Account for the State of Public Health in Britain During the Industrial Revolution

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Account for the state of public health in Britain during the Industrial Revolution

The state of public health in Britain during the Industrial Revolution was very poor. There were many reasons why the standard of health was so bad. Leading up to the Industrial Revolution was the Agricultural Revolution, which brought about population growth and rural-urban migration. Houses were built very quickly, cheaply and poorly which meant there was no sanitation, very little running water, no sewerage drains and no waste collection. The poor housing resulted in a lot of death and disease, as did the working conditions. Poverty also contributed to the poor state of public health, as did the lack of medical knowledge. The state of public health did improve towards the end of the 19th century due to increased medical knowledge, lessened poverty, the sewerage system and government intervention.

Before the Agricultural Revolution, farming methods used were similar to those used in medieval times. Agriculture was based on an open field system, where fields were divided into strips, with farmers owning several strips which were spread out throughout the fields. This method of farming was very unproductive and in 1730 when Britain’s population began to grow, new farming techniques were needed to keep up with the increased demand for food. New techniques were brought in and therefore more food was available. The Agricultural Revolution is said to have been the beginning of the Industrial Revolution because of the new ideas which were used and were proven to work. The Industrial Revolution meant that Britain’s population increased, which led to rural-urban migration because many were leaving the country to go work in the new factories. Due to so many people migrating to the industrial towns, those towns became very overcrowded. One such town was London. In 1801, the population was 957,000 and in 1851, the population stood at 2,362,000. Due to a lot of overcrowding in the...
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