1. The meaning and origin of the term Urban Revolution.
Urban revolution (the expression originates with the archaeologist V. Gordon Childe who coined it in 1936 in his book Man Makes Himself) was the movement of people in various parts of the world, mainly as a result of surpluses in food, improvements in tools and the domestication of animals subsequent to the Neolithic Revolution, from the countryside to local urban areas which they purpose built.
These surpluses and improvements gave them time and opportunity to specialize in the invention, design and manufacture of goods which were traded for food with those who continued to work the land and farther afield for goods which were unavailable locally.
It was essentially the advancement of society from all the people scratching a living in the pastoral field in a state of semi anarchy to that society dividing into interdependent urban and rural communities. The latter specialized in the original agrarian pursuits, that is the growing of crops and the husbanding of animals. The former took over the crafts which had hitherto been carried out as an adjunct to these agrarian pursuits and the responsibilities of the civil and military governance of the the city.
2. As a technological determinist explain how the urban revolution came about.
From the time that man first started using tools there has been a continuous process of development both in the technology of their manufacture and in the uses to which they have been put. Technological advances in the original flint implements led to improvements in the manufacture of clothing, weapons and dwellings. The weapons led man from being a scavenger to being a killer of his own meat. The extra protein led to an increase in brain power and furthered his ability to develop the available technology.
So man became a nomadic hunter/gatherer until discoveries in building and agricultural technology led to his engaging in subsistence farming, herding animals and making his own primitive agricultural implements, clothing, cooking and eating utensils and permanent accommodation.
Further advances in technology resulted in better tools and more efficient ways of tilling the soil.
As draught animals were tamed, another technological innovation, the plough, increased the output of crops, surpluses began to accrue and the population started to expand.
These advances also resulted in the introduction of pottery, woodworking and the carding of wool leading to the manufacture of crockery, improved household furniture and crafts such as weaving and knitting. Specialisation in these activities led to the division of labour, people left the land and a system of barter for food and artifacts arose.
As the population expanded more food was needed and in the semi-arid conditions of the Tigris – Euphrates basins it was necessary to introduce irrigation to supplement the rainfall. The technological advances in tools simplified its mechanical aspects but the ongoing need to maintain the large scale works required the organisation, payment and lodging of the work force.
These needed architects, builders, bookkeepers and administrators, resulting in the further technological advances of writing on tablets, accounting, new building practices and communication.
As the settlements grew in size and complexity, sewage, water, and lighting became necessary and the organisation and administration to regulate them. So more layers were added to the society which became a city run by administrators, with craftsmen making desirable artifacts for the pastoralists who in turn fed the city residents
So came about the Urban Revolution as the climax to aeons of man’s technological advances in the fields of agriculture, communication, transport, building techniques or, more broadly, by technology in general.
3. As a social constructionist