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Work, Life, and Leisure Book PDF Free Download
Chapter 6: Work, Life, and Leisure
To begin with, how do we distinguish between cities on the one hand and towns and villages on the other? Towns and cities that first appeared along river valleys, such as Ur, Nippur and Mohenjodaro, were larger in scale than other human settlements. Ancient cities could develop only when an increase in food supplies made it possible to support a wide range of non-food producers.
Cites were often the centres of political power, administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions, and intellectual activity, and supported various social groups such as artisans, merchants and priests. Cities themselves can vary greatly in size and complexity. They can be densely settled modern-day metropolises, which combine political and economic functions for an entire region, and support very large populations. Or they can be smaller urban centres with limited functions.
This chapter will discuss the history of urbanisation in the modern world. We will look in some detail at two modern cities, as examples of metropolitan development. The first is London, the largest city in the world, and an imperial centre in the nineteenth century, and the second is Bombay, one of the most important modern cities in the Indian subcontinent. Industrialisation changed the form of urbanisation in the modern period.
However, even as late as the 1850s, many decades after the beginning of the industrial revolution, most Western countries were largely rural. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills set up in the late eighteenth century. In 1851, more than three-quarters of the adults living in Manchester were migrants from rural areas.
Now let us look at London. By 1750, one out of every nine people of England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a population of about 675,000. Over the nineteenth century, London continued to expand. Its population multiplied fourfold in the 70 years between 1810 and 1880, increasing from 1 million to about 4 million.
The city of London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations, even though it did not have large factories. ‘Nineteenth-century London,’ says the historian Gareth Stedman Jones, ‘was a city of clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a growing number of semi-skilled and sweated out workers, of soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers, and beggars.’ Apart from the London dockyards, five major types of industries employed large numbers: clothing and footwear, wood and furniture, metals and engineering, printing and stationery, and precision products such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal.
During the First World War (1914-18) London began manufacturing motor cars and electrical goods, and the number of large factories increased until they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in the city As London grew, crime flourished. We are told that 20,000 criminals were living in London in the 1870s. We know a great deal about criminal activities in this period, for crime became an object of widespread concern.
The police were worried about law and order, philanthropists were anxious about public morality, and industrialists wanted a hard-working and orderly labour force. So the population of criminals was counted, their activities were watched, and their ways of life were investigated. In the mid-nineteenth century, Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes on London labour and compiled long lists of those who made a living from crime.
Many of whom he listed as ‘criminals’ were in fact poor people who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from shops, lumps of coal, and clothes drying on hedges. There were others who were more skilled at their trade, and expert at their jobs.
They were the cheats and tricksters, pickpockets and petty thieves crowding the streets of London. In an attempt to discipline the population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and offered work to those who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Social Science Chapter 6 Work, Life, and Leisure
Q.1. Give three reasons why the population of London expanded from the middle of the eighteenth century.
By 1750, the population of London was about 675,000. Its population, however, continued to expand. Between 1810 and 1880 it increased from 1 million to about 4 million. ”
The reasons for this increase were as given below :
- Migrant populations: London was a powerful magnet for migrant populations. Even though it did not have large factories. Historian Gareth Stedman Jones says, “Nineteenth-century London was a city of clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled artisans, of a growing number of semi-skilled and sweated out workers, of soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers and beggars”.
- Dockyards and industries: Apart from the London dockyards, there were five major industries – clothing and footwear, wood and furniture, metals and engineering, printing and stationery, and precision products such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal. These industries attracted large number of people.
- World War I: During the First World War (1914-18) London began manufacturing motor cars and electrical goods. The number of large factories increased and ultimately they accounted for nearly one-third of all jobs in the city.
Q.2. What were the changes in the kind of work available to women in London between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries? Explain the factors which led to this change.
(i) Employment in Factories: In the 18th and the 19th centuries, a large number of women were employed in the factories because, during that period, most of the production activities were carried with the help of the family.
(ii) Technological Developments and loss of jobs: But with technological advancement, women gradually lost their industrial jobs and were forced to do household work. They also tried to increase the family income by activities like tailoring, washing or matchbox making.
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