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The Other Side of London

The other side of London was not so pleasant. The fast –growing metropolis faced 3 major problems

  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Poor housing
  • Crime :-

  • Crime flourished as London developed and it soon became a great concern for the administrators.
  • Law and order was a big problem.
  • The philanthropists were worried about public morality.
  • Industrialists wanted their labourers to be honest and hard-working.
  • The administrators took measures to contain criminal activities.

  • The names of the people who made a living from crime were first noted.
  • It was found that most of them were poor. They committed small thefts for their very existence.
  • Some of them became cheats, tricksters and pickpockets.
  • To contain these criminal activities the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.
  • Unemployment :-

  • Large numbers of women were employed in factories during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
  • Women gradually lost their industrial jobs as technology developed, and they were forced to work within households.
  • Soon there were a quarter of a million domestic servants in London.
  • Women turned to tailoring, washing or matchbox making to make a living. They also took in lodgers to earn some more money.
  • During the First World War, things were a little better for the urban poor, as war-time- needs provided them with employment
  • Children were forced to work by their parents to supplement the family income.
  • Compulsory Elementary Education Act and the Factory Acts ensured that children were not exploited.
  • Women Employed in Factories

    Poor Housing :-


    London Tenaments


    Housing became a big problem in London when people began pouring into the city after the Industrial Revolution.

    Factory or workshop owners were not able to provide accommodation for their employees who came from the rural areas.

    Cheap tenements were erected by individual land owners who made money by collecting rent from the migrant workers.

    It was estimated that 400,000 rooms were needed to house its poorest citizens.

    The richer city dwellers wanted these poor tenements or slums to be cleared.

    Problems faced by the slum-dwellers

  • The one-room houses occupied by the poor were overcrowded, badly ventilated, and lacked sanitation. This was a serious threat to public health.
  • These tenements did not have fire safety measures.
  • There was fear of wide spread social disorder.
  • To overcome these problems and to suppress the rebellious poor, Workers’ mass housing schemes were planned.

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