NCERT Textbook - Work, Life and Leisure Class 10 Notes | EduRev

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Class 10 : NCERT Textbook - Work, Life and Leisure Class 10 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


127
Work, Life and Leisure
In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman
(The Gods Visit Earth), in which Brahma, the Creator in Hindu
mythology , took a train to Calcutta with some other gods. As V aruna,
the Rain God, conducted them around the capital of British India,
the gods were wonderstruck by the big, modern city – the train
itself, the large ships on the river Ganges, factories belching smoke,
bridges and monuments and a dazzling array of shops selling a
wide range of commodities. The gods were so impressed by the
marvels of the teeming metropolis that they decided to build a
Museum and a High Court in Heaven!
The city of Calcutta in the nineteenth century was brimming with
opportunities – for trade and commerce, education and jobs. But
the gods were disturbed by another aspect of city life – its cheats
and thieves, its grinding poverty, and the poor quality of housing
for many. Brahma himself got tricked into buying a pair of cheap
glasses and when he tried to buy a pair of shoes, he was greatly
confused by the shopkeepers who accused one another of being
swindlers. The gods were also perturbed at the confusion of caste,
religious and gender identities in the city.  All social distinctions that
appeared to be natural and normal seemed to be breaking down.
Like Durgacharan Ray, many others in nineteenth-century India
were both amazed and confused by what they saw in the cities.
The city seemed to offer a series of contrasting images and
experiences –  wealth and poverty, splendour and dirt, opportunities
and disappointments.
W ere cities always like the one described above?  Though urbanisation
has a long history, the modern city worldwide has developed only
over the last 200 years.  Three historical processes have shaped
modern cities in decisive ways: the rise of industrial capitalism, the
establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world, and the
development of democratic ideals.  This chapter will trace some of
the processes of this urbanisation. It will explore how the modern
city emerges, and what happens within the city .
Work,  Life  and  Leisure
Chapter VI
Work, Life and Leisure
Cities in the Contemporary World
Page 2


127
Work, Life and Leisure
In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman
(The Gods Visit Earth), in which Brahma, the Creator in Hindu
mythology , took a train to Calcutta with some other gods. As V aruna,
the Rain God, conducted them around the capital of British India,
the gods were wonderstruck by the big, modern city – the train
itself, the large ships on the river Ganges, factories belching smoke,
bridges and monuments and a dazzling array of shops selling a
wide range of commodities. The gods were so impressed by the
marvels of the teeming metropolis that they decided to build a
Museum and a High Court in Heaven!
The city of Calcutta in the nineteenth century was brimming with
opportunities – for trade and commerce, education and jobs. But
the gods were disturbed by another aspect of city life – its cheats
and thieves, its grinding poverty, and the poor quality of housing
for many. Brahma himself got tricked into buying a pair of cheap
glasses and when he tried to buy a pair of shoes, he was greatly
confused by the shopkeepers who accused one another of being
swindlers. The gods were also perturbed at the confusion of caste,
religious and gender identities in the city.  All social distinctions that
appeared to be natural and normal seemed to be breaking down.
Like Durgacharan Ray, many others in nineteenth-century India
were both amazed and confused by what they saw in the cities.
The city seemed to offer a series of contrasting images and
experiences –  wealth and poverty, splendour and dirt, opportunities
and disappointments.
W ere cities always like the one described above?  Though urbanisation
has a long history, the modern city worldwide has developed only
over the last 200 years.  Three historical processes have shaped
modern cities in decisive ways: the rise of industrial capitalism, the
establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world, and the
development of democratic ideals.  This chapter will trace some of
the processes of this urbanisation. It will explore how the modern
city emerges, and what happens within the city .
Work,  Life  and  Leisure
Chapter VI
Work, Life and Leisure
Cities in the Contemporary World
India and the Contemporary World
128
1  Characteristics of the City
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one
hand and towns and villages on the other?  Towns and cities
that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur
and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human
settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase
in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of
non-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power,
administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions,
and intellectual activity , and supported various social groups such as
artisans, merchants and priests.
Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can
be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine
political and economic functions for an entire region, and support
very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with
limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern
world. W e will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples
of metropolitan development. The first is  London,  the largest city
in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and
the second is Bombay , one of the most important modern cities in
the Indian subcontinent.
1.1 Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City
in England
Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern
period. However, even as late as the 1850s, many decades after the
beginning of the industrial revolution, most W estern countries were
largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and
Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills
set up in the late eighteenth century . In 1851, more than three-quarters
of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas.
Now let us look at London.  By 1750, one out of every nine people
of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a
population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century , London
continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the
70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about
4 million.
Can you think of appropriate examples from
Indian history for each of these categories: a
religious centre, a market town, a regional
capital, a metropolis? Find out about the history
of any one of them.
Activity
New words
Metropolis – A large, densely populated city
of a country or state, often the capital of the
region
Urbanisation – Development of a city or town
Page 3


