In the 19th century, Manchester developed with an industrial revolution that led to the city being an industrial center in England. Because the growth in industry was on such a large scale in a small amount of time, there were both negative and positive reactions. Some were concerned with health due to the change in living conditions and the introduction of unsafe and unsanitary factories, while others were
concerned with the aesthetic appeal of the city.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In general, the majority of the population reacted negatively to industrialization. Robert Southey, an English Romantic poet, says that Manchester lacks the basic necessities of life (Doc 2). In his description of Manchester, Southey states that the buildings of the city are large and without beauty, and that the workers inside the buildings are “wretches” for going to work instead of focusing on prayer. Frances Anne Kemble describes a crowd of artisans and mechanics who were dissatisfied with the way the government was run, saying there was a starving man set to protest against the machinery and “gain and glory” that rich men in Manchester would get from said machinery (Doc 4). However, Kemble, who was an actress, poet, and dramatist, was bound to have exaggerated the scene she described. This may have led to her including more into her account than had actually happened.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Public health reformer Edwin Chadwick states in a report that disease in labor classes was occurring immensely, and that the population exposed to industrialization do not have the effects of “moral influences,” which leads to reckless adults (Doc 6). Chadwick is reliable in saying how the conditions themselves affect the population, because he is a public health reformer; he tries to improve the health of the population, and in doing so, he must find what is wrong with the current system. In a British medical journal known as The Lancet, Thomas Wakley —a medical reformer— shows that in rural districts, the average age of death is lower in industrial districts compared to rural districts (Doc 8).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Despite the many negative reactions, some thought that the change was for the better. Thomas B. Macaulay describes (in an essay that responds to Robert Southey in Doc 2) the negative views to the positive as that of comparing a cottage to a factory to see which is more appealing (Doc 3). He says that the development of the manufacturing system has lead to longer life due to more food, better homes and clothes, and improved attention to sickness. However, because Macaulay is a liberal Member of Parliament, he is bound to have these views. The liberal side promotes change, meaning Macaulay will as well. Alexis de Tocqueville makes a statement that sounds negative at first, until the meaning of his words in Document 5 are examined; he states that from sewers, although filthy, “pure gold flows.” Industrialization from his point of view was, although appearing to be a dirty, disastrous thing, a large step forward from humanity.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His odd standpoint on industrialization may come from his origins. Tocqueville is from a prerevolutionary France, meaning that he has yet to see the benefits of industrialization. In Doc 9, Wheelan and Co. make a statement saying that Manchester is the most aesthetically appealing city in England, and that beauty cannot be experienced unless you’re physically there. Compared to the first lines of Doc 7, it shows the improvements in the city. However, because Wheelan and Co. is a business, they are biased in trying to appeal to others in their directory. William Alexander Abram, a journalist and historian, published an article in 1868 explaining how the factory laborers conditions had improved greatly throughout the century (Doc 10). Abram combats the statistics in Doc 8, telling how the conditions have changed for the better of the population’s health.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Because of the industrialization, many people were very concerned about the health of the population. Edwin Chadwick sees how the yearly death rates from “filth and bad ventilation” are higher than the deaths from wounds or wars (Doc 6). The laboring class is affected by overcrowded buildings, and impurities in the atmosphere. Flora Tristan tells of the worker’s lack of clothing, bed, furniture, fuel, and food in Doc 7. In her journal, she tells of how at work, the people breath in cotton fibers, wool, copper, lead, or iron; that they are stuck between lack of food and abundance of alcohol, and that they are emaciated, their eyes dead. Flora Tristan, however, is biased. She is a French socialist, meaning not only is she from a different government, she also wants the classes to end. In describing the working class, she sees their conditions as possibly worse than they are, for the purpose of dividing the attention to why workers should not be separate from the rich.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In Doc 8, the average ages of death are displayed in rural versus industrial districts. In rural districts, the laborers lived to be 25-38, while in industrial districts, only to 17-19. This is understandable, as factory work was dangerous and began at a young age. But even farmers had a lower age at death; in rural districts, the population lived to be from 41-37, while in industrial districts, they lived from 20-27. These statistics show that even though people were not working in a factory environment, the factory itself, as well as the denser population in cities affected everyone. There is one man, Thomas B. Macaulay, who sees the influence of industrialization as a good one (Doc 3). He states that people live longer because they have better food, homes, clothes, and health care.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While some were worried about the health of the population, others were a bit more materialistic and worried about the appearance of the city. In Doc 1, the map shows the development of Manchester. In 1750, the city was small, organized, and spread out. However in 1850, the city is vast and packed together in unorganized ways. Robert Southey, who visited Manchester from another part of England, describes the city to be “destitute” (Doc 2). He says that he houses are blackened with smoke, and that the buildings among the houses lack the beauty of a convent. In Document 11, the view from a bridge over River Irwell is shown in an engraving from The Graphic. The depiction is smoky, the sky filled with smog, with sewers running into the river. The magazine it comes from however, is one that deals with social issues; the depiction may have been manipulated for the purposes of showing how classes should not exist, as it is an engraving, not a photograph.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Overall, in 19th century Manchester, most people reacted negatively to the Industrial revolution, while few were satisfied. There were many concerns about the health of the city, and the appeal of it as well due to the effects of industrialization.</p>
With the creation of the large mechanized cotton mill, Manchester became a leading textile manufacturing center. With the growth of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester’s population and city size exploded. But with the growth of cities like Manchester, problems that had once not been an issue were starting to creep into everyday life. As Manchester grew to over 300,00 people, not only did it bring about wealth, but also led to problems with sanitation, home and family life, and a negligence of the working class.
