Robert J. Ross's Colonial Cities PDF

By Robert J. Ross

by ROBERT ROSS and GERARD J. TELKAMP I In a feeling, towns have been superfluous to the needs of colonists. The Europeans who based empires outdoors their very own continent have been essentially interested by extracting these items which they can no longer collect inside of Europe. those items have been principally agricultural, and grown ordinarilly in a weather now not chanced on inside Europe. even if, as in India earlier than 1800, the key exports have been manufactures, ordinarily they have been nonetheless made within the nation-state instead of within the nice towns. It was once in simple terms on infrequent get together whilst nice mineral wealth was once chanced on that large metropolises grew up round the web site of extraction. in view that their situation used to be deter­ mined by means of geology, no longer economics, they may be within the such a lot inaccessible and in­ handy parts, yet they too might draw labour off from the rural objectives of the colony as an entire. From the viewpoint of the colonists, the towns have been hence in a few respects helpful evils, as they have been parasites at the rural manufacturers, competing with the colonists within the means of surplus extraction. however, the colonists couldn't do with no towns. the necessities of colonisation demanded many unequivocally city features. Pre-eminent between those was once after all the necessity for a port, to permit the export of colonial wares and the import of products from Europe, or from different elements of the non-European international, within the country-trade because it was once recognized round India.

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With the commodification ofland and the development of wage labour, surplus wealth is invested by an increasingly 'Westernised' elite and middle class on housing and consumer goods to fill them. The city becomes a unit for consumption as well as for production and trade. XI. CONCLUSION The enigmas in explaining the historical colonial city are to know what results from colonialism (a power relationship enforced by an alien culture) and from modernisation, since industralisation (a system of technology and particular energy base), capitalism (a particular form of political economy) and Westernisation (a set of cultural institutions and values, themselves differentiated according to various colonial powers) can have an impact in a non-colonial situation.

1890-c. 1940) was to coincide with the height of formal imperialism. In these years, however, town and city planning (in Britain, at least) was seen as an essentially physical and aesthetic activity, concerned with physical health and 'orderly' growth, in contrast to what was seen as the chaos of industrial urbanisation; it made little reference to the economic basis of society, or to social inequalities. Hence, when this was exported to the colonies, it was innocent of the external economic and political forces which had generated urban development; the instruments for 'orderly growth' were to freeze and even rationalise existing racial, social 26 and cultural divisions into the characteristic spatial order of the segregated colonial city.

41 This need not surprise us once we take into account the huge monastic community. It is not as yet possible to estimate, even roughly, the total number of persons living behind cloistered walls in Antigua, but we do know, for example, that in 1690 the Franciscan convent housed as many as 100 friars, and that the nuns' convent of La Concepcion not only provided refuge for 255 nuns and novices, but also for 700 servants. 42 Today, even with most of the colonial religious constructions lying in ruins, no visitor to Antigua can escape the sensation of walking through an oversized monastery.

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