Questions 5-8

Questions 5-8 - 5. Compare and contrast the general...

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5. Compare and contrast the general material welfare of the British working classes in the following three major periods: the early1790s through 1842; the third and fourth quarters of the nineteenth century; and the interwar period from 1918 to 1939. (see notes from March 14 for the social consequences of the revolution). Thesis: Exponential increase in the quality of life for the British working classes from the early 1790s-1939. 1790s through 1842 Optimists vs. pessimists Death rate- 1730s= 36 per 1000; 1810s- 21 per 1000; disappearance of plagues, readability of food Housing & urban life 1750- 2 cities of 50k +, 1851- almost 30 such cities, urban population 1750- 15%, 1851-60% Housing shortage immigrants forced to crowd into cramped central sections Workers & families shared a room- 2 or 3 families to one room. Lack of heat—coal fuel too expensive. Sanitation bad- lack of clean water- private companies supplied water to the poor. Ferocious infant mortality Of children born in cities, 50% died before 5 years old Tuberculosis- 30% of all deaths Diet Food dull, monotonous, hopelessly deficient in quantity. Less meat, increase in cheap carbohydrates, less food purchased in 1820s than 1500s, food adulteration. Less food but more regular? Real wages: differences by period 1793-1815: no rise, runaway inflation because of Napoleonic war, set off spiral of inflation that had damaging effects on working class living standards. Food prices advanced so rapidly that workers could not buy nearly as much food with their customary wages as before. Any increase in money wages fell far behind escalating prices of food and other provisions. 1815-24: some increase, benefited only those with regular employment, still inflation, soldiers returned and flooded labor market and bad harvests 1825-1850: unprecedented rise Municipal corporations reform act New Poor Law of 1834 Chartism Rejection of the second campaign for the chartist movement Ludism Combinations act of 1799 Repressive laws of 1796 -Seditions Meetings act -Treasonable Practices act
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French Revolution Third and forth quarter New unionism (p. 19 Heyck) Survival was the main objective of most working-class families. Neighbors and inner-city “villages” were the principal means by which working people shaped their lives and provided mutual support. The mothers kept the families together o One observer wrote, “When the mother dies the family goes to pieces: Employed working men and women’s wages rose as much as forty percent. The word “unemployment” was invented in the 1880’s. Thirty percent of London’s population lived at or below the poverty line.
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Questions 5-8 - 5. Compare and contrast the general...

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