Outline the causes of Discontent experienced by the population in the 19th Century?

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In Britain during the early 19th Century, the country was going through many different changes. There was transformation occurring in Agricultural and Industrial trades. This then had consequence effect on the social standards of all the population. The dramatic change to the economical status in Britain gave rise to long and short-term problems. The traditional order of hierarchical was breaking down but the new forcing order the middle classes were not facing their responibility's of the growing population needs. There was no political enforcement to help deal with any problems. These developments were important changes but the problems that followed were not being dealt with and there was growing discontent among the people.

Firstly, the Agricultural trade all over Britain had experienced the Enclosures since the 15th Century, during the early 19th Century this movement accelerated. Enclosure was the fencing or hedging-in of large areas this affected all farmers. There self-sufficiency was then taken away from them because all the farrow, waste and common land were enclosed. This took away grazing land for the animals, no place to cultivate and no fuel for heating and cooking. As B Hammond said "Enclosure had robbed him of the strip that he tilled, and of the cow that he kept on the village pasture."(B.Hammond, The Village Labourer, 1911.) For the cottagers and squatters their homes were being pulled down because they were built on wastelands. The Yeoman farmers had the legal right to keep their land, only if they could afford to pay for the enclosure and the hedging-in. Some sold their land; with this they changed to the industry trade and migrated to the new Towns. The others rented land or became farm labourers. The Landed gentry were the only people to gain from enclosures. According to E.P. Thompson "Enclosure (when all the sophistication's are allowed for) was a plain enough case of class robbery, played according to the fair rules of property and laid down by a parliament of property owners and lawyers."(E.P Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 1963.) They were able to increase their estates with common and wastelands. As the farm labourer's wages were so cheap they no longer paid for board and food. Many labourers died from starvation or cold. With the development of Agricultural machinery farm labours were not in demand as much.

However in Textile and Metal industries the development of machinery increased work output, with larger factories and more work. As workers migrated to the new industrial towns, they soon became overcrowded and living standards were low. To quote from William Wordsworth "Meanwhile, at social Industry's command. How quick, how vast an increase" (William Wordsworth The Excursion, poem, 1814.) With not enough houses, overcrowding occurred, poor sanitation led to ill health and there were more labours, then there were jobs, which resulted the middle classes employing more and paying less. Working conditions were terrible, men would work 16-hour shifts in unhealthy factories, and children from the age of 5 would work a 14-hour shift. According to Robert Southey "I thought that if Dante had peopled one of his hells with children, here was a scene worthy to have supplied him with new images of torment" (Robert Southey, Letters From England, 1807). Resentment grew at the increasing price of living and their low wages. Systems of relief like Truck system, where a worker would receive part wages and vouchers. This only benefited the Mill Owners who paid low wages and owned the shop where the vouchers were spent. The Speenlanland System was criticized because it encouraged marriage and larger families to qualify for help. Again the Industries Owners were able to keep low wages, as the Speenlanland System would top up the workers. The traditional order of hierarchical was breaking down and the Middle Classes were adopting the Laissez Faire attitude, not to interfere as were the...
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