Urbanization In Colonial America

Powerful Essays
Colonial life is rapidly changing and with it so are cities. Transforming into cities that make early efforts in creating a model for future colonial cities. By this I mean, a city with hospitals, police department, public libraries, fire-stations, and paved and lit streets. These features are products of a rise in urbanization and are an answer to the problems a new urban city faces. In this era a particular city with a pivotal citizen would stand out among the rest and provide some key solutions to urban problems. That city would be Philadelphia, and its adopted son Benjamin Franklin. Philadelphia became a hub for new immigrants that quickly transformed this city into one of the largest in all of colonial America. Throughout the 1720-1740…show more content…
Such large numbers of new people would create a diversity uncommon in colonial America. Unlike those in New England, specifically Boston who had more cultural homogeneity, Philadelphia would follow the John Bodnar model of assimilation and bring with them unique cultural baggage. The story of Benjamin Franklin and his rise to prominence is a tale that had a lasting impact on the city he would call home. He would help to shape Philadelphia into an example for urbanization in colonial America. Franklin’s involvement in issues relating to city services, economic inequality, and the role of virtue in individual identify not only shaped Philadelphia, but provided us with a window into the attitudes surrounding social change, reform, and community…show more content…
Like an inadvisable hand is the way that Franklin liked to get his point across. Yet, it was due to ill intentions only to the fact that his past experiences lead him to believe that it was easier if he did not take the credit for idea no matter how well intentioned they were. “I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of a number of friends…” He remarks that people in this time are much less likely to help you if you are better off than they are. If it seems like the idea is coming from just an ordinary citizen, then the idea/project is much more relatable and people are much more likely to let loose some coin for said idea/project. Junto is a clear example of a secret society of self-taught folk that with their intellect sought to influence public opinion with an agenda known only to them. We see this here, “…the promotion of our particular interests in business by more extensive recommendation, and the increase of our influence in public affairs, and our power of doing good by spreading thro’ several clubs the sentiments of the Junto.” While Junto is a group founded with good intentions, it is still not beside the point to call into question why they believed that they had the authority to proclaim their own viewpoints as the most just and to spread them. What we can see from this is that
Get Access