Conditions of the Workhouse In the 17 th and 18 th centuries, the parish workhouse was a place where – often in return for board and lodging – employment was provided for the poor. Parish workhouses were often just ordinary local houses, rented for the purpose. Sometimes a workhouse was purpose-built. In some cases, the poor were “farmed” – a private contractor undertook to look after a parish’s poor for a fixed annual sum; the paupers’ work could be a useful way of boosting the contractor’s income. The workhouse was not, however, necessarily regarded as place of punishment, or even misery. Indeed, conditions could be pleasant enough to earn some institutions the nickname of “Pauper Palaces.” In addition to the workhouse, much parish poor relief was through payments in money or in food to those living in their own homes.
By the start of the nineteenth century, the cost of such “out-relief”, which in some areas had become linked to the price of bread, was beginning to spiral. It was also held in some quarters, that parish relief had come to be seen as an easy option by those who did not want to work. The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act proposed that all 15, 000 parishes in England and Wales form into Poor Law Unions, each with its own workhouse and supervised by a local Board of Guardians. (In 1838, a similar scheme was introduced in Ireland. ) In the late 1830 s, hundreds of new workhouse buildings were being erected across the country.
The rich, the middle class, and the poor; are described by the way we live and the amount of money one has. There are many different ways of describing what poverty is, whether it is by how you live, how much money you have, or in statistical terms. Poverty isnt always a bad thing it is just another way of living, another way of life. There are different kinds of poverty that you can measure. ...
The buildings were specially designed to provide segregated accommodation for the different categories of pauper – male and female, able-bodied and infirm, and children. The first purpose-built workhouse to be erected under the new scheme was at Abingdon in 1835. Under the new Act, the threat of the Union workhouse was intended to act as a deterrent to the able-bodied pauper. This was a principle enshrined in the “workhouse test” – poor relief would only be granted to those desperate enough to face entering the disgusting conditions of the workhouse.
In fact, the majority of those forced into the workhouse were not the work-shy, but the old, the infirm, the orphaned, unmarried mothers, and the physically or mentally ill. For the next century, the Union Workhouse was in many localities one of the largest and most significant buildings in the area, the largest ones accommodating more than a thousand inmates. Entering its harsh regime and plain conditions was considered the ultimate humiliation. The workhouse era ended, officially at least, on 1 st April 1930; the 643 Boards of Guardians were abolished and their responsibilities passed to local authorities. Some workhouse buildings were just demolished or fell into disuse. Others were renamed and adapted for other use such as hospitals or homes for the elderly.
For many inmates of these institutions, however, the name was all that did change, and life improved relatively little during the 1930 s and 40 s. Even after the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948, things improved only slowly. Relatively little now remain of these once great and gloomy edifices. What does survive often passes unnoticed. But even now, over seventy years after their official abolition, the mere mention of the workhouse can still send a shiver through those old enough to remember its existence. Conditions in the Mine No.
92 – Rosa Lucas, nearly 18 years old, at Mr. Morris’s, Lamberhead Green, (Wigan) May 19 th, 1841. You are a drawer, I believe, when at work? – Yes, I am. Where do you work? – At Mr. Morris’s. I used at work at Blundell’s.
What age were you when you first began to work in the pits? – I was about 11, I think. Do you work at night in Morris’s pits? – Yes, when I was able to work. I worked one week in the day time and the next at night, the same as the drawers did. Are there any children in the pit where you work? – Oh, yes, both little and big, some not older or bigger than him [pointing to a little boy of six or seven years old]; they put them to tenting air-doors. What hours do you work? – I go down between three and four in the morning and sometimes I have done by five o’clock in the afternoon, and sometimes sooner.
Nowadays, there are more and more students work part-time job in their free time. Actually, a part-time job can provide money and working experience to them. But it partly disturbs their study as well. So the high school students should not be encouraged to have a part-time job because of the following reasons. Firstly, most high school students are too young to work. Specifically, they still lack ...
Have you any fixed hour for dinner? – Yes, we have an hour for dinner in the day-time, but we don’t stop at night. When you are working the night turn, what hours do you work? – I go at two o’clock in the afternoon, and sometimes three. I come up it will be about three o’clock in the morning, and sometimes before. You have no regular times for meals at night? – No we never stop at night.
Do you find the work very hard? – Yes, it is very hard work for a woman. I have been so tired many a time that I could scarcely wash myself. I was obliged to leave Mr. Blundell’s pit, it was so hot, and my work was a deal harder; I could scarcely ever wash myself at night, I was so tired; and I felt very dull and stiff when I set off in the morning.
