Agrarian Revolution Essay Sample

Agrarian Revolution Pages
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When one considers the effect that the Industrial Revolutions of the 19th and early 20th century, the workers whose backs bore it are seldom reflected upon. It becomes ponderous whether the revolution was a boon or a malediction upon the working class and if they were truly aided by the great rise in standard of living that hallmarked this time. Those who would defend the period would cite pre-Industrialization scenarios, toiling under feudal lords with no future beyond death and an unmarked grave. An opponent of this idea, such as the renowned Karl Marx, would state, ‘The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.’ (Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto)

Though the great revolutions lead to many hardships for the working class, it can be said that they benefited from it equally. As historian Walter Wallbank noted in his Living World History, there was a significant improvement of the diet of the average worker. ‘Meat was a rarity in the 18th century. By 1830 meat and potatoes were staples for the artisan and wheat took the place of coarser rye and oats.’ (Wallbank, 491) The cheaper goods that were one of the hallmarks of industrial revolution also served as a significant increase in the standard of living for the working class. Because textiles had dropped drastically in price, the average worker was able to afford them, which were ” easily washable and thus more sanitary.’ (Wallbank, 491) Departing from morality, David Ricardo suggested his ‘Iron Law’ of wages. This thesis stipulated that improving the lifestyle of the average worker would harm them in the long run, as higher wages would lead to an increase in the population of the working class and thus a drop in wages. In summary, the Industrial Revolutions brought the common worker several convinces which sought to overhaul the general standard of living.

On the other hand, evidence of abject suffering which the proletariat had to endure would seek to prove that the Industrial Revolution was indeed a curse. While the average life expectancy all around Europe, that of the average factory worker decreased. There were “almost no safety devices on machines, accidents were common.’ (Wallbank, 490) Edwin Chadwick?s Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Laboring Population of Great Britain penned in 1842 provides a terrifying look inside the workplaces of the period. ‘That the annual loss of life from filth and bad ventilation are greater than the loss from death or wounds in any wars in which the country has been engaged in modern times. That of the 43,000 cases of widowhood, and 112,000 cases of destitute orphanage relieved from the poor’s rates in England and Wales alone, it appears that the greatest proportion of deaths of the heads of families occurred from the above specified and other removable causes; that their ages were under 45 years; that is to say, 13 years below the natural probabilities of life as shown by the experience of the whole population of Sweden.’ (Chadwick, available online at:

One begins to understand the abject poverty in which these people were forced into when the dwellings they lived in are examined. They almost always consisted of a single room, no plumbing, a haven for infection and disease to run rampant. It is clear to see that the living and working conditions of the working class could best be described as squalid or destitute.

In some situations it is best to allow history to speak for itself. It is quite obvious that the cost of the Industrial Revolution in terms of blood and suffering outweighed the gains in relation to the peoples who served as the vehicle. When viewed on the whole, the gains of the revolution seem miniscule in comparison to the anguish suffered by the working class people. One could go so far as to call it exploitation, as Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels would go on to do in 1848. The proletariat longed to be free of the curse of Capitalist oppression brought on by the Industrial Revolution, and soon they cry out for reform. In conclusion, it could be said that the Revolution was not but the bane of the working class, putting a monetary value on their lives and making them mere chattel to turn the great wheels of industry.

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by mcd

Tue Apr 15 2003 at 2:42:24

No Pain, No Gain
Nothing stands against the battle cry of progress. The lofty ideals of progress have often been used to justify imperialism, slavery and unlawful inquisition. In the advent of the breakneck-speed technological age, it becomes easy to look towards the destination without questioning the reason for the journey. Overall, does technology enhance the quality of people’s lives? The Revolution that spawned our technological age spread across the world like a virus. The wide-eyed optimism of inventor, scientist and politician alike left little room to question the application or need for widespread industry.

