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Victorian Britain Sources Questions.

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Introduction

Q: Read Sources D and G. These sources disagree about conditions in the domestic system. Does this mean that one of the must be wrong? In source D, the idea given is that the domestic system was a tremendously more comfortable lifestyle than life in the city for children. Contrary to that in source G, it explores different ideas and gives a much more balanced view by saying that though the two lifestyles were tremendously different, the two may have been just as bad as each other. However, the ideas of source D are quite unreliable, as there is a very strong bias. The writer was "a strong critic of the factories and their owners" and therefore would bring down factory works and its exploitations at any costs. The grudge was so strong that though not everything he wrote was a lie, there was much exaggeration and spinning off the truth on his part. It is most probably true that the "fresh country air" was better than the air at the factories of London, but it was not true that country children had the CHOICE to help out with their parents only OCCASIONALLY. ...read more.

Middle

For example in source B in the speech bubble the overseer exclaims, "Go to work you devils or I'll cut you in half." This also coincides with personal knowledge as it is a known fact that the child labour force was badly exploited and for the owners of factories ineffience was untolerable, which lead to the beatings of children. In addition, children were denied any normal needs such as sitting down when one is exhausted from a long days worth, this can clearly be seen in source C, "Blincoe took the liberty to sit down: but this, he soon found, was strictly forbidden." However the reliability of this source is rather questionable. As explain in another question, the source is merely an extract from the memoirs of Robert Blincoe. This boy could have gotten his facts wrong and forgotten what it really was like. In addition the extract was written by another person who could have been biased and olny picked Robert's memoirs to state his point of view. As well as from personal knowledge some very extreme cases stated that children were not even allowed to use toilets. ...read more.

Conclusion

This also conincides with personal knowledge as children who lived in the country side were often expectd to start working at an early age by their parents. "The hours could be very long, particularly when there was a major batch of work to be done." This conveys that the working hours of the domestic workers could have been as much as that of factory workers. Source H may be showing that life in the domestic system was as mundane and tiring, as it shows the whole family doing the same thing whilst sitting on the floor. However this source is not too reliable as the reproduce of the cartoon is of low quality and it could be also used to say the domestic life was better as the window is open and perhaps that means the people have fresh air. In addition, it is not known whether the family on the floor is doing that for the whole day or for merely an hour. In general it has to be said that up until 1850 and the reforms factory life was generally worse than the domestic system. For on the whole there were much more dangers and hazards in working in a factory than being a domestic worker. ...read more.

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