What distance did you draw? – 23 score yards in length. That is 460 yards each way, or 920 yards? – Yes How many times had you to draw this distance? – 16 and sometimes 18 times [Taking 16 times, she would have to draw 14, 720 yards daily. ] Have you ever had many accidents besides the one you are now suffering from? – Yes, I had once a great big hole in my other leg. I thought it was the water that did it, for I was working in a wet place then. Are Mr. Morris’s pits dry? – Yes, very dry.
How did the accident happen you are now suffering from? – I was sitting on the edge of a tub at the bottom, and a great stone fell from the roof on my foot and ankle, and crushed it to pieces, and I was obliged to be taken off. Have you ever seen the drawers beaten? – Yes, some gets beaten. Mary Tufty gets beaten nearly every day. What do they beat her with? – A pick-arm. What do they beat her for? – I suppose it is for ‘sauce’; she has a very saucy tongue. What age is she? – She is 23 years old.
I think that Bush's speech was a very good one Like a swift wind do we fly through childhood, and once the journey is over, one can take pleasure in knowing they have finally entered into adulthood. This passage through maturity leaves someone with a mindset and attitude that has been developed through influence. Most influence comes from parents, some from peers, some from the mass media, and ...
What is your father? – He was a collier, but he was killed in a coal-pit. I go past the place where he was killed many a time when I am working, and sometimes I think I see something. Early mines were very simple. One shaft was sunk from the surface to the seam.
Colliers excavated the coal at the bottom of the shaft until collapse was imminent. Because of the shape of the excavation such mines were called “bell mines.” Another shaft was then started from the surface a few yards away. Later, tunnels were made through the seams and a larger area of coal could be worked from a single shaft. Colliers won the coal from the seams. It was put into baskets which were loaded onto sledges and dragged by “drawers” to the bottom of the shaft.
Coal tubs were used later. A team worked under the leadership of a collier, and was paid by him from his earnings which were calculated by the amount of coal gained. Members of the team were often the wife and children of the collier. Coal mining was a difficult and dangerous occupation.
Many miners lost their lives in roof falls, explosions and other accidents. Living Conditions of the Industrial Revolution In urban society At the end of the 18 th century a revolution in energy and industry began in England and spread rapidly all around Europe later in the 19 th century, bringing about dramatic and radical change. A significant impact of the Industrial Revolution was that on urban society. The population of towns grew vastly because economic advantage entailed that the new factories and offices be located in the cities. The outlook of the city and urban life in general were profoundly modified and altered. Modern industry created factory owners and capitalists who strengthened the wealth and size of the middle class.
The age of industrialization saw the appearance of a new urban class – the working class. The life of this new group and its relations with the middle class are controversial issues to modern history. Some believe that the Industrial Revolution “inevitably caused much human misery” and affliction. Other historians admit that Industrialization brought financial progress for the labouring classes. Both conclusions should be believed to a certain extent. Economic growth does not mean more happiness.
I understand the other side, but as a younger person, I find living near an urban center to be invaluable. Crime is rarely anything to worry about. The main reason is that in the search to find oneself, there are a plethora of opportunities in cities. You can walk down one block and experience so much culture, a bunch of different people's opinions, and be exposed to every type of art and interest ...
Given the recent stories by people at that time, life in the early urban society seems to have been more sombre than historians are usually prow to describe it. No generalities about natural law or inevitable development can blind us to the fact, that the progress in which we believe has been won at the expense of much injustice and wrong, which was not inevitable. Still, I believe that industry was a rescue from a rapid population growth and immense poverty. Furthermore, by the end of the 19 th century the appearance of European cities and life in them had evolved and change for the better. Industrialization was preceded and accompanied by rapid population growth, which began in Europe after 1720.
People had serious difficulty providing their continuation by simply growing their food. There was widespread poverty and underemployment. Moreover, the need for workers in the city was huge. More and more factories were opening their doors. The result of this was a vast migration from the countryside to the city where peasants were already being employed.
“The number of people living in the cities of 20000 or more in England and Wales jumped from 1. 5 million in 1801 to 6. 3 million by 1891” (Mckay, 762).
With this mass exodus from the countryside, life in urban areas changed drastically.
Overcrowding exacerbated by lack of sanitation and medical knowledge made life in the city quite hard and miserable. A description of Manchester in 1844, given by one of the most passionate critics of the Industrial Revolution, Friedrich Engels, conveys in great detail the terrible outlook of the city. .”.. the confusion has only recently reached its height when every scrap of space left by the old way of building has been filled up or patched over until not a foot of land is left to be further occupied” (Engels 2).
