It Disscusses The Hardships Of Industrial Revolution.

1181 words - 5 pages

Industrial RevolutionAs the number of factories grew people from the countryside began to move into the towns looking for better paid work. The wages of a farm worker were very low and there were less jobs working on farms because of the invention and use of new machines such as threshers. Also thousands of new workers were needed to work machines in mills and foundries and the factory owners built houses for them.Cities filled to overflowing and London was particularly bad. At the start of the 19th Century about 1/5 of Britain's population lived there, but by 1851 half the population of the country had set up home in London. London, like most cities, was not prepared for this great increase in people. People crowded into already crowded houses. Rooms were rented to whole families or perhaps several families. If there was no rooms to rent, people stayed in lodging houses.The worker's houses were usually near to the factories so that people could walk to work. They were built really quickly and cheaply. The houses were cheap, most had between 2-4 rooms - one or two rooms downstairs, and one or two rooms upstairs. Victorian families were big with 4 or 5 children. There was no running water or toilet. A whole street would have to share an outdoor pump and a couple of outside toilets. Most houses in the North of England were "back to backs" (built in double rows) with no windows at the front, no backyards and a sewer down the middle of the street. The houses were built crammed close together, with very narrow streets between them. Most of the houses were crowded with five or more people possibly crammed into a single room. Even the cellars were full. Most of the new towns were dirty and unhealthy. The household rubbish was thrown out into the streets. Housing conditions like these were a perfect breeding grounds for diseases. More than 31,000 people died during an outbreak of cholera in 1832 and lots more were killed by typhus, smallpox and dysentery.Chimneys, bridges and factory smoke blocked out most of the light in the towns. A layer of dirty smoke often covered the streets like a blanket. This came from the factories that used steam to power their machines. The steam was made by burning coal to heat water. Burning coal produces a lot of dirty, black smoke.Gradually, improvements for the poor were made. In 1848, Parliament passed laws that allowed city councils to clean up the streets. One of the first cities to become a healthier place was Birmingham. Proper sewers and drains were built. Land owners had to build houses to a set standard. Streets were paved and lighting was put up.Over time slums were knocked down and new houses built. However, these changes did not take place overnight. When slums were knocked down in 1875 the poor people had little choice but to move to another slum, making that one worse. Few could afford new housing.Many factory workers were children. They worked long hours and were often treated badly by the supervisors or...

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