Working classes in 1900



for a skilled worker extra wages meant just enough to gain a little higher social standing we thought ourselves respectable working-class we were a bit above the laboring class who lived in the poorer districts of the tang not that you'd live down on them in any shape or form in fact the only people you'd loop down on was the people are used to drink and neglect their family we were taught to make the best use of every airplay or penny that came into the house the mother adit ingrained in her and Wayne had it ingrained in us this cottage was lived in by Pitman's family his wages would have been high enough to feed and clothe the family properly and possibly even to save a little the semi skilled or unskilled workman might aspire to respectability but it was much more difficult to maintain on their income the average wage of just over a pound a week might provide adequately for a single man or a newly married couple but could cause serious hardship in families they often found it impossible to maintain an adequate standard of food and clothing the great bulk of this enormous mass of people are under fed under housed and insufficiently closed the children among them suffer more than the adults their growth is stunted their mental powers are cramped and their health is undermined so they showed that almost 1/3 of the working classes were living in desperate poverty their low wages failing to keep pace with the rising cost of living their existence was made even more precarious by the constant threat of ill health and unemployment for these people there was known golden age questions were now beginning to be asked didn't the poverty-stricken masses have a better call and the resources of the country could the country afford the Empire and the fleet which held it together if it was a question of priorities what should come first Britain in 1900 was still the major workshop of the world cotton coal shipbuilding iron and steel the same old industries which had built up Britain's position in the early 19th century with a basis of this success and exported all over the world fears of change was scorned the American bicycle was driven off the market the American boot has lost its hold the British clock has recaptured its market the motor trade has grown up and is pushing sales abroad textiles coal iron and steel are more prosperous than ever before but there were signs for concern as early as the 1890s both Germany and the United States exceeded Britain steel production and although Britain's rate of economic growth was faster than ever it could not prevent her being overtaken by countries with greater natural resources




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