While the very rich enjoyed the comforts of Victorian society the very
poor struggled simply to live. Long hours spent working in the worst
conditions made for a difficult existence. Labor (people) was a
commodity like any other to be bought, and traded. Since there were more
workers than jobs employees had little to bargain with for better
conditions and more pay. If you didn't like it, you could always quit.
Someone would be more than ready to replace you.
Objectives: 1. Analyze the situation of the working poor in Victorian Industrial Society. 2. Use primary and secondary sources to gain insight into the lives of working class Victorians.
First Hand Account of Poverty in Nauttingham England "Misery is running riot through the greatest part of this district, that is to say through the manufacturing parts; the agricultural parts suffer less perhaps, at all events being less condensed it is less perceptible. At Nottingham the gentry are really very good natured: the mayor and one or two more got up a meeting, and in a few days near £4,000 was subscribed, despite the exertions of the poor law, people who said we were encouraging idleness. The poor here have resolved to die rather than go into the union houses, and I have not the least doubt that numbers would have starved sooner
than go there; certainly they would have resisted hunger until the
feebler bodies of their children perished, or been so reduced as never
to recover their health. Many who were willing were refused admittance.
Assignment: 1. Did the Elizabethan Poor laws make the situation for working class Victorians better or worse, why or why not? 2. How did the Victorian Values, the poor laws, and the overcrowding of cities lead to the creation of Work Houses and Poor Houses? 3. Which was worse life in the poor house, or working some of 'the worst jobs in Victorian London'? Explain your answer.