In the fierce competition to stay ahead, countries mobilizing to industrialize neglected the conditions and safety of the workplace and home. The basic human rights of the common man had fallen by the wayside in the liberal application of an “ends justify the means” philosophy. However, it is hard to argue whether anything could be done in the face of this global Revolution. The industrial revolution drastically changed the lives of all people because of its inherent nature as a technological, economic, social and political revolution. It changed all interactions from countries and markets around the world to families sitting around their kitchen table. The increase in free-time and high standard of living we enjoy today did not happen overnight. The lower class did not enjoy the fruits of change until the Revolution was settling down in the mid-19th century. The Industrial Revolution, as drastically as war, altered all aspects of the worker’s life from his daily routine, working and living conditions, to his family values and place in society. The Technological Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was the product of four revolutionary innovations. The material that built the machines and tools of the Revolution was iron. Britain was the first to discover a cheap and effective way of producing iron. In 1709, Abraham Darby used a cheaper method of removing impurities from iron using coke instead of coal, and in 1784 Henry Cort devised another method involving stirring the molten metal with long rods. By 1844, Britain was producing 3 million tons of iron; it was more than the rest of the world put together. In combination with a few brilliant inventors, cheap iron brought about the steam engine and a host of new machines and mechanization. The final innovation was the mass production of parts and goods through division of labor. Cheap materials soon became cheap labor. Machines often replaced people as laborers because they were faster, didn’t need breaks and only had to be paid for once. In almost a mimic of the machinery, businesses formed their labor force as parts of a whole. Where once a shoemaker would make a shoe from start to finish, now the division of labor was such that all the parts were made independently and then assembled by yet another individual or group.

Accompanying this industrial and economic revolution was a technological revolution that most immediately changed the lives of people of all walks of life. The steam engine brought about new faster means of transportation including the steamboat and locomotive. Along with the telegraph wire and Samuel Morse’s invention of Morse code in 1837, the relative size of the world shrank. People could travel much easier and communicate with people almost instantly where once they could expect a return answer in two years. The locomotive lay its metal tracks all over first Britain and then America before it spread to other countries. Cities began mass building projects with new stronger materials and a larger cheap labor force. A sharp population increase was happening around the world at the same time the Industrial Revolution was gearing up. Though historians have a hard time determining whether the population increase was a direct precursor to the Revolution or vice-versa, it is certain that both had a beneficial effect on each other. This population increase is most commonly associated with the city and the harsh conditions there, but the Revolution had a radical effect on agricultural systems as well. The Worker

The “worker” is a term commonly associated with the factory, or city worker. It is important to remember that the worker was also the farmer and, in the American South, the black slave. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793 in the hopes that it might replace slave labor. As an unfortunate side effect to its intended use, the cotton gin made the production of short fiber cotton profitable. This in turn allowed much of the American south that couldn’t previously produce cotton to produce this hardier breed. The slave trade had been dying out and yet the cotton gin revitalized it. The American farmer, however, was helped by the invention of the reaper in 1834. It allowed for poor Midwest farmers to reap their crop without hiring help. This small benefit to farmers was greatly outweighed by encapsulation. Beginning in England, cheaper farming methods and mass production made it profitable for businesses to buy large amounts of land, equaling many small farms, and turn them into more efficient super-farms that employed crop rotation, soil improvements and better stock. The displaced farmer turned to the only place he could find work: the city. The High Price of Progress

London’s population of 500,000 people rose to 4,770,000 people by 1881. The new wealth and population instigated an increase in churches, museums, roads and other city improvements. Overwhelmingly, however, the conditions of the cities of Industrial England were deplorable. “Everyday I live,” said and American visiting Manchester, “I thank heaven that I am not a poor man with a family in England.” Contractors, taking advantage of the incoming poor from the countryside, built shoddy housing often right next to the factories. The countryside people also brought their habits with them. They brought their pigs and chickens and threw their trash into the streets. In combination with the rich man’s horses, the amount of filth in the street created egregiously unsanitary conditions. A breath could not be taken free from the coal dust and smoke that permeated the air. A bone condition resulting from a lack of sunshine, Rickets was widespread in the dark ghettoes. The close condition and the water contamination from factories also cause widespread disease. The worst neighborhoods of Manchester had a dismally low life expectancy of seventeen years.

