Our Country by Josiah Strong
To begin with, a few words should be said about the author of Our Country. Josiah Strong, a Congregationalist minister, was deeply concerned about the quick and uncontrolled development of metropolitan areas. Thus, in the given excerpt from Our Country, he addresses urban demographics of the country. According to the author, cities possessed two general characteristics, one of which is good, and another is bad. The city is the nerve center of the whole civilization (Strong). However, it is also a major threat to the society. The problems of conurbations are connected with their dramatic growth as well as a great number of immigrants. The writer attributes these urban issues to two immigrant groups. They are the German and the Irish. Josiah Strong also associates them with Roman Catholicism. The author considers it a problem because he believes that this religion leads to demoralizing of the nation.
Speaking about the economics of the country, Josiah Strong mentions two economic extremes. Since the city gathers well-being, the rich are wealthier here than anywhere else. At the same time, the poor are needier than elsewhere. Another urban problem is socialism. The author believes that it is growing together with the city. Socialism, to his mind, causes such bad and antisocial behaviors as gambling, thefts, robberies, and riots of different kinds. According to Josiah Strong, the characteristic feature of the metropolitan areas is inequality. He also compares the metropolis and its citizens with the cannibals and states that the former are the worst.
As to the politics and politicians, the author of Our Country thinks that the city is badly governed. He claims that it is natural that the largest conurbations have the worst authorities. Moreover, the administration will probably be corrupt, and the control over the country will not be in good hands. He also adds that the majority of the citys population needs outside aid. He feels discontent with those people, as their children will probably bring no use to the region where they live and the country as a whole. They will only ruin it from the inside. Strong is also concerned that businesses and industries will become more sensitive with the development of commercial transactions. Furthermore, this sensitivity will gradually lead to a disaster. The nation will face various crises, which will result in unemployment and even starvation.
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To conclude, Josiah Strong believes that cities are the places where the contrast between poverty and wealth is highly visible. He states that inequality in metropolitan areas is obvious and that the poor suffer the most there. I think that Strongs opinion concerning the city and its development is very low. He was considering only one side of its rapid growth. However, the metropolis is not an entirely negative notion. It also has positive features. That is why it attracts many immigrants from all over the world. Cities were the sites of opportunities. I can see nothing bad in their prosperity. The more developed the urban area is the more favorable conditions it possesses. Furthermore, I believe that there are no people today who would express the same point of view as Strong did. He expected the city to become a disaster, but in fact, it brought many benefits to the mankind. There is no metropolitan discrimination since we live in the civilized world of the 21st century. All residents are equal there. The right to equality is guaranteed by the Constitutions of different countries, as well as the right to education. Consequently, even if a person is not born to a rich family, he/she can obtain a good quality education and be hired to well-paid jobs. Therefore, Strongs opinions are not up-to-date. The development of the cities is now a necessity.