The Industrialization Of Manchester Essay

1102 words - 5 pages

Industrialization, or the process of developing and increasing the production of various industries, has been a highly controversial subject since its beginning in the mid-eighteenth century. Hated by the romantics and loved by the economists, industrialization was a necessary step from the past into the present. In addition to adding jobs to the market and proving that population could undergo exponential growth, industrialization caused a boom in the creation of towns. As factories sprang up along rivers, previously small towns such as Liverpool and Manchester grew massively in size almost overnight. In fact, the town of Manchester is considered a perfect model for early and middle industrial life. Over time, Manchester, like all other industrial towns, grew and changed to adapt to various social and political outcries of the time. Manchester, over the course of 100 years, grew from a small town to a booming city that perfectly exemplified the industrial era.
The first part in looking at Manchester as an example of an industrial town would be to examine the issues associated with it. Between the years of 1750 and 1850, the city of Manchester increased in size by at more than 3 times. In addition to this massive increase in area, the city of Manchester constructed a new canal network that spanned the entire area of the city. Manchester also showcased a system of railroads into and out of the city (Document 1). Since cities are often built to accommodate increased population, one can safely assume that this gargantuan growth is associated with a similar increase in population. The English romantic poet Robert Southey expressed this when he described the cramped, depressing, and not beautiful conditions within the city. Mr. Southey most likely had this conception about Manchester because of his romantic background, which stressed nature and holiness. Industrial Manchester was host to neither of these ideas, which would have caused romantics such as Southey to cringe (Document 2). Leading medical reformers of the time, in fact, supported the idea that industrial Manchester was cramped and unhealthy. Edwin Chadwick and Thomas Wakley both published documents that described the deplorable condition of the city’s health. Chadwick’s document stressed atmospheric impurities caused by the factories and decaying flesh present in the cities (Document 6). A painting done by The Graphic further proves Chadwick’s position. This picture is of a train going across a murky river under a smoke filled sky (Document 11). This shows the poor air quality of the time. Wakley’s statistical analysis of the average life expectancy of those in industrial cities v. those in rural areas also supported the idea that life in urban centers was unhealthy. On all accounts and in all positions and social classes the people of the industrial cities died much earlier than the people of the rural areas (Document 8). The medical views of Chadwick and Wakley can therefore be used to...

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