What was life in cities like during the Industrial Revoultion?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, life in cities during the Industrial Revolution was quite difficult.  The vast majority of people worked in very physically demanding and dangerous jobs for long hours.  They typically had poor housing situations and very little time for leisure compared to what we have today.

Looking at a few examples, the link below tells us that workers typically worked about 60 hours per week.  Their jobs were often physically dangerous and did not pay very well.  Because of this, they were not able to afford good housing.  People lived in small apartments that did not have indoor plumbing.  Often, the apartments did not even have windows.  Also because of the low pay, many children (the link below says 20% of those aged 10-15) had to work at full-time jobs.

As examples like these show, life was very difficult for the working class in cities of the Industrial Revolution.

properpig | Student

Other factors:

The air polution was terrible! They had little to no technology to clean the air from the coal burning furnacies.  Many people died from cancer because of this.  It would be similar to what China is experiencing right now with all of there polution.

City living also changed the dynamics of the family.  This was the period of time were families became smaller.  For a few reason, they did not have the space to house a large family in the city and in a traditional type society you need a large family to work on the farm, this is a source of income.  But now with factory work they did not need that large family for an income.  Parents also, took a more active role in their kids lives but this was not always liked by the children/teenagers.  Teenagers would actually pay their parnets money for more freedom within the house and their own life.