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Form 2 History and Government Notes on Urbanization

Grade/Class: Form 2

Subject: History and Government

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This is the process by which people are attracted to live in towns or large settlements.
An urban centre is any area with a human population of 20,000 people or more.

Early Urbanization.
Some of the early urban centres in Africa included Cairo, Meroe/Merowe and Kilwa.
Factors that influenced development of urban centres in Africa.
a) Existence of transport routes-Meroe/Merowe located at an intersection of transport routes.
b) Availability of water for irrigation which increased food production and influenced growth of towns e.g. Cairo.
c) Industrial development –areas of industries grew up as towns since they attracted laborers e.g. Cairo.
d) Commercial activities like trade-location along trade routes.
e) Strategic location which ensured security and thus ample growth e.g. Kilwa.
f) Growth of religion –some grew rapidly because they were religious centres.
g) Mining –led to development of towns’ e.g. Meroe, Johannesburg.

This is the capital city of Egypt. The city was founded in 969 AD when the conquerors from Tunisia, ‘The Fatimid Dynasty’ invaded and conquered Egypt
Factors for the growth of Cairo.
a) The Nile River provided water for domestic use and was also a means of transport. This enabled Cairo to grow.
b) Availability of water for irrigation which increased food production and influenced growth of Cairo.
c) Industrial development –various industries developed in Cairo. Food processing industries and construction works. The industries attracted migrants from rural areas.
d) Fertile Nile Valley. The Valley had adequate rainfall and the river always carried silt which it deposited downstream to provide
e) The Suez Canal which was opened in 1869 opened a new trade route which encouraged the arrival of thousands of Europeans. Commercial, administrative and public buildings were constructed during this time.
f) Commercial activities like trade-location along trade routes. The Strategic location along the Nile attracted caravans which would pass through Cairo from North, west and Central Africa
g) The opening of the Aswan High Dam in 1902 enhanced food production through irrigation thus influencing Cairo’s growth.
h) The effects of the two world wars which disrupted Egypt’s trade with other countries thus compelling her to find ways of substituting imports. This boosted industrialization
i) Cairo is a cultural centre being home to treasures preserved from the early Egyptian civilization and Islamic culture in their museums. ‘The city of a thousand Minarets’.
j) Cairo also grew as a centre of education and medicine. Several institutions of higher learning such as the University of Cairo, American University and Azar University contributed to this.
Functions of Cairo
a) It was a national capital and a political centre of the Arab world. b) It serves as the transport and commercial centre of North Africa and the Middle East.
c) It is a recreational centre housing many recreational facilities like stadiums and entertainment halls
d) Cairo has been a historical centre being the house to the Egyptian civilization for over 5000 years
e) Cairo serves as an industrial centre. Many of these developed during the industrialization process. For example, textile, vehicle and communication equipment assembly plants.
Cairo faces the following problems today;
a) High population. Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East. One fifth of Egypt’s population stays in Cairo. In 1988, her population was 11 million.
b) Scarcity of food. The high population in the city has caused food shortage.
c) Unemployment. The number of unemployed people in Cairo is increasing every year mainly due to the high rate of migration to the city and the natural population increase.
d) Housing problems. Between the Nile and the main airport, between 250,000 to 900,000 poor people have put up shanties. This area is commonly referred to as the ‘city of Death’.
e) Traffic jams.
f) Pollution from the industries, vehicle exhaust, desert storms and garbage burning.
g) High crime rate. This is mostly due to the high unemployment level

Solutions to the problems facing Cairo.
a) The food shortage problem is being tackled through reclaiming land for agriculture. The Aswan high Dam provides water for irrigation.
b) The housing problem is being addressed by constructing industries in the suburbs to reduce the population in the city.
c) Traffic jams have been eased through the launching of the Cairo Metro in 1987, which was Africa’s first subway system, which serves the Ramses station to the north and Helwan area to the south. It conveys 60,000 passengers per hour.

This was the second capital of the kingdom of Kush and emerged as a city in 650 BC. It rose to become an important industrial centre and specifically iron working producing weapons, hunting and farming tools.

Factors for growth of Meroe.
a) Existence of transport routes-Meroe/Merowe was located at an intersection of transport routes (from east via the red sea and from north via Egypt). This promoted trade with other parts of the world.
b) Abundance of wood fuel, from the heavily forested Blue Nile / White Nile intersection area, which was a key to the prosperity of the iron-working industry.
c) Mining –Merowe was located in a region endowed with a lot of iron.
Social effects of the growth of Merowe.
a) The Merotic language developed to replace the Egyptian language previously used by the Nubian founders of Merowe.
b) New architectural developments took place in the region. These were characterized by tombs where rulers were buried after death, ruins of temples, palaces and homes.
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c) Other industries developed besides the iron working industry. For example, weaving of cotton, cloth and pottery

Functions of Meroe during the colonial period.
a) Meroe was a centre of iron working hence an early industrial centre.
b) A mining centre since Meroe had iron ore, which it mined.
c) A religious function since it had many temples where people worshipped their gods. The priests who headed the Meroe church had their headquarters in Meroe.
d) It was a centre of trade.
e) It was an administrative and political centre.
f) Transport centre-major trade routes converged and radiated from Meroe.

