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Britain: The Industrial Revolution Essay

835 words - 4 pages

The Industrial Revolution |
During the 1800s the Industrial Revolution spread throughout Britain.Britain changes from a rural society to an urban oneIn 1837, Britain was still a rural nation with 80% of the population living in the countryside. Most people were farmers or spun wool and cotton to weave into cloth. Soon new machines were invented that could do these jobs in a fraction of the time. This left many people out of work, so they flocked to the towns in search of jobs in new industries. By the middle of the nineteenth century over 50% of the population lived in towns and cities.The Age of SteamThe Industrial Revolution rapidly gained pace during Victoria's reign because of ...view middle of the document...

The houses were built close together really quickly and cheaply.These houses often had two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. They were not really big enough for the large families people tended to have during the Victorian time.The houses also did not have running water and toilets. Up to 100 houses had to share an outdoor pump to get their water and share an outside toilet. To make things worse, the water from the pump was often polluted.Pollution and ill healthThe household rubbish was thrown out into the narrow streets and the air was filled with black smoke from the factories chimneys.Dirty streets and cramped living was a perfect breeding ground for diseases. More than 31,000 people died during an outbreak of cholera in 1832 and lots more were killed by typhus, smallpox and dysentery.Public Health Act of 1875 banned open sewers, thanks to Joseph Bazalgette’s sewage system. Houses were made further apart, rubbish collection was introduced and public health inspectors had to be provided by the local council. They basically had to go round whatever town or city they were employed in and check that sanitation and health of the people was alright.In 1853, the tax on soap was taken off, meaning poor people could buy it and become more hygienic by washing with it. Working conditionsMany factory owners put profit above the health and safety of their workers. Children and young women were employed in terrible conditions...

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