living standards in 1874 in Britain

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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 12-01-14 13:17
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  • Living standards by 1874
    • The growth of agriculture and industry contributed to a rise in living standards in the mid 19th century.
    • Real wages rose by 40% between 1862 and 1875. About 15% of the working class were artisans, earning approx £2 a week. the availability of cheaper goods allowed families to wield their improved spending power.
      • 65% of the population lived in urban areas by 1871. These areas tended to have higher employment and wages, although lower standards of health. There were some attempts to improve public health, although were often limited as laissez faire attitudes persisted.
        • the improvement of trade unions meant that unions could offer more support to their members.
    • The factory reform movement successfully campaigned for better conditions and limited hours in major industries.
      • local authorities built public facilities such as libraries, parks and baths.
    • However, serious problems remained with the living standards of many of the working class:
      • There was a lack of commitment to improve slum housing, despite many books and articles that drew attention to the terrible conditions in areas like salford.
        • Public health remained a serious problem with frequent outbreaks of cholera until the 1890s.
          • There was little security when workers lost their jobs, even if it was through accident or ill health. The only state provision for the very poorest was the dreaded workhouse.


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