Factors that led to decline of Merowe.
a) The rise of Axum kingdom of Ethiopia which denied her access to the red sea.
b) The increasing desertification of the region, perhaps due to the rapid deforestation.
The city began declining in 350 BC.

The town is among the city states that developed along the east African coast. Her greatness was due to the Persian influence. One of its Shirazi rulers from Banadir Coast in Persia, Ali Ibn Hassan, transformed the town into a large city.
The sultan erected a stone citadel to protect the island from external enemies. He also forced other conquered city-states to pay tribute to Kilwa.
Later on Sultan al-Hassan Ibn Sulaiman I built the Great mosque of Kilwa in 1270 AD and a luxurious palace referred to by historians as Husuni Kubwa.

Factors influencing the growth of Kilwa.
a) Exemplary leadership provided by the Shirazi Leaders who kept enemies off and forced the neighbouring city-states to pay tribute to Kilwa.
b) The strategic location of Kilwa enabled her to attract merchants as it was a convenient stopping place.
c) Monopoly of the sofala Gold Trade. The control of the Sofala Gold trade had fallen in the hands of Kilwa by 1300 AD
d) The gleaming buildings of Kilwa such as the great Mosque and palace made her the Jewel of the Zenj Coast, minting her own coins to add to her prosperity. The mosque became a tourist attraction later own

Functions of Kilwa.
a) It was a major trading centre flourishing mainly due to the gold trade.
b) It was a major defence centre since it was heavily fortified against external aggression by a stone citadel.
c) It was a religious centre. Mosques for Islamic worship were located at Kilwa e.g the great mosque.
d) It was an administrative centre which housed palaces for the rulers and other rich people.
However 14th C AD, Kilwa’s prosperity began to decline due to the following reasons.

Factors that led to the decline of Kilwa.
a) Disruption of the Gold trade/ civil wars among communities.
b) Dynastic rivalries/ family feuds.
c) Series of rebellions among some of the towns.
d) Conquest by the Portuguese who even burnt the towns.

Factors that led to the collapse of early urban centres in pre-colonial Africa
a) Collapse of state system and kingdoms for example Kush collapse and the coastal city states.
b) Collapse of trade and their economic systems e.g. the trans-Saharan trade and long distance trade.
c) Collapse of Arab influence I east Africa and east Africa.
d) Impact of Portuguese conquest leading to destruction of towns like Manda and decline of others.
e) Introduction of new types of trade e.g. legitimate trade which replaced slave trade.
f) European colonization brought in a new social political and economic order.
g) Exhaustion of mineral resources e.g. gold as in case of sofala and Kilwa as well as Meroe. Some minerals lost value.
h) Changes in transport routes as new roads by-passed some towns thus diverting trade to other centres e.g. Timbuktu
i) As a result of stiff competition, some towns dwindled as others expanded.

Early urban centres in Europe

This is one of the early states in ancient Greece that flourished after the Persian wars of between 490-480 BC.
Athens developed from a farming settlement situated in a defensive site. It had many beautiful buildings such as the Parthenon (a large temple built between 460 and 430 BC in honour of Athena, the goddess of Athens). The acropolis was the highest part of the town.
Athens had narrow streets and some of its houses were made of unbaked bricks or mud and thatched roofs.
There were frequent outbreaks of diseases due to poor sanitation.
The concept of democracy first developed in Athens. At the centre of the city was a market, Agora, which was used as an assembly hall for debates.
Athenians were divided into four classes.
a) First class –the richest that were the most heavily taxed.
b) Second class- provided the cavalry for the army.
c) Third class- provided the soldiers for the infantry.
d) The fourth class- the poorest and who paid no taxes.
Athens began to decline due to the Peloponnesian wars (431-404 BC). It was finally crushed in 338 BC by Phillip of Macedonia.
Currently Athens is the capital of Greece with a population of 4 million.

Factors that led to growth of Athens.
a) Trade and commerce. Their soils of the surrounding areas were infertile and, therefore could not support agriculture. The Athenians therefore resorted to trade to obtain foods in exchange for wine, wool and olive oil.
b) Security. Athens was located in an easily defensible place. The town was surrounded by water, valleys and highlands making it difficult for an external enemy to attack.
c) Religious activities. The area was a worship centre. People coming to the Parthenon temple contributed to the growth of the town.
d) Accessibility and communication network. The port of Athens was located about six kilometres from the city thus making Athens a transport centre.
e) Availability of water.

