Effects of Technology on Urban Life in Late 19th Century
Modern technology’s evolution influenced the urban life in America in different ways. Technology is commonly defined as the techniques that are used to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the production processes. Advancement in technology is among the reasons that are attributed to high movement of people to the urban areas. New technology is believed to have influenced urban settlement in America from the beginning of industrial revolution. Technology affected political, economic and social lifestyles of the people living in towns.
The first impact that occurred spontaneously within the social arena of the people living in towns entailed social class differentiation and social stratification. This categorized the urban society on the basis of social standards, social marginalization and differences that existed among the people. People in the towns were categorized into two groups that included the low class which comprised of the unskilled labor force in the industrial areas and the industrial experts. Social differentiation led to disputes among the people. The unskilled people felt alienated. This led to their outcry which resulted in urban unrest and industrial disputes.
Contrast between casual workers and learned industrial workers became evidently clear from the way different groups lived. To most people in the rural areas, urban life was fashionable and therefore they went to towns to find industrial jobs. More people from the rural areas in America went to urban centers. This led to housing problems because most towns were unable to sustain the increasing population that was moving to towns. There were deplorable living conditions for the poor people. Shanty living places emerged and these were called slams. Other problems that are associated with the life in slums emerged such as theft, murder cases and prostitution. On the basis of the negative impact of technology on the poor people, one can justifiably argue that it did not help the masses despite the fact that they had higher expectations. Social injustices and poor dwelling places are clear indicators that technology did not help people in America.