In the Quarterly Journal of Economies for January there is an interesting article by Professor A. B. Hart, on "The Rise of American Cities." Professor Hart points out that no one of our cities has had its location determined by considerations of defence, and that in fact most of them are to all practical purposes defenseless-a strong testimonial to the peaceful character of the age. It is much more important for a city to have a good harbor before it than a great river behind it. Professor Hart also thinks that the public revenue is less likely to be misspent in seaports than in manufacturing cities.
Some very interesting statistics are given concerning the growth of our cities. The increase of cities having a population of 8,000 and over, from 1800 to 1880, has been from 6 to 286. These cities, which have nearly one fourth of the population, have more than one half of the foreign element. In Boston there were in 1885, 275,000 American born persons to 132,000 foreigners. But 137,000 of the natives were minors, while of the foreigners only 12,000 were minors. Both in Boston and New York there is an excess of female population which is chiefly due to the preponderance of foreign born women. The large requirements of city households for servants account in part for this superabundance of foreign born women. In conclusion, Professor Hart says that the government of the cities will undoubtedly improve with experience and with the education of the community.