127
Work, Life and Leisure
In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman
(The Gods Visit Earth), in which Brahma, the Creator in Hindu
mythology , took a train to Calcutta with some other gods. As V aruna,
the Rain God, conducted them around the capital of British India,
the gods were wonderstruck by the big, modern city – the train
itself, the large ships on the river Ganges, factories belching smoke,
bridges and monuments and a dazzling array of shops selling a
wide range of commodities. The gods were so impressed by the
marvels of the teeming metropolis that they decided to build a
Museum and a High Court in Heaven!
The city of Calcutta in the nineteenth century was brimming with
opportunities – for trade and commerce, education and jobs. But
the gods were disturbed by another aspect of city life – its cheats
and thieves, its grinding poverty, and the poor quality of housing
for many. Brahma himself got tricked into buying a pair of cheap
glasses and when he tried to buy a pair of shoes, he was greatly
confused by the shopkeepers who accused one another of being
swindlers. The gods were also perturbed at the confusion of caste,
religious and gender identities in the city.  All social distinctions that
appeared to be natural and normal seemed to be breaking down.
Like Durgacharan Ray, many others in nineteenth-century India
were both amazed and confused by what they saw in the cities.
The city seemed to offer a series of contrasting images and
experiences –  wealth and poverty, splendour and dirt, opportunities
and disappointments.
W ere cities always like the one described above?  Though urbanisation
has a long history, the modern city worldwide has developed only
over the last 200 years.  Three historical processes have shaped
modern cities in decisive ways: the rise of industrial capitalism, the
establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world, and the
development of democratic ideals.  This chapter will trace some of
the processes of this urbanisation. It will explore how the modern
city emerges, and what happens within the city .
Work,  Life  and  Leisure
Chapter VI
Work, Life and Leisure
Cities in the Contemporary World
India and the Contemporary World
128
1  Characteristics of the City
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one
hand and towns and villages on the other?  Towns and cities
that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur
and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human
settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase
in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of
non-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power,
administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions,
and intellectual activity , and supported various social groups such as
artisans, merchants and priests.
Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can
be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine
political and economic functions for an entire region, and support
very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with
limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern
world. W e will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples
of metropolitan development. The first is  London,  the largest city
in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and
the second is Bombay , one of the most important modern cities in
the Indian subcontinent.
1.1 Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City
in England
Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern
period. However, even as late as the 1850s, many decades after the
beginning of the industrial revolution, most W estern countries were
largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and
Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills
set up in the late eighteenth century . In 1851, more than three-quarters
of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas.
Now let us look at London.  By 1750, one out of every nine people
of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a
population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century , London
continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the
70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about
4 million.
Can you think of appropriate examples from
Indian history for each of these categories: a
religious centre, a market town, a regional
capital, a metropolis? Find out about the history
of any one of them.
Activity
New words
Metropolis – A large, densely populated city
of a country or state, often the capital of the
region
Urbanisation – Development of a city or town
129
Work, Life and Leisure
Fig. 1 – The growth of
London, a map showing its
population in four different
eras.
New words
Philanthropist  –  Someone who works for
social upliftment and charity, donating time
and money for the purpose
The city of London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations,
even though it did not have large factories. ‘Nineteenth century
London,’ says the historian Gareth Stedman Jones, ‘was a city of
clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a
growing number of semi skilled and sweated outworkers, of
soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers, and beggars.’
Apart from the London dockyards, five major types of industries
employed large numbers: clothing and footwear, wood and furniture,
metals and engineering, printing and stationery , and precision products
such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal.
During the First W orld W ar (1914-18) London began manufacturing
motor cars and electrical goods, and the number of large factories
increased until they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in
the city .
1.2 Marginal Groups
As London grew , crime flourished. W e are told that 20,000 criminals
were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about
criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of
widespread concern. The police were worried about law and order,
philanthropists were anxious about public morality , and industrialists
wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force. So the population
of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their
ways of life were investigated.
In the mid-nineteenth century , Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes
on the London labour, and compiled long lists of those who made
a living from crime.  Many of whom he listed as  ‘criminals’ were in
fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from
shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were
others who were more skilled at their trade, expert at their jobs.
They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves
crowding the streets of London. In an attempt to discipline the
population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and
offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.
Factories employed large numbers of women in the late
 
eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries. With technological developments,
women gradually lost their industrial jobs, and were forced to work
within households. The 1861 census recorded a quarter of a million
domestic servants in London, of whom the vast majority were
1784
1862
1914
1980
River Thames
Population
Page 4


