Industrial Revolution Essay

Submitted By emilymcinnes
Words: 5124
Pages: 21

The Minister for Communities has requested the investigation into how and why the Industrial
Revolution is impacting society. I will be investigating how the Industrial Revolution effects the population changes in Britain, the living conditions, and the types of jobs and the working conditions within them.

Current data on the population distribution in Britain show us that the population has had a major increase and still is. In 1751, the total population of England and Wales was 5 772 000 (estimated) with 25% of people living in urban areas and 75% of people in rural areas. In 1821 the total population was 12 000 000 with 40% of people in urban areas and 60% in rural. There was a 60% increase in urban areas and 22% increase in rural areas from 1801. In 1861, the total population was 20 066 000 with 59% of people in urban areas and 41% in rural areas. There was a 53% urban increase from 1841 and 0.74% rural increase. More people lived in rural areas rather than urban in 1751 because a lot of people worked on farms but then jobs started to open up in cities and towns which meant moving there to be closer to work. In the statistics you can see an increase in urban population and decrease in rural population. The total population of England and Wales dramatically increased because of increased food production and wages to buy it. Increased food production meant people are able to have more children.

The living conditions of the different social classes reflect their work. For example, the working class live in houses that usually have 5-9 people living in a single room with one toilet per street.
One toilet per street makes it extremely unsanitary and dirty. There are either small windows on the houses or none at all. Diseases such as cholera and typhus are common and spread quickly because people live so close together. The houses are built back to back either without gardens or very small ones. This is so more people can fit and live closer to their work so they can easily get there and be there on time. The disadvantages of this are the smoke from the factories comes into the garden and houses, it causes air pollution and is very unhygienic. The streets are narrow with poor drainage and are filled with rubbish and sewage and the houses are built with the cheapest material possible. This tells us that the working class are not considered worthy or important enough to have fair living conditions and the government do not want to spend their money on them. From a letter to a parliamentary inquiry in 1840, written by Dr Robertson, a Manchester surgeon: "Manchester is a huge overgrown village, built according to no definite plan. The homes of the work-people have been built in the factory districts. The interests and convenience of the manufacturers have determined the growth, while the comfort, health and happiness [of the workers] have not been considered. Manchester has no public park or other ground where the population can walk and breath the fresh air. Every advantage has been sacrificed to the getting of money." This style of housing has meant that the family unit is being impacted due to diseases, being cramped and sharing a house or room with people other than your family. Disease spreads quickly which can mean that members of your family die. The middle class lifestyle was much more luxurious when compared to the working class. They lived in terrace homes with 1-2 stories and two or three bedrooms. Families don't have servants but can afford nannies to take care of the children. Unlike the working class, children are not sent to work so they need to be taken care of when not in school. This style of housing improves their family life because they are living comfortably and do not have to worry about diseases or the house being dirty. The upper class live an extremely luxurious life and live on estates that are usually in the countryside and can have farms attached. They also live in mansions with many rooms and have