Sociology

How Suburbs Changed the United States



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Suburbs are communities that have social and economic ties to a central urban area. They have existed since ancient times when cities were contained within walls and small villages surrounded them. These ancient cities and villages depended upon each other for survival. The villages provided workers and services that the cities needed and the cities provided protection for the villagers.

In the United States many factors led to the creation of suburban areas. The population growth of urban areas during the 20th century led Americans out of the inner cities and into newly formed suburbs. The rise of automobile use made it possible for Americans to live further away from where they worked. The image of the suburban lifestyle also played a part in people moving away from urban areas.

With the influx of immigrants into urban areas there was a culture clash that led many families to yearn for a return to a simpler life. While these families wanted a quieter life they did not want to forego all the benefits of what the urban culture offered. Moving to suburban areas was a perfect solution to living a quieter life while retaining the benefits of living close to a city.

The mass production on automobiles in the 20th century made it possible for urban dwellers to escape to the suburbs. Americans could now commute to work and not have to rely upon living close to their employment. With so many traveling, from suburban to urban areas, the local, state, and federal governments had to build new roads and expand the interstate highway system.

The image of the suburban lifestyle has also encourages Americans to move from urban and rural settings. It is often seen as the best of both worlds where people live in quiet communities in single family homes on private lots. Suburban areas are close enough to urban areas to have the benefits of all that cities have to offer, yet are far enough removed to get away from the congestion and crime that are also a part of city life. Suburban areas are also close enough to rural areas to benefit from the quietness of the country, but are situated in a way that people are not cut off from each other like they can be in many rural areas.

As Americans moved away from the large cities many industries have followed them to he suburbs. Strip malls and industrial parks are becoming more and more prevalent in suburban areas. As more people and businesses move to suburban areas a decline in the economic success of cities occur. This can leave a city in financial ruin as much of their tax base moves away. With many funds no longer available this leads to a decline in public services. As businesses leave the area they take away jobs from those who remain in urban areas. Although living in an apartment in the city can be expensive, it is still more affordable to many Americans than the expense of owning a single family home in the suburbs.

Suburbs have changed the United States by moving much of the good that was found in a concentrated are and spreading it out over a large area leaving cities a husk of what they once were.

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