Structural Change

Structural Change


Industrialisation and urbanisation are linked processes. Discuss.


(i) Meaning of industrialisation: Industrialisation refers to the emergence of machine production, based on the use of inanimate power resources like steam or electricity. A prime feature of industrial societies today is that a large majority of the employed population work in factories, offices or shops rather than agriculture.

(ii) Meaning of Urbanisation: pertaining to development of cities, towns, metrocities is called urbanisation. In such process a very large portion of a country or nation state moves from rural areas to urban areas. For example, - When we say that over 90 percent of people in the west live in towns and cities. We may say that almost western countries are totally urbanised.

Mutually link between industrialisation and urbanisation: Industrialisation is the most powerful factor in growth and development of urbanisation. In countries or continents where industrialisation takes place, most jobs are to be found and new job opportunities are created due to industrialisation in urban areas. Therefore, Usually most of the scholars and general people associate urbanisation with industrialisation. They aften do occur together but not always so.

Example: (i) For instance in Britain, the first society to undergo industrialisation, was also the earliest to move from being rural to a predominantly urban country.

(ii) In 1800, well under 20 per cent of the population lived in towns or cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants. By 1900 this proportion had become 74 per cent. The capital city, london, was home to about 1.1 million people in 1800; it increased in size to a population of over 7 million with the beginning of the twentieth century.

London was then by far the largest city ever seen in the world, a vast manufacturing, commercial and financial centre at the heart of a still expanding British empire.

(iii) In India the impact of the very same British industrialisation led to deindustrialisation in some sectors. And decline of old urban centres. Just as manufacturing boomed in Britain, traditional exports of cotton and silk manufacturing from India declined in the face of Manchester competition.

(iv) This period also saw the further decline of cities such as Surat and Masulipatnam while Bombay and Madras grew. When the British took over Indian states, towns like Thanjavur, Dhaka, and Murshidabad lost their courts and, therefore, some of their artisans and court gentry.

(v) From the end of the 19th century, with the installation of mechanised factory industries, some towns became much more heavily populated.

(vi) Unlike Britain where the impact of industrialisation led to more people moving into urban areas, In India the initial impact of the same British industrialisation led to more people moving into agriculture. The Census of India Report show this clearly.

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