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Secondary II • 2yr.


Could you explain to me what is the phenomenon of urbanization please?

Thank you !


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Hello SociableGold5529,

    Thank you for your question! :)

    To understand this, you must also understand the phenomenon of rural exodus:

    • Rural Exodus : A phenomenon where rural communities (who live in the countryside) are leaving their land to settle in permanently urban areas. The rural exodus is generally the cause of urbanization.
    • Urbanization : Phenomenon that occurs when a large part of the rural communities settle permanently in the cities. The phenomenon of urbanization is usually a consequence or an effect of the rural exodus. Urbanization typically leads to growth of urban areas.

    The urbanization phenomenon in the West (Occident) first appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages.

    Causes of urbanization:

    • Improved agricultural techniques : Rotation (crop rotation), water and windmills, improvement of metal tools and several other agricultural techniques are improved.
    • Presence of agricultural surpluses : The improvement of agricultural techniques means that the peasants produce agricultural surpluses (there is more food than the population needs).
    • Increase in the general population : With the presence of agricultural surpluses, the European population eats better and eats more. As a result, the Europeans are in better health, which means that the death rate decreases and the birth rate increases. Therefore, there is an increase of the population. Around the year 1000, it led to a shortage of land for the number of peasants. They had to move to towns and villages to find a job in order to live.

    Consequences of urbanization:

    • Increase of the population in the cities : The displacement of the mass of the peasants of the countryside towards the cities increases the population in the cities.
    • Appearance of new social classes and development of towns : Populated towns become important places of gathering and trade, because there is a large consumer market for the products of craftsmen and agricultural products. Medieval fairs are held there to do a great deal of commerce. Some inhabitants will then specialize in haggling and trade and will thus enrich themselves. We call the people of this new social class the bourgeois. They are richer than the inhabitants and will develop spaces in the cities to live there and install the local market. These fortified spaces are called boroughs.
    • Creation of communes : Linked to their lord by feudal obligations which hinder their trade, the bourgeoisie will join together to increase their negotiating power with their lord in order to obtain, in exchange for money, charters that liberate certain towns of their feudal obligations towards their lord. The towns thus liberated and run by the bourgeoisie are called communes.

    Do not hesitate to write to us again if you have any other questions! :)

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