The Upper-Class Gap In London

Decent Essays
An enigmatic city overcome with squalor and segregation, teeming with filth and workers blood is igniting a class struggle and division. The overcrowded poor houses left many in poverty and huddling for shelter on the street. The working class deprived of basic necessities of food and warmth (Engles, pg. 23). The upper-class looking on with a sense of mocking; they feel great sympathy, but would not dare enter a slum without a police escort (Walkowitz, pg. 19). This is late 19th century London. A city divided at its core with class distinctions, split into East and West, unsure of the next direction to take. To the bourgeois man, London appeared to be an exhilarating urban scene, brimming with diversity and culture. Many upper-class…show more content…
Engles reported that inhabited in 1,400 houses in Bethnal Green were 2,795 families, equivalent to 12,000 people. Many died of starvation and received little to no aid from the government. In the Walkowitz text, it mentions how London lacked a unified or systematic water, sanitation, and public health system. Both texts state a negligent government as a reason for the class gap in London however, the Engles text places the solution to the gap as a rise in the proletariat creating a stronger and larger working class, but Walkowitz argues that many upper-class at the time believed the remedy is by the political intervention of the bourgeoisie. The text highlights journalistic exposes that helped highlight “the sordid and depressing living conditions of the poor” that originally sought to enlighten others, but ended up deepening the geographical barriers and the political divisions between the upper and the working class at the time. As shown in Booth’s Map, London's class distinctions were geographical as well as socio-political. Illustrated on the map, many upper-class people lived in the same area of town, with little disruption by the middle class, however, the middle class and urban poor often lived side by side, with more concentrated areas of both also existing. In the West, lived almost the aristocracy and the middle class. The East consisted of the urban poor and the middle class, reinforcing the geographical divisions existing on London and perpetuating the idea of the Other and the name for the east of “Outcast London” (Walkowitz, pg.
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