127
Work, Life and Leisure
In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman
(The Gods Visit Earth), in which Brahma, the Creator in Hindu
mythology , took a train to Calcutta with some other gods. As V aruna,
the Rain God, conducted them around the capital of British India,
the gods were wonderstruck by the big, modern city – the train
itself, the large ships on the river Ganges, factories belching smoke,
bridges and monuments and a dazzling array of shops selling a
wide range of commodities. The gods were so impressed by the
marvels of the teeming metropolis that they decided to build a
Museum and a High Court in Heaven!
The city of Calcutta in the nineteenth century was brimming with
opportunities – for trade and commerce, education and jobs. But
the gods were disturbed by another aspect of city life – its cheats
and thieves, its grinding poverty, and the poor quality of housing
for many. Brahma himself got tricked into buying a pair of cheap
glasses and when he tried to buy a pair of shoes, he was greatly
confused by the shopkeepers who accused one another of being
swindlers. The gods were also perturbed at the confusion of caste,
religious and gender identities in the city.  All social distinctions that
appeared to be natural and normal seemed to be breaking down.
Like Durgacharan Ray, many others in nineteenth-century India
were both amazed and confused by what they saw in the cities.
The city seemed to offer a series of contrasting images and
experiences –  wealth and poverty, splendour and dirt, opportunities
and disappointments.
W ere cities always like the one described above?  Though urbanisation
has a long history, the modern city worldwide has developed only
over the last 200 years.  Three historical processes have shaped
modern cities in decisive ways: the rise of industrial capitalism, the
establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world, and the
development of democratic ideals.  This chapter will trace some of
the processes of this urbanisation. It will explore how the modern
city emerges, and what happens within the city .
Work,  Life  and  Leisure
Chapter VI
Work, Life and Leisure
Cities in the Contemporary World
India and the Contemporary World
128
1  Characteristics of the City
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one
hand and towns and villages on the other?  Towns and cities
that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur
and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human
settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase
in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of
non-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power,
administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions,
and intellectual activity , and supported various social groups such as
artisans, merchants and priests.
Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can
be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine
political and economic functions for an entire region, and support
very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with
limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern
world. W e will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples
of metropolitan development. The first is  London,  the largest city
in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and
the second is Bombay , one of the most important modern cities in
the Indian subcontinent.
1.1 Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City
in England
Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern
period. However, even as late as the 1850s, many decades after the
beginning of the industrial revolution, most W estern countries were
largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and
Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills
set up in the late eighteenth century . In 1851, more than three-quarters
of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas.
Now let us look at London.  By 1750, one out of every nine people
of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a
population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century , London
continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the
70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about
4 million.
Can you think of appropriate examples from
Indian history for each of these categories: a
religious centre, a market town, a regional
capital, a metropolis? Find out about the history
of any one of them.
Activity
New words
Metropolis – A large, densely populated city
of a country or state, often the capital of the
region
Urbanisation – Development of a city or town
129
Work, Life and Leisure
Fig. 1 – The growth of
London, a map showing its
population in four different
eras.
New words
Philanthropist  –  Someone who works for
social upliftment and charity, donating time
and money for the purpose
The city of London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations,
even though it did not have large factories. ‘Nineteenth century
London,’ says the historian Gareth Stedman Jones, ‘was a city of
clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a
growing number of semi skilled and sweated outworkers, of
soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers, and beggars.’
Apart from the London dockyards, five major types of industries
employed large numbers: clothing and footwear, wood and furniture,
metals and engineering, printing and stationery , and precision products
such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal.
During the First W orld W ar (1914-18) London began manufacturing
motor cars and electrical goods, and the number of large factories
increased until they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in
the city .
1.2 Marginal Groups
As London grew , crime flourished. W e are told that 20,000 criminals
were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about
criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of
widespread concern. The police were worried about law and order,
philanthropists were anxious about public morality , and industrialists
wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force. So the population
of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their
ways of life were investigated.
In the mid-nineteenth century , Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes
on the London labour, and compiled long lists of those who made
a living from crime.  Many of whom he listed as  ‘criminals’ were in
fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from
shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were
others who were more skilled at their trade, expert at their jobs.
They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves
crowding the streets of London. In an attempt to discipline the
population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and
offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.
Factories employed large numbers of women in the late
 
eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries. With technological developments,
women gradually lost their industrial jobs, and were forced to work
within households. The 1861 census recorded a quarter of a million
domestic servants in London, of whom the vast majority were
1784
1862
1914
1980
River Thames
Population
India and the Contemporary World
130
Fig. 2 – A Stranger’s Home, The Illustrated London News,1870. 
Night Refuges and Strangers’ Homes were opened in winter by charitable societies and local authorities
in many towns. The poor flocked to these places in the hope of food, warmth and shelter.
Imagine that you are a newspaper reporter
writing a piece on the changes you see in
London in 1811. What problems are you likely
to write about? Who would have gained from
the changes?
Activity
women, many of them recent migrants. A large number of women
used their homes to increase family income by taking in lodgers or
through such activities as tailoring, washing or matchbox making.
However, there was a change once again in the twentieth century . As
women got employment in wartime industries and offices, they
withdrew from domestic service.
Large number of children were pushed into low-paid work, often
by their parents.  Andrew Mearns, a clergyman who wrote The Bitter
Cry of Outcast London in the 1880s, showed why crime was more
profitable than labouring in small underpaid factories: ‘ A child seven
years old is easily known to make 10 shillings 6 pence a week from
thieving … Before he can gain as much as the young thief [a boy]
must make 56 gross of matchboxes a week, or 1,296 a day.’ It was
only after the passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education
Act in 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1902, that children
were kept out of industrial work.
1.3 Housing
Older cities like London changed dramatically when people began
pouring in after the Industrial Revolution. Factory or workshop
Page 5


127
Work, Life and Leisure
In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman
(The Gods Visit Earth), in which Brahma, the Creator in Hindu
mythology , took a train to Calcutta with some other gods. As V aruna,
the Rain God, conducted them around the capital of British India,
the gods were wonderstruck by the big, modern city – the train
itself, the large ships on the river Ganges, factories belching smoke,
bridges and monuments and a dazzling array of shops selling a
wide range of commodities. The gods were so impressed by the
marvels of the teeming metropolis that they decided to build a
Museum and a High Court in Heaven!
The city of Calcutta in the nineteenth century was brimming with
opportunities – for trade and commerce, education and jobs. But
the gods were disturbed by another aspect of city life – its cheats
and thieves, its grinding poverty, and the poor quality of housing
for many. Brahma himself got tricked into buying a pair of cheap
glasses and when he tried to buy a pair of shoes, he was greatly
confused by the shopkeepers who accused one another of being
swindlers. The gods were also perturbed at the confusion of caste,
religious and gender identities in the city.  All social distinctions that
appeared to be natural and normal seemed to be breaking down.
Like Durgacharan Ray, many others in nineteenth-century India
were both amazed and confused by what they saw in the cities.
The city seemed to offer a series of contrasting images and
experiences –  wealth and poverty, splendour and dirt, opportunities
and disappointments.
W ere cities always like the one described above?  Though urbanisation
has a long history, the modern city worldwide has developed only
over the last 200 years.  Three historical processes have shaped
modern cities in decisive ways: the rise of industrial capitalism, the
establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world, and the
development of democratic ideals.  This chapter will trace some of
the processes of this urbanisation. It will explore how the modern
city emerges, and what happens within the city .
Work,  Life  and  Leisure
Chapter VI
Work, Life and Leisure
Cities in the Contemporary World
India and the Contemporary World
128
1  Characteristics of the City
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one
hand and towns and villages on the other?  Towns and cities
that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur
and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human
settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase
in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of
non-food producers. Cites were often the centres of political power,
administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions,
and intellectual activity , and supported various social groups such as
artisans, merchants and priests.
Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can
be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine
political and economic functions for an entire region, and support
very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with
limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern
world. W e will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples
of metropolitan development. The first is  London,  the largest city
in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and
the second is Bombay , one of the most important modern cities in
the Indian subcontinent.
1.1 Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City
in England
Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern
period. However, even as late as the 1850s, many decades after the
beginning of the industrial revolution, most W estern countries were
largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and
Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills
set up in the late eighteenth century . In 1851, more than three-quarters
of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas.
Now let us look at London.  By 1750, one out of every nine people
of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a
population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century , London
continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the
70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about
4 million.
Can you think of appropriate examples from
Indian history for each of these categories: a
religious centre, a market town, a regional
capital, a metropolis? Find out about the history
of any one of them.
Activity
New words
Metropolis – A large, densely populated city
of a country or state, often the capital of the
region
Urbanisation – Development of a city or town
129
Work, Life and Leisure
Fig. 1 – The growth of
London, a map showing its
population in four different
eras.
New words
Philanthropist  –  Someone who works for
social upliftment and charity, donating time
and money for the purpose
The city of London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations,
even though it did not have large factories. ‘Nineteenth century
London,’ says the historian Gareth Stedman Jones, ‘was a city of
clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a
growing number of semi skilled and sweated outworkers, of
soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers, and beggars.’
Apart from the London dockyards, five major types of industries
employed large numbers: clothing and footwear, wood and furniture,
metals and engineering, printing and stationery , and precision products
such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal.
During the First W orld W ar (1914-18) London began manufacturing
motor cars and electrical goods, and the number of large factories
increased until they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in
the city .
1.2 Marginal Groups
As London grew , crime flourished. W e are told that 20,000 criminals
were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about
criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of
widespread concern. The police were worried about law and order,
philanthropists were anxious about public morality , and industrialists
wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force. So the population
of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their
ways of life were investigated.
In the mid-nineteenth century , Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes
on the London labour, and compiled long lists of those who made
a living from crime.  Many of whom he listed as  ‘criminals’ were in
fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from
shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were
others who were more skilled at their trade, expert at their jobs.
They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves
crowding the streets of London. In an attempt to discipline the
population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and
offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.
Factories employed large numbers of women in the late
 
eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries. With technological developments,
women gradually lost their industrial jobs, and were forced to work
within households. The 1861 census recorded a quarter of a million
domestic servants in London, of whom the vast majority were
1784
1862
1914
1980
River Thames
Population
India and the Contemporary World
130
Fig. 2 – A Stranger’s Home, The Illustrated London News,1870. 
Night Refuges and Strangers’ Homes were opened in winter by charitable societies and local authorities
in many towns. The poor flocked to these places in the hope of food, warmth and shelter.
Imagine that you are a newspaper reporter
writing a piece on the changes you see in
London in 1811. What problems are you likely
to write about? Who would have gained from
the changes?
Activity
women, many of them recent migrants. A large number of women
used their homes to increase family income by taking in lodgers or
through such activities as tailoring, washing or matchbox making.
However, there was a change once again in the twentieth century . As
women got employment in wartime industries and offices, they
withdrew from domestic service.
Large number of children were pushed into low-paid work, often
by their parents.  Andrew Mearns, a clergyman who wrote The Bitter
Cry of Outcast London in the 1880s, showed why crime was more
profitable than labouring in small underpaid factories: ‘ A child seven
years old is easily known to make 10 shillings 6 pence a week from
thieving … Before he can gain as much as the young thief [a boy]
must make 56 gross of matchboxes a week, or 1,296 a day.’ It was
only after the passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education
Act in 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1902, that children
were kept out of industrial work.
1.3 Housing
Older cities like London changed dramatically when people began
pouring in after the Industrial Revolution. Factory or workshop
131
Work, Life and Leisure
New words
Tenement – Run-down and often
overcrowded apartment house, especially in
a poor section of a large city
Fig. 3 – Rat-trap seller, cartoon by Rowlandson,
1799.
Rowlandson recorded the types of trades in
London that were beginning to disappear with
the development of industrial capitalism.
In many cities of India today, there are moves
to clear away the slums where poor people
live. Discuss whether or not it is the
responsibility of the government to make
arrangements for houses for these people.
Activity
Fig. 4 – A London slum in 1889.
What are the different uses of street space that
are visible in this picture? What would have
changed in the conditions of working class
housing in the twentieth century?
owners did not house the migrant workers.  Instead, individual
landowners put up cheap, and usually unsafe, tenements for the
new arrivals.
Although poverty was not unknown in the countryside, it was more
concentrated and starkly visible in the city .  In 1887, Charles Booth,
a Liverpool shipowner, conducted the first social survey of low-
skilled London workers in the East End of London. He found
that as many as 1 million Londoners (about one-fifth of the
population of London at the time) were very poor and were expected
to live only up to an average age of 29 (compared to the average
life expectancy of 55 among  the gentry and the middle class).
These people were more than likely to die in a ‘workhouse, hospital
or lunatic asylum’.  London, he concluded ‘needed the rebuilding of
at least 400,000 rooms to house its poorest citizens’.
For a while the better-off city dwellers continued to demand that
slums simply be cleared away. But gradually a larger and larger
number of people began to recognise the need for housing
for the poor. What were the reasons for this increasing concern?
First, the vast mass of one-room houses occupied by the poor were
seen as a serious threat to public health: they were overcrowded,
badly ventilated, and lacked sanitation. Second, there were worries
about fire hazards created by poor housing. Third, there was a
widespread fear of social disorder, especially after the Russian
Revolution in 1917.  Workers’ mass housing schemes were planned
to prevent the London poor from turning rebellious.
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