Article on child labour by Emma Griffin
Published: 15 May 2014
Industrialisation led to a dramatic increase in child labour. Professor Emma Griffin explores the dangerous, exhausting work undertaken by children in factories and mines, and the literary responses of writers including Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Article Source: British Library
The origins of London slums date back to the mid-eighteenth century, when the population of London, or the “Great Wen,” as William Cobbett called it, began to grow at an unprecedented rate. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, London's population expanded to four million, which spurred a high demand for cheap housing. London slums arose initially as a result of rapid population growth and industrialisation. They became notorious for overcrowding, unsanitary and squalid living conditions. Most well-off Victorians were ignorant or pretended to be ignorant of the subhuman slum life, and many, who heard about it, believed that the slums were the outcome of laziness, sin and vice of the lower classes. However, a number of socially conscious writers, social investigators, moral reformers, preachers and journalists, who sought a solution to this urban malady in the second half of the nineteenth century, argued convincingly that the growth of slums was caused by poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and homelessness.
Image Source: Victorian Web