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EQ: How did urbanization during the Industrial Revolution affect daily life?


Unit 7 The Industrial Revolution

Remember to list both positives and negatives! Don't just focus on one!

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Check out these statistics!
England & Wales: % of pop. living in cities
  • 1801 - 17%
  • 1891 - 72%
  • global center of textile industry
  • early 1770s - 25,000 residents
  • 1911 - 2.3 residents
Cottonopolis Fast Facts!
  • Britain = first to experience urbanization due to the Industrial Revolution
  • Manchester, England = world's first large industrial city - nicknamed Cottonopolis
Q: How did daily life change because of urbanization and industrialization?

Press on the gif to learn what life was like before and after urbanization and industrialization

Take your time to examine this image. Notice the blue rectangle. It is outlining and example of one family unit.

tenement: a type of apartment where many apartment units are in the same building

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Think & Discuss

1. How did rapid urbanization lead to tenements and terrible living conditions for the industrial working class?2. How did progressive reformers draw attention to the living conditions of the poor?3. If you were a reformer, which problem do you think should be changed first: working conditions, child labor & education, public sanitation, poor housing conditions, or something else?

Before you submit today's lesson in edio, please answer the lesson's Essential Question.

Ticket out the door

Trash and rotting food piled up in shared spaces and streets, attracting many rats. Ashes spread from the furnaces that heated homes. Housing had few windows, and rooms were dark and poorly ventilated.

Living Conditions in Cities

Urbanization in Europe and the United States occurred very quickly, and new housing sprang up rapidly. Housing developers aimed to construct homes quickly and cheaply, and they often did not do sufficient planning.Poorly-planned neighborhoods were overcrowded and had unpleasant, unhealthy living conditions. Families lived in close contact with other families, and unrelated people often lived together in the same room.

Urban conditions were particularly bad in working-class urban neighborhoods in England. Contagious diseases spread quickly in crowded neighborhoods. Poor sanitation created further health hazards. Toilet facilities were shared among many people and had open sewers, which caused diseases to spread. Air pollution from the burning of coal, which heated homes and provided power to cities’ factories, caused further harm. Due to these numerous dangers, the average lifespan in England in the 1820s was only 39 years. Housing constructed in England in the early 1800s often had several rooms stacked on top of each other. Up to 16 people lived in each room. Imagine living in a three-room home with over 40 other people!

Working-Class Urban Neighborhoods

Meanwhile, homes increasingly benefited from new technologies. The Industrial Revolution brought research into electricity, and electric companies began providing electricity to homes by the early 1900s. Author Friedrich Engels, who published a book calling attention to the poor conditions of working-class cities in 1844, wrote in 1892 that conditions had greatly improved.

Progressive Revormers

Journalists and other writers brought attention to the conditions of these neighborhoods. As more people became aware of the problems, pressure to make changes intensified on politicians. Progressive reformers, political activists who pushed for social reform, spread the word about the poor urban conditions and supported organizations and leaders who aimed to improve the conditions. Press to see how conditions improved throughout the 19th century.