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Describe the living conditions in large industrial towns and the attempts to improve them

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In this essay I am going to describe the living conditions in large industrial towns and the attempts to improve them in the nineteenth century. I will talk about the living conditions, the reasons why they were allowed to get so bad and the attempts to deal with them. Firstly I will explain the living conditions. The living conditions in industrial towns during the 19th century were very bad. The main cause for this was because of mass urbanisation. Mass urbanisation means going from a rural environment to an urban environment. The industrial revolution also played a part to why the living conditions were so bad. This caused overcrowding due to the amount of people coming in from the countryside. Families with many children were crammed into one room. They had to share beds if they had any; moreover they had lodgers to help pay their rent. The majority of the people living in urban areas were poor therefore there were different types of houses for them. These houses were very poorly constructed because of the fact that the landlords didn't need planning permission. The number of housing between 1800 and 1851 had doubled due to unplanned growth. Landlords gave little thought to the health, stability, water supplies and drainage for the houses. Firstly there were back to back houses, these were the most common types of houses and were built right behind each other. Secondly there were courts; these were back to back houses that were around a central court they only had one entrance which were very small. ...read more.


Therefore they usually had their own business or were in partnership with someone who owned a business. Due to vested interest the authorities didn't want to pay taxes for improvements in their own business. Moreover poor people were not allowed to vote, only rich male voters. Therefore they didn't want to pay taxes to clean after people poorer than them. The council workers were also considered ignorant because of their beliefs to why there were diseases. They thought that it was because of miasma. Another reason to why the council did not do anything was because before 1830 the rich people didn't ever see the poor towns and the living conditions of the poor were not an issue to them. I will now explain how these problems were dealt with. The first cholera attack in 1832 shocked people into taking action. There were over 32,000 deaths. There were many factors to why people were shocked to take action. Some of these are; cholera affected rich and poor, the fact that the disease was spreading so fats and how it affected the people who were infected by the disease. 10 years later, 1842, Edwin Chadwick, born in Manchester on 24th of January in 1800, reported on the conditions in the towns with his report, 'the sanitary conditions of the labouring population'. Chadwick got many peoples attention by doing his report on the living conditions of towns people and countryside people. Chadwick found that diseases killed more than wars, if you treat people badly they would act badly and people who lived in the countryside were expected to live longer than people that lived in towns. ...read more.


A royal commission found that the conditions in towns were as bad as ever in 1860. More cholera had arrived by 1866, killing 22,000 people; this gave Simon the push that he needed to push through a sanitary act. Working calls men were given the chance to vote in 1867, this meant that politicians took social reform more seriously. Between 1861 and 1872 the causes of diseases were identified. Louis Pasteur of France published his germ theory which proved a link between germs and diseases. Robert Koch, 1872, discovered the germ for cholera. The public health act of 1875 was Simon's most important achievement. The act was made compulsory and brought all the previous acts into one law. Therefore local authorities had to provide clean water, have a medical officer of health and proper drainage and sewers. So in conclusion the causes for the bad living conditions were Mass Urbanisation, the Industrial Revolution and overcrowding. I have talked about the causes and the attempts to improve the living conditions of the nineteenth century. The consequences for these were diseases, poorly constructed houses, no personal hygiene, sewage and bad sanitation and smaller life expectancy. The attempts to improve them was a very slow process, however by 1875 the problems of bad living conditions were improved. Also many people thought that Edwin Chadwick did more harm than good. In my opinion, I believe that if it wasn't for Edwin Chadwick and cholera there would never have been a health act. Thank you for reading my essay. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Rickesh Bhopal 10T ...read more.

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