Lack of sanitation caused a person to live in such filth and scum that is hard to imagine. “In dry weather, a long string of the most disgusting, blackish-green, slime pools are left standing on this bank, from depths of which bubbles of miasmatic gas constantly arise and give forth a stench unendurable even on the bridge forty or fifty feet above the surface of the stream” (Engels 2).
Each and everyone of us has a story to tell and share to others, life stories that may serve as an inspiration to other people. Every individual may have a life experience or a moment in his or her life that somehow greatly affects his or her whole life. We often share our own triumphs and travails, our victories and defeats, our happiness and despair that bring alterations to the present life ...
The appalling living conditions in the city during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution brought about two important changes. By developing his famous germ theory of disease, Louis Pasteur brought about the so-called Bacterial revolution and led the road to taming the ferocity of the death in urban areas caused by unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions. The theory that disease was inflicted by micro organisms completely revolutionized modern medicine and brought about the important health movement in the city. After 1870 sanitation was a priority on the agenda lists of city administration in most industrialized European countries. Urban planning and transportation after 1870 transformed European cities into beautiful and enchanting places.
Water supply systems and waste disposals construction were accompanied by the building of boulevards, town halls, theatres and museums. The greatest innovation in this area at the time -the electric streetcar- immensely facilitated the expansion of the city and helped alleviate the problem of overcrowding. A good example of urban planning and transportation was the rebuilding of Paris, which laid the foundations of modern urbanism all around Europe. The appearance of the city and the quality of life in it greatly improved by the end of the 19 th century. But, living conditions in the city during the Industrial Revolution were pretty bad, a factor that greatly contributed to the bad plight of the working class at that time. As urban civilization was starting to prevail over rural life, changes in the structure of the society and in family life became inevitable.
Urban society became more diversified while the classes lost a great part of their unity. Economic interest produced many new social groups. It created a vast range of jobs, skills and earnings, which intermingled with one another creating new subclasses. So the very rich and the very poor were separated by the vast space occupied by these new layers.
Thomas More's Utopia and Aldus Huxley's Brave New World, are novels about societies that differ from our own. Though the two authors have chosen different approaches to create an alternate society, both books have similarities which represent the visions of men who were moved to great indignation by the societies in which they lived. Both novels have transcended contemporary problems in society, ...
Urban society resembled the society from the age of agriculture and aristocracy by one thing. The economic gap between rich and poor remained enormous and income distribution stayed highly unequal with one fifth of society receiving more than the remaining four fifths. With the emergence of the factory owners and industrial capitalists, the relations between the middle and the working class changed. But did the new industrial middle class ruthlessly exploit the workers? I believe that at the begging this was certainly the case. People were coming to the city as “family units” and as such worked in the factories. “In the early years some very young kids were employed solely to keep the family together” (Mckay 718).
The conditions of work were appalling. An excerpt from Parliamentary Papers in England named “Evidence before the Sadler Committee mirrors the quite dark side of life in the factories. In this testimony several people who worked at factories in different industries and towns in England draw a vivid picture of the factory reality. Both children and grownups were made to work fourteen to sixteen hours a day with only an hour brake and a salary that was hardly intended to compensate the tremendous load of work. Children were “strapped”severely” if they lagged and deteriorated their work. The sight of the workers reflected their sad plight.
“Any man… must acknowledge that an uglier set of men and women, of boys and girls, taking them in the mass it would be impossible to imagine… Their complexion is sallow… their stature low, their limbs slender and playing badly and ungracefully, great numbers of girls and women walking lamely or awkwardly, with raised chests and spinal flexures” (Gaskell, 1).
Miserable life and poverty allowed people few recreational outlets and money to spend. For this reason a process of corruption and filth of morals spread among working class people.
Important factor in the degradation of morals that spread through urban society and the working classes in particular was the diminishing role that religion played in daily life. Urban society became more material and more and more people started to regard the church as conservative institution that defended social order and custom. The most distressing changes brought to urban society -overcrowding, lack of urban planning, unsanitary conditions, unemployment and poverty -were eventually offset by the compensation and remedy of economic growth. Urban society did not only change for the better.
This change was a remarkable step for humanity. For one thing, the city promoted diversity and creativity. It was the uncontested home of new ideologies, ideas, movements, crucial scientific discoveries, customs, fashions, developments in art and literature.