The workplace was no refuge from the home. Not only were conditions in the workplace dangerous and unregulated, but the work was mind numbing and unsatisfying. Gone were the days when a craftsman could point out his product with pride. Often, workers didn’t see the end result of their labor, and couldn’t connect their contribution to the end product if they did. Strict rules and regulations, without any incentive whatsoever, made work painfully tedious and unrewarding. The list of rules for the Benck and Co. factory in Buhl, Aslac seem closer to rules for a prison camp rather than a workplace. It set a twelve hour day without break where the workers could not move from area to area unless under direct supervision. They could be searched anytime, couldn’t miss a day and couldn’t look for other work under pain of fine or dismissal. Child Labor

What made the horrible conditions of the workplace especially poignant was the fact that so much of the workforce was made up of children. In the early 19th century, 40% of Britons were under fifteen. The attitude that children should help out the family as soon as possible and the lack of public schools allowed many children even under ten to work twelve hour days in dangerous conditions. They were more easily managed and their small size allowed them to do jobs that adults couldn’t necessarily do. Abraham Whitehead, in a deposition to the English government, had this to say about the child workers. “They appear in such a state of apathy and insensibility as really not to know whether they are doing their work or not.” He continued, “children that are not employed in mills are generally more moral than children who are employed in mills.” It was this deposition that pushed the English government to regulate child labor.

The family unit was broken up. The meager pay and flooded labor market usually forced women into the factories in order to make enough for the family to get by. They were forced to leave their babies with expensive and dangerous wet nurses or bring them to work, drugged with opiates so they wouldn’t cry out and attract the attention of the foreman. On a larger social scale, the distinction between high and low class changed from being based on heredity to being based purely on wealth. What this meant was that it was now possible to climb the social ladder. Though this meant little to the worker of the day, in time it would allow for such American ‘rags to riches’ stories as Rockefeller and Carnegie. The lower class did not benefit from the boom of the Industrial Revolution until the mid-19th century. The Winners and Losers

The lower class in countries beside Western Europe and the US benefited little from the Industrial Revolution. Russia was very late in its efforts to industrialize because of its feudal system. As one historian put it, “An Industrial Revolution, to be successful, required large numbers of educated and independent-minded artisans and entrepreneurs.” Russia had no middle class. Its aristocracy tried to push industry on the people mostly by importing existing ideas and trying to adapt them to the Russian countryside and tradition. Unable to compete in the global market, Russia fell back to supplying its natural resources in exchange for industrial products. Unfortunately this only sought to increase their dependency. For most countries it was the same story. Britains head start and America’s vast resources left late-comers unable to stand on their own two feet in the new Industrial world. Conclusion

In the long run, the Industrial Revolution has benefited the lives of all when measured by living standards. We live longer, work less and generally live healthier lives. This is only the product of many years of adjustment and adaptation. The Industrial Revolution was just that, a revolution. It violently changed the world making it better for some and unbearable for others. The middle and upper class spurned change without ever thinking of the consequences, and predictably, the lower class suffered. The quality of life fell to a new low but with responsible government and individual foresight, the lives of all gradually improved. The impact and scope of the Industrial Revolution is hard to gauge because we live in the wake of its continually changing and evolving force. Without a doubt, the sheer amount of social and economic change that has occured in the past 500 years cannot even be compared to anything that came before. Countries that were quick to jump on the bandwagon are the wealthy nation-powers of today. It also was the cause of countless deaths, diseases and social problems that we are only beginning to understand. Progress cannot be gauged accurately if the destruction it causes is not also taken into consideration.


Bulliet, Richard W. and Crossley, Pamela Kyle The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History copyright 1997 by Houghton Mifflin Boston, MA
Stearns, Peter N. and Gosch, Stephen S. Documents in World History Vol. 2 copyright 2000 by Addison Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.

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by Noung

Wed Dec 10 2003 at 14:24:33

The debate over what happened to the standard of living of the working classes during the Industrial Revolution is contentious and politically-charged. The camps can be divided roughly into pessimists and optimists, both of whom have used a variety of methodological approaches to try and get to the root of the problem. Real wage indexes are beset by problems in their compilation and can never provide a comprehensive picture, and therefore it is helpful to move beyond them and consider other quantitative factors such as heights and total family income, and qualitative factors such as urban disamenities and civil and political rights.1 Indeed, a measurement of heights – which can be taken as a proxy for measuring the nutritional and disease environment – often moves counter to real wages.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of a reliance on real wage data is its over-emphasis on the male experience – women and children often contributed substantially to a household budget through this period, and total family incomes are much more useful in understanding the total resources available to a household in a period when “relatively few” people were completely self-supporting or wholly dependent on a male breadwinner.3 The experience of both genders and all ages needs to be considered across their entire lifetime, as does the very length of this life – people might consume more per annum but less per lifetime if urban disamenities shortened their length of life.4 No single unifying factor emerges as providing a ‘definite’ answer to the question of what happened to quality of life, but by considering them in aggregate and in relation to each other a picture can be constructed. New methodologies complement rather than supersede earlier work.