The first problem brought about by the growth of Manchester was that sanitation had taken a backseat to the cities priorities. Shown on the maps of Manchester in Document 1, within 100 years, much of the city was packed into a once small town in such a short period of time. The workers moving into Manchester faced several problems. One was that the housing they lived in was terrible.
They lived in deplorable conditions or small and confined spaces. After Robert Southey, a romantic poet, visited Manchester, he wrote that the city was tightly packed, and the streets crowded with people. He states that the houses are blackened by the smoke coming out the factories, portraying Manchester as a dirty and polluted city. In document 9, the preface to a business directory for Manchester states that Manchester displays the most attractive features in the world because of its status as “the Workshop of the World”.
This document was most likely written as a pamphlet to attract workers to come and work for Wheelan and Co. in Manchester, and therefore had a biased view. The engraving of Manchester depicting the Blackfriar’s bridge in document 11 shows how polluted the city was. Houses and factories are within close proximity of each other, and it even depicts a building dumping waste into the river. One can also see that smog and pollution is pouring out from the factories, making Manchester an unsanitary place to live.
Also brought on by the growth of Manchester was a decline in the value of home and family life. In document 5, Alexis de Tocqueville, a visitor from France, states that a person happily walking the streets of the city could not be found. Tocqueville goes on to say that the city is nothing more than a “filthy sewer. Since Alexis de Tocqueville is from France, his description of Manchester is valuable insight, because of their unbiased nature.
The same document, document 5, says that the civilized man turns back to being savage in this environment, an observation that Tocqueville believes is brought about by the industrialization and expansion of Manchester. In Edwin Chadwick’s Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Laboring Population of Great Britain, or document 6, he tells us that housing problems are affecting a large portion of the population of Manchester.
The document tells us that diseases are caused by rotting animals and vegetables that are dwelling within the overcrowded city. Since Chadwick is a public health reformer, he knows how to clean up a city, and may have had a few reforms up his sleeve. He states that humans become reckless, intemperate, and with habits of sensual gratification from living in the conditions that the industrialization of Manchester has brought upon the working man.
Chadwick would probably react to the quality of life that the working class lives in by trying to pass a social reform, one that would improve their lives. Document 8, a British Medical Journal, shows that people living in the industrial districts of Manchester and Leeds live much shorter lives than those of people living in rural areas of England. The table depicts that whatever the position, people in the rural districts live almost a decade longer than those living in the industrial districts. This just goes to show that as workers were coming into the industrial fields, their lives were being shortened, because of unsanitary conditions, disease, filth and pollution. The city of Manchester reacted to these living conditions when the “Corn Laws” were imposed on them. Shown in Document 4, Frances Anne Kemble tells about her ordeal with a crowd of hungry workers rising up to the Prime Minister, showing their dirty faces and tired, overworked bodies. This was just one of the many reactions to the living conditions of the working citizen living in the ever expanding city of Manchester.
Lastly, the third problem facing those living in Manchester was the neglect that workers faced. The newly industrialized Manchester forced employers to overwork and expose their workers to harmful and disgusting environments. In document 7, the words of the socialist and women’s rights advocate, Flora Tristan, show that working conditions in factories were disgusting and terrible. The document states that people must endure immensely long hours in rooms with low ceilings, laboring away, all day long. She also tells us about the particles that workers would often inhale while working for hours in the factories. Tristan says that “the welfare of the workers never entered the builder’s head”. In the excerpt from William Alexander Abram’s journal, document 10, Abram tells how one can see differences of conditions within factories in Manchester. The document tells how successful reforms that were passed and the improvements that were made by them. However, this document is not as reliable as the others because it was written well after most of the other documents had already been written, and by the time this document was written, several reforms had hopefully already taken place. It also only mentions one reform; the Hours of Labor in Factories Act of 1844, which itself was not a heavy reform, only reducing the amount of working hours to ten per day. Document 5, Journeys to England and Ireland, the author believes what is being created by the new industrial society is pure gold and miracles of humanity. The same document also describes Manchester as “the filthy sewer”, but shows that in order for industry and humans to progress, the conditions in which one must work to attain this progress are going to be appalling and deplorable. Not only did the Industrial Revolution change humans, it changed the Earth as well. Industrialized city centers, such as Manchester, exploded, due to the need of land for factories and homes to be built on. While this expansion was good for the economy of Manchester, it also caused multiple issues to arise for the working class. As Manchester expanded, issues involving the sanitation of Manchester, the home life of Manchester plummeted, and the neglected working class arose.