Functions of Athens.
a) It was a cultural centre. The Greeks loved to watch play. In Athens, there was the great theatre of Epidaurus.
b) An educational centre. In Athens, every person was taught how to read and write. Athens became a centre of scholarly work producing great thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Archimedes and Aristotle.
c) Athens was a sports centre. There were Gymnasiums where boys were taught games which were developed into what came to be known as Olympics.
d) Religious centre. The Parthenon temple was a great manifestation of this function. People coming to the Parthenon temple contributed to the growth of the town.

The capital city of England, it is situated on the estuary of the river Thames. Its name is derived from the name Llyn Dun which means ‘Celtic Lake Fort’. The town developed during the Roman rule in Britain in A.D 43.
By 314 AD London had become an early centre of Christianity.
In 1381, the city was adversely affected by a serious peasant, revolt that led to massive destruction of property.
By 18th c, London had emerged as an elegant city though however also with numerous urban related problems. In 1890, it hosted the world’s first electric train.

Factors influencing growth of London.
a) Trade-money obtained from trading was used to build the city.
b) Industrialization-industry such as textile, ship building, metal works, etc led to the growth of London.
c) Improved transport –London is well served by a network of railway and roads. This facilitated the movement of goods and people.
d) Shipping activities-there are many harbours in London enabling expanded loading and unloading activities
e) Population growth.
f) London was the seat of government for a very long time.

Functions of London.
a) It was a transport and communication centre. The city was inter-connected with roads which served various parts of Britain. The city houses the main international airports on UK. E.g Heathrow- the busiest airport in the world.
b) It is a political and administrative capital with offices for the Prime Minister and cabinet. The Monarchical offices are also located here.
c) It is a commercial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders.
d) An industrial centre. London was an early centre of the textile industry. There are light service industries in the city.
e) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the oxford university, the University of London, founded in 1836, etc.
f) London is a historical centre. The city has theatres for the performance of cultural activities and museums which display artefacts of Historical importance.

Problems of London.
Like many large cities worldwide, London has its share of problems:
a) Overcrowding,
b) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population. In 1988, for example, nearly 1 in 8 people were unemployed throughout London and the situation in the inner city was worst
c) Poor housing and homelessness. This has led to development of slums.
d) Transportation is another problem. However, an excellent public system has helped to alleviate this.
e) Air pollution continues to be a major challenge.
f) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
g) Poverty. This was a greater problem in London in the initial stages.

Modern cities in Africa.

Nairobi developed as a depot and camp for the railway workers during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda railway
Factors influencing the growth of Nairobi
a) Excellent location in an area almost midway between Mombasa and Lake Victoria.
b) There was adequate supply of water.
c) The land was suitable for construction of workshops as it was flat.
d) The climate was suitable for Europeans. Cool temperatures at an altitude of 1700m.
e) It was surrounded by a fertile countryside producing adequate foods.
f) Transfer of the seat of the colonial government in 1907.
Functions of Nairobi.
g) It was a transport and communication centre. The city is inter-connected with roads which served various parts of the country. The city houses the main international airport- JKIA.
h) It is an administrative capital with offices for the head of state, cabinet, parliament and department of defence.
i) It is a regional headquarter of various international bodies like UN, ILO etc.
j) It is a commercial and financial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders.
k) An industrial centre. Nairobi’s industrial area hosts many key industries in Kenya and east Africa.
l) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the University of Nairobi, Kenya polytechnic and other key institutions
m) It is a tourist centre. The town boasts of various tourist attractions such as the Nairobi National Park, National Museums etc.
Problems facing Nairobi
a) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
b) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population.
c) Poor housing. The population growth in Nairobi to 3 million has not corresponded to the development of housing.
d) Inadequate social services including health services and educational facilities.
e) Congestion on roads caused by an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads while the road network is not expanding.
f) Poor town planning has led to poor drainage, especially during heavy rains when a lot of flooding occurs
g) Pollution continues to be a major challenge in Nairobi. The factories located in the city are a cause of air and noise pollution.
h) Water shortage caused by the high rate of expansion in the town and the depletion of water reservoirs.
i) The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high.

