Improving Standard of Living

Did the industrial revolution improve conditions for the working class? (note at the beginning of the chapter the large percentage of the population who were poorly paid factory workers)

How did industrialization eventually help factory workers?
wages vs. productivity in England

Wages rose on average after 1862

How do you define whether the standard of living went up?
if the poorer factory workers made 18-21 shillings per week family income (p. 138)
British money system in the 19th century (source)


How did prices change after 1850?
building a sewer in victorian London
What would cause the condition of workers to improve?

Laws began to improve conditions for workers:


Political response to a situation where many factory workers were hopeless and hungry (see also Hosbawm p. 51):


Worker protection in England:

Cities were improving, but still tended to grow faster than they could provide services and amenities


Workers also developed organizations to help themselves

Social life and community structure


in the second half of the 19th century trade unions begin to get somewhere

The middle class was expanding slowly and living more comfortably



this page written and copyright  Pamela E. Mack
last updated 9/10/12