Effects Of Population Growth In The 19th Century

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During the 19th century Britain’s cities experienced a massive increase in population, causing rapidly and unorganised growth. This increase was largely due to the industrial revolution. This term is used to describe the period between 1770 and 1840 where a boom of industry occurred across Britain attracting a new workforce (Smith Morris, 1997). Simultaneously, a “huge agricultural depression was forcing thousands off the land and into the cities” (Hall, 2002a, pg 90) where there was more work. As Lawless and Brown (1986) describes: “Urban population growth, coupled with economic growth and change, were beginning to rewrite the population map of Britain” (pg 10). Subsequently, cities faced many different challenges. One of these related to poor quality housing. Housing needed to be close by the factories for convenience, although this also meant that they were often very dirty and noisy. The housing was regularly built very cheaply and was poorly designed. This housing was usually tenements, with limited outdoor space. They were built in very high density, often back to back with neighbouring tenements. “The homes were small, with no sanitation or only outdoor sanitation, no ventilation, no heating, little light and the air polluted from the smoke and grime of the factory chimneys” (Smith Morris, 1997, pg 28), all this made the tenements very undesirable places to live. Another issue was overcrowding. As people wanted to live close to the factories where they worked, this

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