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Thinking About Cities: The Central Tradition in U.S. Urban History
Journal of Urban History
  • Carl Abbott, Portland State University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Cities and towns,
  • Cities and towns -- Growth -- History -- United States,
  • Urban history -- History -- United States,
  • Urbanization -- United States
Urban history in United States in the last 150 years has been concerned with two central questions. Historians of three generations focused on the process of urbanization and the problem of civic order in the cities. The historians of recent times emphasize on community formation as the determinant of economic growth and its general effect. Earlier scholars discussed the creation of communities and institutions and the correlation between urban and national development. Thus, interaction between city and citizen is a viable theme of urban history.

This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, has been published in Journal of Urban History 1996 and is copyright by Sage Publications, available online at:

Persistent Identifier
Citation Information
Carl Abbott. "Thinking About Cities: The Central Tradition in U.S. Urban History" Journal of Urban History (1996)
Available at: