Page:1899 The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century.djvu/15

This page has been validated.


"The proportion between the rural and town population of a country is an important fact in its interior economy and condition. It determines, in a great degree, its capacity for manufactures, the extent of its commerce and the amount of its wealth. The growth of cities commonly marks the progress of intelligence and the arts, measures the sum of social enjoyment, and always implies excessive mental activity, which is sometimes healthy and useful, sometimes distempered and pernicious. If these congregations of men diminish some of the comforts of life, they augment others; if they are less favorable to health than the country, they also provide better defense against disease and better means of cure. From causes both political and moral, they are less favorable to the multiplication of the species. In the eyes of the moralist, cities afford a wider field both for virtue and vice; and they are more prone to innovation, whether for good or evil. The love of civil liberty is, perhaps, both stronger and more constant in the country than the town; and if it is guarded in the cities by a keener vigilance and a more far-sighted jealousy, yet law, order and security are also, in them, more exposed to danger, from the greater facility with which intrigue and ambition can there operate on ignorance and want. What ever may be the good or evil tendencies of populous cities, they are the result to which all countries that are at once fertile, free and intelligent, inevitably tend."

George Tucker, Progress of the United States in Population and Wealth in Fifty Years, p. 127.

(iii)