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76 Responses to the Industrial Revolution

  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2013 09:12 PM
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Responses to the Industrial Revolution

    • What were the responses to Industrialization?

Imagine the place – “…a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable (endless( serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled…”

Mesmerized by the ugliness of the town “…it had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of buildings full of windows where there was a rattling and trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a stante of melancholy madness.”
          -Charles Dickens, Hard Time (1854), description of a typical English factory town in the 1800’s.

The responses to Industrialization were many. The government, acting as a referee of sorts, was forced to step in to curb the abuses in the factories and expedite reforms to improve conditions within the cities. One response to the problems of industrialization was the improvement of health and living conditions in Britain’s cities after 1850, when it became clear to factory owners and the government that the foundation of the factory system – the workers – would eventually crumble due to the abusive working conditions.

As people realized that the deadly cholera epidemic of the early nineteenth century was spread mainly through the overcrowded, dirty, and unsanitary living conditions in the slums of industrial towns, the Parliament took action. The Public Health Act of 1875 forced all town official to pave, light, and clean the town streets, as well as to appoint a Medical Officer of Health and Sanitary Inspector to advise about problems concerning sewage, water supply, diseases, food, and housing conditions. Public bath and wash-houses as well as street sweeper positions were created to help contain the spread diseases. Improved hygiene became the focus for prevention.

“It was only when the whole ham was spoiled that it...

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