In the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century Manchester had been growing. The city had been expanding and it was becoming a leading textile manufacturer once the mechanised cotton mill was built. The growth and industrialization of Manchester over the course of the nineteenth century caused the people to have three main issues. One being the forcing of hard manual labour in factories effecting the health of the working force (mainly the artisans and labourers), another being the city and pollution becoming detrimental to the health of the people, and if the city was losing the beauty it once had when it was more rural. Manchester in the nineteenth century was one of the leading textile manufacturers. This meant that there was a high demand for labourers to work in the factories.
The point of views of the romantic poets at the time were mainly negative towards the industrialization. This is evident in document four. When the poet Frances Anne Kemble speaks of the artisans and mechanics she shows their struggle and the poor conditions they are in at the time from the factories. “The grim and grimy crowd of scowling faces” and “a tattered, starved-looking weaver” give imagery of the time and how the romantic poets believe the people were being treated unfairly. In document three you can see the point of view is quite different. In this document Thomas B. Macaulay believes that although the industrialization may not be as beautiful the rural land Manchester once was it is still benefitting the people. “People live longer because they are better fed, better lodged, better clothed, and better attended in sickness and these improvements are owing to the increase in national wealth which the manufacturing system as produced” gives evidence of his belief that the people are benefitted from the industrialization of Manchester.
Document eight is a table showing the average age at death depending on what the people do for a living, and where they live. When looking at Manchester and looking under labourer/artisan you can see that the age is around 17 when they die. This is very young even for the time period and shows that working as a labourer in Manchester at the time was very detrimental to the health of the people. The people of Manchester at the time believed that the city was deterring the health of the people with the pollution dirt of the city. Document two paints and image of a very dark over populated city which is “blackened with smoke”. This gives an overall feeling of Manchester being very dirty and unhealthy for the people. Document six is another example of the cities unhealthy aspects. It is a report on the sanitary conditions of the labouring population of great Brittan. “Diseases caused or aggravated by atmospheric impurities produced by decomposing animal and vegetable substances, by damp and filth, and close and overcrowded dwellings, prevail among the labouring classes” is evidence that the conditions of the industrialized Manchester is detrimental to the health of the people.
Document eight is another example of how the city is effecting not only the health of the labouring class. When looking at the Manchester section you can see that although the people who are labourers or artisans are dying earlier than the people working as farmers or traders and gentry’s or professionals are still dying at an earlier age than the people of the same professions in other cities. A different point of view is shown in document ten. In document ten William Alexander Abram speaks positively when speaking of the city. “The lavish provision of public parks, baths, and free libraries promotes the health happiness and culture of the industrial orders” is example of his positive point of view on the city and its effect of on the people. The majority of the point of views of the industrialization of Manchester in the nineteenth century are negative although there are few who believe that the city is beneficial to the people health and wellbeing. The growth and industrialization of Manchester in the nineteenth raised the issue of the aesthetic appeal. Was the industrialization benefitting its aesthetic appeal or was it harmful?
The romantic poets believe that the industrialization caused the city to lose the beauty it once had. They believe in romanticizing rural lands and believe that the industrialization of cities is disgusting. This is evident in document two when the romantic poet Robert Southey speaks about the city. He speaks about the city negatively. “Frequent buildings among them as large as convents, without their antiquity, without their beauty, without their holiness, where you hear from within, the everlasting din of machinery” is an example of the point of view of the romantic poet at the time. They believe that the industrialization and factories take away the beauty of the city. The point of view of a businessman is quite different. This is evident in document nine when Wheelan and Co. is speaking about the city.
“Perhaps no part of England, not even London, presents such remarkable and attractive features as Manchester, the Workshop of the World” shows how they believe that through the industrialization the city has become more beautiful. This gives evidence of the multitude of points of view at the time on the issue of if the industrialization of the city of Manchester is effecting its aesthetic appeal. The industrialization and growth of Manchester in the nineteenth century caused the people to debate whether it was beneficial to the city as a whole and touch on the topics of its effects on the health of the people, the factories effects on the health of the labourers, and the overall beauty and aesthetic appeal of the city.
Courtney from Study Moose
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