The first of a four-volume series on the "Emergence of American Urbanism," this book begins the comparative study of U.S. urban development during the first half of the 19th century. Breathtaking in its comprehensiveness, its survey and comparisons of early urban politics is without parallel. The study is based on a thorough examination of fifteen cities--Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Charleston, Cincinnati, Louisville, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Louis, and Washington. This group of cities--the fifteen largest in 1850--provides a good mix of northern and southern, eastern and western, old and new, and fast- and slow-growing urban centers. This first volume deals with the city as a corporate entity and contains chapters on urban governmental structures, government finance, politics and elections, urban political leadership, the city plan and city planning, intergovernmental relations, and urban mercantilism.