Local context of Whitechapel

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  • Local context and Whitechapel
    • Housing
      • Lodging houses, where lodgers paid a nightly fee and access to kitchen were squalid but popular, 25% of whitechapel lived in these
      • Rockeries :were slum areas where most housing was situated, was extremely overcrowded with poor sanitation
      • Some attempts to improve housing  e.g Peabody estate with reasonable rents
    • Provision for the poor
      • Workhouses in Whitechapel were last resort. Offered home and food for hard labour. Condtions were deliberately poor, families were split up and inmates wore uniform. Most were elderly, disabled.
    • Lack of employment
      • High unemployment because of economic depression and few jobs available to women so many turned to prostitution to survive
        • Those who did have jobs worked long hours for pitiful pay in "sweated" trades
      • Worked building the railways or in the dockyards. Pay was better but weekly incomes varied
    • Link between environment and crime
      • Low income levels that led to stealing for survival by those desperate to avoid the workhouse
      • Unreliable work that meant many people had spare time, which led to alcoholism, disruptive behavior and violence
      • Overcrowding meant tensions rose between residents especially between English, Irish and Jewish immingrants
      • High levels of prostitution led to violence on women

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