Solutions to these problems.
a) New housing projects are being developed. For example the Mathare slums upgrading project.
b) The education and other social services are being provided through a cost-sharing scheme between the government and the town dwellers.
c) The government is addressing the transport/congestion problem through the upgrading of the Thika superhighway to an eight lane highway; the Nairobi Syokimau Railway service was commissioned by president Kibaki I November 2012 to de-congest Jogoo road. Etc.
d) The government is encouraging the expansion of the informal sector as an alternative source of employment.
e) The government is rehabilitating street families by taking them to schools to acquire relevant skills to make them useful to the nation.
f) New water projects have been put in place. For example, the third Nairobi water Project from River Chania.
g) The government is sensitizing, through NGOs and GOs, civilians about responsible sex as a measure to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The city started as a mining camp in 1886 after the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand. This attracted thousands of people coming to prospect for minerals and seek for employment.
By the end of 19th c, the population of Johannesburg had risen to 166,000 people.
Factors which contributed to the growth of Johannesburg
a) Existence of minerals/discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand which resulted in a rush of people to the area.
b) Availability of energy i.e. coal which was an important source of energy to the mines, industries and homes.
c) Excellent location in the veldt/plain making construction work easy.
d) Its proximity to Vaal River which supplied plenty of water to industries and domestic use.
e) Area around Johannesburg is fertile and therefore agriculturally productive ensuring steady supply of food.
f) The organization of the city council which has ensured that financial control and revenue collection is effectively and the city able to manage its growth problems.
g) Government policy of supporting industrial development. This has favored its growth.
Functions of Johannesburg.
a) It was a transport and communication centre. The city has a highly developed network of transport lines since it served the mining industry. In June 2010, it became the first city in Africa to house an electric train service.
b) An industrial centre. Its manufacturing functions include mining, metalwork, engineering, diamond cutting, jewellery manufacturing and food processing.
c) It is a commercial and financial centre. Many financial institutions such as banks and other commercial and trading activities attract a lot of traders. It is also a major shopping centre in South Africa.
d) It is an educational centre, housing institutions like the University of Witwatersrand, teacher training colleges and other key institutions.
Problems facing Johannesburg.
a) The problem of racial segregation. The black Africans who work around Johannesburg were often treated almost as slaves though they were the majority in the country.
b) Poor housing. Most of the workers who work in and around Johannesburg live in shanties, mainly because of underpayment
c) Unemployment has continued to increase with the growing population. Though the city is an industrial town, her industries have failed to provide sufficient employment for all people in the town.
d) Rural-urban migration by the job seekers causing overcrowding in the city.
e) A large gap between the affluent class, especially the Europeans and the poor people who majorly are African
f) Congestion on roads caused by an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads while the road network is not expanding.
g) The city has the highest crime rate in the world.
h) Inadequate social services including health services and educational facilities.
i) Water shortage caused by the high rate of expansion in the town and the depletion of water reservoirs.
j) The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high.
Solutions to the problems.
a) The apartheid regime was ended in 1994 thus ending the problem of racial segregation.
b) The new government of South Africa is trying to come up with better housing estates.
c) Crime has been contained by creating more job opportunities.
d) The government is sensitizing, through NGOs and GOs, civilians about responsible sex as a measure to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS
Impact of agrarian development on urbanization in Africa.
a) The practice of agriculture forced people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Such settlement formed the basis of the earliest urban centres.
b) Early agriculture led to specialization. The areas where the potters, iron smelters weavers and fishermen did their work grew up into urban centres
c) From the agrarian revolution, there was adequate food for town dwellers.
Urbanization in Europe
a) The revolution in Europe led to a landless society who moved to urban centres seeking employment. This promoted urban growth.
b) Increased agricultural production ensured steady supply of raw materials to the new industries hence further growth of the industries.
c) Agricultural expansion meant the big farmers had to borrow loans hence the expansion of banking facilities in towns leading to further growth.
d) Agricultural produce entering and leaving countries had to be handled in ports hence towns near coasts grew.
Impacts of industrial revolution on urbanization in the world.
a) The establishment of many factories drew many people to towns in search of employment the mining industry attracted many people to work in the mines. The mining camps soon grew up into towns.
b) Industrial revolution stimulated innovations in transport and communication ensuring faster movement of people to further expansion of trading towns.
c) The growth of industry has led to expansion of port towns to handle increased manufactured goods for export and raw material for factories e.g. growth of London, Budapest, Marseilles, Lagos and Cairo.
d) The use of machines replaced human labour and caused layoffs. Those who lost their jabs sometimes became a security risk hence an increase in crime.
e) The many inefficient factories that came up after the revolution have caused massive air and water pollution.
f) Rural urban migration has exerted pressure on the limited resources and services the towns can offer.

Consequences of urbanization on European communities during the 19th c.
a) Rural –urban migration by Africans looking for better opportunities led to increased crime levels and insecurity for the Europeans.
b) Air pollution which also affected them.
c) Creation of employment for the Europeans in the developing industries.
d) Creation of markets for agricultural produce due to increased urban population.
e) Europeans were deprived of cheap African labour as most of them moved to urban areas.


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