Do you agree or disagree with this statement?:
The physical spaces and urban infrastructure that developed in European cities starting in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century were crucial to the development of modern European urban culture and society.
Choose a position (agree or disagree) and write an essay in support of that position. The essay should focus on what you have learned in Modules 8-13 but you may (but are not required to) bring information from before the midterm in to your essay when relevant to your argument. You must explain why you hold the position that you do using specific examples and sources from assigned course readings to support your argument.
Development of Modern European Urban Culture and Society
The second half of the 19th century was a period whereby European societies were transformed into extent never witnessed before as the industrial revolution transformed traditional rural European societies into urban societies. This transformation was accompanied by a lot of economic and social changes which resulted to new physical spaces and urban infrastructure being developed. In tandem, this essay agrees that the physical spaces and urban infrastructure that developed in European cities starting in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century were crucial to the development of modern European urban culture and society.
Physical spaces, urban infrastructure and the development of modern European urban culture and society
As a result of rapid urbanization due to availability of jobs in European cities during the 19th century, European cities witnessed high population growths which made people spend more on entertainment thus contributing to development of mass culture. Since physical spaces were characterized by overcrowded houses, especially where workers lived, this gave rise to development of music halls and theatres which gave rise to commercial entertainment. Thus, it can be argued that traditional techniques of participatory mass culture were replaced by big scale, commercially based entertainment where urban population would attend to watch performers. According to Picard, these music halls/theatres allowed interactions between performers and the working class, who attended them the most, and such an evening at these entertainment spots was an appreciated change for the audience, men, women and children, because they had an opportunity to escape their crowded rooms (Picard). This view is collaborated by the illustration below created on April, 5th 1873, which shows an audience at a music hall in London, which is something that was neither available in rural areas nor popular in cities until the second half of 19th century (Picard).
In this way, it can maintained that urbanization altered European physical spaces as overcrowding led people to live in one area making it possible for commercialization of entertainment. This in turn led to building of new infrastructure whereby entertainment spots such as music halls and theatres were built. In this way, physical space and urban infrastructure played a crucial role to the development of modern European urban culture and society. This is because even today…………………..
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