The Modern Development of City Government in the United Kingdom and the United States

The Modern Development of City Government in the United Kingdom and the United States

The Modern Development of City Government in the United Kingdom and the United States

The Modern Development of City Government in the United Kingdom and the United States

Excerpt

The population both of Great Britain and of the United States is rapidly becoming urbanized. The majority of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom have been city dwellers for many years, and the 1920 census of the United States reveals that the rural population for the first time in its history is now definitely a minority. The consequent problems are rendered much more difficult by the tendency of the cities themselves to cluster in more or less well-defined metropolitan areas.

The distinctive problems of city government justify treatment apart from the more general considerations of local government. The line is very difficult to draw between an urban and a rural community; but it is quite evident that the state of affairs in a city, where one cannot hope to know personally more than a fraction of the inhabitants, is inherently different from that of the village, where it is possible for each inhabitant to be acquainted with the rest. Class lines may be sharply drawn in either case, but in the former there is bound to be a lack of that personal contact which does so much to promote understanding in the latter. Accompanying this lack of acquaintance is the inevitable danger of a loss of the 'community sense'. Municipal self-government seems to be the most hopeful method of guarding against such a loss.

Moreover, the fact that large numbers of people are crowded into a small area involves other and perhaps no less important consequences. Restriction upon personal . . .

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