries and luxuries in the older and more populous sections. A city created solely by manufactures is a modern development, among such being Essen, Germany, Pullman, I11., and South Bend, Ind.
Political forces operate to build up a city when it is the seat of national, state or county government, either legislative, executive or judicial, or all combined. The administration of government as a single factor has created but few cities, Alexandria furnishing an ancient example, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Washington later examples, and in this country a few state capitals being arbitrarily started, such as Columbus, O.. Indianapolis, Ind., and Lincoln, Neb. Nevertheless the. rapid growth of Berlin, London and Vienna has been largely due to the centralizing of national government in those cities. In many American state capitals, city growth is injured by public attention being diverted from business to politics.
Boston Back Bay about 1845. Since filled in and made the most fashionable residence section of the city.
All other factors creating cities may be broadly classed as social, cities being centres of culture and furnishing education, art, fashion, intellectual stimulus and amusements to their tributary country. The social factor operates in direct ratio to the size of the city, social ambition and opportunities constituting a steady attracting force through the various grades of cities, migration being from the farm to the village, from the village to the town and from the town to the city. Thus the fact that New York counts among its inhabitants the great majority of American millionaires is of vital importance in maintaining its luxurious standard of hotels, shops, theatres, clubs and restaurants, which in turn attract the pleasure-seeking travel of this country. In so far as a city Is a market or consuming centre, business is created and population attracted, cities in some cases being consuming points only, such as Atlantic City, St. Augustine, Newport, etc., where wealth is not created, but a city is required to minister to those distributing wealth.
All cities which have attained any considerable size include in varying proportions all the above factors of commerce, manufactures, political and social forces. In each city the sections built up by the different factors may be clearly distinguished, these flourishing or decaying according to the prosperity or decline of their special factors. Thus the railroads, docks and warehouses evidence the city's commerce; the factories its industrial energies; the retail shops the consuming power of the population; the residence sections the wealth, social grades and numbers of the citizens; and the buildings of public and semi-public utility the standard of civilization and civic pride of the city.
The underlying factors which start all the processes creating and distributing wealth, are the energy and enterprise of the people, these being in the last analysis the sole sources of wealth. Raw materials, waterways, favorable climate and other natural advantages are only indirectly decisive and always presuppose men to exploit them.