Nominal wage movements are notoriously difficult to establish because much payment took place in kind during this period. Fluctuations in amounts of food or small beer allowed to agricultural labourers would not be recorded in wage books, and the line between embezzlement and theft was constantly redrawn according to exogenous economic conditions.5 Furthermore, a shift towards higher wages might indicate that people were getting fewer perquisites, and their overall condition may not have improved at all. Women and children working in proto-industry would typically be paid by a piece rate which is hard to quantify, and Lindert and Williamson are able to offer only a “tentative conclusion” on the wage movements of women and children.6 Lastly, regional differentials must be taken into account – it cannot be assumed that there was an ‘urban’ wage and a ‘rural’ wage, because both would vary massively between different locations. This was especially true before a national market emerged and while a sharp dichotomy existed in the labour market between the South and North. Specific regions could be hit by structural or exogenous economic factors that would usher in periods of hardship or prosperity, the former having taken place with the Lancashire cotton famine of 1861 – 65. Areas with a more generous poor law union will look particularly bleak if we focus only on nominal wages.

The progression to establishing real wages is hardly less fraught with difficulty. Establishing trends in real wages requires that we compile a cost of living index, which is usually done by considering a ‘basket’ of goods and giving relative weightings to each good.7 Feinstein claims to have done a more comprehensive job than Lindert and Williamson, and he includes a much broader base of rent data in his series and adjusts downwards for unemployment. But there are considerable methodological difficulties with this approach per se, such as the sources of data used. Most prices are based on institutional and wholesale prices, which tend to be sticky over a long period of time and lower because of economies of scale available to the manufacturer.

Feinstein claims that wholesale prices often mirror retail ones over time, but fails to take into account other factors of production which might force shops to raise their prices such as the price of labour or rent. A rise in wholesale prices is very likely to be reflected in a rise of retail prices: but it is not the only influence on them. These prices are also often derived from London, and although a national market was emerging in the period under question it was far from complete – goods in the provinces were likely to be more expensive due to the cost of transporting them. Finally, there is difficulty in knowing how to weight the various goods as different households likely placed more emphasis on some goods than their neighbours. This aspect is especially susceptible to change as the members of a household move through their life-cycle.

Real wage series do provide a useful measure of the wealth of households (in proportion to their accuracy), but other inputs into a household budget were important. Daunton points out that in a London parish in 1848 23% of family income came from women and children, and in a Staffordshire parish in 1790 the figure was 30%.8 By focusing only on real wages series of adult males we assume that the number of dependents they provided for remained the same and that the earning opportunities of women and children went unaltered.9 Both these assumptions are unwarranted. Firstly, the massive population growth which took place in this period increased the number of dependents in a household – both because of an increased number of children and because women were forced out of the labour market by chauvinist trade unions and “protective” legislation when it was saturated.

Humphries and Horrell believe there was a decline in the participation rate of women and children in the economy due to this saturation of the labour market, especially in the agricultural South. Only in the case of outworkers and “factory families” did women and children play a significant role in the household income as the period wore on, so we need to examine trends in participation on a regional and occupational basis. Any national figure we can compile will depend on the various weightings we ascribe to each occupation and region, and for this reason can be considered misleading – much better to look at specific instances.

A final critique of wage data concerns the issues of unemployment and underemployment, which links into the notion of the leisure preference. Our appreciation of household income will be skewed unless we recognise changes in the number of hours worked by each member a week. There is considerable difficulty in establishing data for this, as wage books are few and not representative. Although there was moral condemnation from the clergy and upper classes of the supposed idleness of the poor, the fact this was often coupled with complaints they were aping their betters suggests they were experiencing a rise in disposable income which could be attributed to a longer working week. Jan de Vries has suggested that this stems from the increased marginal utility of wages vs. leisure time because consumer goods were proliferating across the country, so people could increase their quality of life by purchasing them.

