Working Class Victorian London (Slum housing (dirty and unpleasant…
Working Class Victorian London
Not every middle/ upper class people lived in richly-furnished houses
London slums date back to the 18th century, when the population of London began to grow at an rate it had never reached before
The Industrial Revolution meant that many working class people migrated to large towns and cities to live and work
London's population increased to 4 million in the last decade (19th century)
Housing had to be built very often to accommodate workers and their families.
Large areas of slums came about in London's East End which was heavily populated areas of poor quality housing
Slum housing (dirty and unpleasant housing)
poor quality because it was built so quickly
Whole families had to live in 1/ 2 rooms
Houses were damp and had no running water and was unhygienic, lead to outbreaks of diseases e.g. cholera
Became known as overcrowded, unhygienic, dirty and unpleasant
Most well- off Victorians ignored/ pretended to ignore the sub-human slum life. Many who had heard about it, believed that because people were lazy, wicked and committed sin, there were slums
However, people like writers/ social investigators/ moral reformers/ preachers/ journalists argued that the growth of slums was caused by poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and homelessness
Streets in the slums were narrow and poorly lit.
Victorian London was known for its smoke, caused by burning coal on a huge scale. Suffered from pollution
East End slums were built close to factories so that people could easily work long hours
The most well known slum areas were in the East of London, called 'darkest London'
Some parts of London where most respectable men wouldn't want to be seen eg. working class slums, brothels and pubs
Respectable and less respectable parts of London did overlap
Some men deliberately travelled to the less respectable parts of London. This was so they had a less likely chance of being recognised by other individuals to do what they enjoyed in a less crowded area eg. drink lots of alcohol
Whitechapel was one unrespectable area in the East End of London that became popular. The area is close to the London Dockyards and east of the city meaning it is a popular place for the immigrants and the working class so was considered, in the Victorian times, as less respectable
Area was the location of the infamous Whitechapel Murders (involved Jack the Ripper in late 1880s)
19th century Whitechapel's social environment was awful
Examples of the personal consequences of poverty and deprivation are easy to find eg. hunger, crime, violence, social groups, abuse, disease, addiction, despair, madness, premature and accidental death, killing of children, suicide, and murder.
Another area that was seen as unpleasant by respectable Londoners was Soho in the West End. Had a reputation for crime and prostitution