Voth has concluded that “higher levels of consumption were bought at the expense of leisure”, which suggests this was not an unadulterated good for the working classes.12 He argues that work was a disamenity and that goods were only an amenity when combined with leisure time, which was declining. Jan de Vries has argued that increased labour was a conscious change based on the “household evaluation of the marginal utility of money income vs. leisure time”, suggesting that the workers of the period made a rational decision to engage in the market rather than being forced to.13 This is contentious, and an understanding of this aspect of the quality of life largely depends on how much weight is given to the claim that people resented the loss of traditional working patterns. Voth’s estimate that labour input per worker increased by twenty to twenty three per cent in the period 1760 to 1831 without subsequently declining seems to suggest that Vries is correct, and that once the new socially-determined level of income was attained it was defended by a continuation of intensive work practices.

A different approach to assessing standard of living is to look at changes in heights over time. Heights reflect elements of living standards which are not captured in real wages, such as work effort and the disease environment. For this reason they are especially good at assessing the impact of urbanisation, which came accompanied by disamenities such as overcrowding, disease and poor access to food. Height data that appears representative of the general working class population has been compiled by Nicholas and Oxley from the statures of criminals transported to New South Wales.14 They compare the English and Irish data to gain an understanding of the peculiarly English pace of urbanisation, and discover the valuable insight that people in English towns are shorter than those in rural areas, but that this is not so in Ireland.

Thus it seems that English urbanisation is accompanied by specifically extreme disamenities, as is corroborated by Szreter and Mooney’s study of urban mortality rates.15 A study of regional differences in statures was extended further by Floud, Wachter and Gregory, and they establish a chronology of height changes in London, large cities and rural areas.16 They are able to show that despite relatively high levels of nominal wages in London, people were generally shorter here than elsewhere due to “disease, unemployment, crowding and the high costs of living”. By 1840s they argue that other cities had begun to take on the characteristics of the metropolis and that a divergence between heights in these places and London occurred.17 In doing so they establish a very valuable heuristic for looking at disamenities in urban areas.

As with the debate over ‘leisure preference’, we must understand the attitudes of working class people at the time to gain an insight into whether they considered higher urban wages to be a worthwhile compensation for the disamenities suffered. Lindert and Williamson warn us of applying 20th century standards to the urban workforce, pointing out that they chose to move in large numbers to the unhealthy cities such as Liverpool and Manchester.18 These cities were characterised by a high mortality regime, with expectation of life at birth there in the 1850s and 1860s a full ten years below the national average, which was 41.19 An analysis of mortality is particularly pursuant to the question of standard of living because a life that is truncated early does not provide as much opportunity for overall enjoyment.

The evidence for urban areas in this period is pessimistic, especially in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The eight largest cities and London contained 26.8% of the population of England, and the effect of urbanisation on their expectation of life at birth was stark – they were all below the national average in the period 1851 – 1901. One particularly interesting conclusion to emerge from this approach is that a large city did not necessarily imply a higher mortality rate – Birmingham was relatively healthy and the smaller Newcastle had a lower expectation of life at birth than Bristol. As suburbs grew and attained the population density of inner-city areas, they still remained healthier. This suggests other factors were at play and need to be analysed, such as residential segregation based on class.20

Other approaches to standard of living stress capabilities rather than just incomes. The U.N. Human Development Index (HDI) has three strands – longevity, knowledge and income. Income is seen as making a diminishing contribute to the index beyond a certain point, when longevity and knowledge become more important. This is important, because increased choice in how to spend a life can be seen as increasing the standard of living. It also highlights the dichotomy between the male and female experience already mentioned – the Gender Development Index (GDI) improves over the period, but not as drastically as HDI. This is ascribed to falling female wage rates due to decreased participation in the labour market – their choices have declined.21 HDI provides a more optimistic picture, with literacy and time spent in education increasing across the period. So long as people have the money to take advantage of their increased knowledge, this points to an increased standard of living. The problems with HDI are that the weightings given to the three components can seem arbitrary and may not accurately reflect the concerns of citizens at this time. It can also be criticised for not including rights in the civil and political spheres – something that we now consider an essential component of standard of living.

The Dasgupta and Weale (hereafter DW) index is even more comprehensive. It takes into account per caput income, life expectancy at birth, infant mortality, adult literacy rate and indexes of political and civil rights. This would seem to be fairly comprehensive, but the weighting problem persists. Judgement on whether the index improves over the period are based on the weightings given to each part of the calculation, with particular controversy emerging between 1830 and 1850. Because of the rise in mortality after 1830, the index is not at its optimum point in 1850. We cannot ascribe accurate weightings to each part of the calculation unless we know exactly what people valued during this time period – and the task is further complicated by the fact this would surely vary between individuals. The DW index is hence useful taken in this context, especially when disaggregated down into its individual components. But the civil and political right indexes are especially contentious, because they may be thought not to accurately reflect the expectations of citizens during the period. The political index is based on the degree of democracy present in society and the civil index based on freedom of the press – traits we consider “modern” but may be anachronistic when applied to this time.

It is very hard to establish a definitive measure of the standard of living during this period, as the continuation of the debate proves. Each approach is useful in its own way, but must be interpreted in the light of what we understand of the expectations and desires of British citizens during the period. By taking all the data together we can measure trends in purchasing power, the independence of women and children based on their own wages, the disamenities which accompanied living in an urban environment and the opportunities people had for education, as well as the opportunities for expressing this in the public sphere or a free press. But we must not let national aggregate figures hide the fact that during the century specific regions were hit with hardship that might exceed the general national experience. The process of urbanisation and industrialisation was one that shook society to its core, and effected different groups in different ways. Studies of the standard of living in particular regions and occupations provide us with more useful information, and in aggregate help us to build up a picture of the national experience.

1. N.F.R Crafts, ‘Some dimensions of the ‘quality of life’ during the British Industrial Revolution’, Economic History Review, 1997. 2. R. Floud, K. Wachter and A. Gregory, Height, Health and History: Nutritional Status in the UK, 1750 – 1980 3. M. Daunton, Progress and Poverty

4. P. Lindert and J.G. Williamson, ‘English workers’ living standards during the Industrial Revolution: a new look’, Economic History Review, 1983. 5. M. Daunton, loc. cit.
6. Lindert and Williamson, op. cit.
7. C. Feinstein, ‘Pessimism perpetuated: real wages and the standard of living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution’, Journal of Economic History, 1998 ; Lindert and Williamson, op. cit. 8. M. Daunton, op. cit.

9.J. Humphries and S. Horrell, ‘Women’s labour force participation and the transition to the male-breadwinner family, 1790 – 1865’, Economic History Review, 1995. 10. Ibid.
11. Jan de Vries, ‘Between purchasing power and the world of goods: understanding the household economy in early modern Europe’ in R Porter and J. Brewer (ed.), Consumption and the World of Goods. 12. J. Voth, Time and Work in England, ch. 5

13. Jan de Vries, op. cit.
14. Nicholas and Oxley, ‘The living standards of women during the Industrial Revolution, 1795 – 1820’, Economic History Review, 1993. 15. S. Szreter and G. Mooney, ‘Urbanisation, mortality and the standard of living debate’, Economic History Review, 1998. 16. R. Floud, K. Wachter and A. Gregory, Height, Health and History: Nutritional Status in the UK, 1750 – 1980 17. Ibid., pp. 200 – 206

18. Lindert and Williamson, op. cit.
19. Szreter and Mooney, op. cit.
20. Ibid.
21. Crafts, op. cit.

Complete bibliography

N.F.R Crafts, ‘Some dimensions of the ‘quality of life’ during the British Industrial Revolution’, Economic History Review, 1997. R. Floud, K. Wachter and A. Gregory, Height, Health and History: Nutritional Status in the UK,
1750 – 1980 M. Daunton, Progress and Poverty

P. Lindert and J.G. Williamson, ‘English workers’ living standards during the Industrial Revolution: a new look’, Economic History Review, 1983. C. Feinstein, ‘Pessimism perpetuated: real wages and the standard of living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution’, Journal of Economic History, 1998 J. Humphries and S. Horrell, ‘Women’s labour force participation and the transition to the male-breadwinner family, 1790 – 1865’, Economic History Review, 1995. Jan de Vries, ‘Between purchasing power and the world of goods: understanding the household economy in early modern Europe’ in R Porter and J. Brewer (ed.), Consumption and the World of Goods. J. Voth, Time and Work in England

Nicholas and Oxley, ‘The living standards of women during the Industrial Revolution, 1795 – 1820’, Economic History Review, 1993. S. Szreter and G. Mooney, ‘Urbanisation, mortality and the standard of living debate’, Economic History Review, 1998. R. Floud, K. Wachter and A. Gregory, Height, Health and History: Nutritional Status in the UK, 1750 – 1980.

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