NCERT Class 10 History Chapter 6: Work, Life and Leisure YouTube Lecture Handouts

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  • In 1880, Durgacharan Ray wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman (The Gods Visit Earth) - Brahma, Creator in Hindu mythology, took a train to Calcutta with some other gods – wonderstruck by big buildings and planned to build museum in heaven. But on other side was poverty, poor housing and cheats.

  • Contrasts came as wealth and poverty, splendor and dirt, opportunities and disappointments

  • Modern cities came recently under 3 processes - rise of industrial capitalism, establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world & development of democratic ideals

  • Cities like Nippur and Mohenjodaro were larger in scale that other settlements – ancient cities could develop only with increase in food supplies to support non-food producers

  • Cites were often the centres of political power, administrative network, trade and industry, religious institutions, and intellectual activity

  • Cities vary in size and complexity – can be metropolis and support large population

Rise of Modern City in England

  • Even many decades after industrial revolution, most Western countries were largely rural

  • Leeds and Manchester attracted migrants to textile mills in 18th century. In 1851 -3/4th adults in Manchester were migrants from rural areas

  • London – In 1750, 1 of 9 people of England and Wales lived in London. Colossal city with 6.75 lakh population which shot up to 4 million in 1880

  • It acted as magnet for migrant population – clerks, small masters, artisans, semi-skilled workers and laborers

  • Major industries here were - clothing and footwear, wood and furniture, metals and engineering, printing and stationery, and precision products such as surgical instruments, watches, and objects of precious metal

  • WW-I, manufacturing of motor cars and electrical goods & factories accounted for 1/3rd of all jobs

Image of The Growth of London, a map Showing its population in four different eras

Growth of London- Showing Population in Four Different Eras

Image of The Growth of London, a map Showing its population in four different eras

  • With city size, crime flourished and 20,000 criminals in 1870s – law and order became a concern & made philanthropists (one who works for social uplift) anxious

  • 19th century - Henry Mayhew wrote several volumes on London labor, and compiled long lists of those who made a living from crime – but many listed as criminals were infact poor stealing food. Tricksters and thieves crowded London streets; authorities imposed penalties on crime and offered work to deserving poor

  • Women lost job with technological invasion and were forced to work within households. In 1861, 0.25 million women were domestic servants & started home based work like tailoring, washing etc. Later women got employment during war time and withdrew from domestic service

  • Children in low paid work. Andrew Mearns, a clergyman who wrote “The Bitter Cry of Outcast London” in 1880s, showed why crime was more profitable than laboring in small underpaid factories

  • Only after passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870 & factory acts beginning from 1902, that children were kept out of industrial work.

  • Individual landowners put cheap, unsafe tenements (overcrowded apartment) for new arrivals

  • In 1887, Charles Booth, a Liverpool shipowner, conducted the first social survey of lowskilled London workers in the East End of London - 1 million Londoners (1/5th of the population of London at the time) were very poor and were expected to live only up to an average age of 29 (average life expectancy of 55 among the gentry and the middle class).

  • These people were more than likely to die in a ‘workhouse, hospital or lunatic asylum’. London needed rebuilding of at least 400,000 rooms to house its poorest citizens.

  • Houses were overcrowded, badly ventilated and lacked sanitation, issues of fire hazards and fear of social disorder after Russian Revolution in 1917 – idea was to plan for worker’s mass housing schemes

  • Temperance movement (middle class led social reforms) developed to fight against evils of drinking and drunkenness on streets

  • Cleaning London – decongest localities, green open spaces, reduce pollution, build apartment blocks, and introduce rent control in Britain during WW-I to ease impact of severe housing shortage

  • Wealthy residents could afford holiday homes in countryside

  • Demands for new lungs for city – bridge between city and countryside by Green Belts around London

  • Ebenezer Howard developed idea of Garden City – space full of plants and trees where people can live and work – would produce better citizens

  • Following Howard’s ideas Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker designed the garden city of New Earswick. There were common garden spaces, beautiful views, and great attention to detail

  • With suburb development issues of mass transport became necessary – London underground railway (1st section in 1863 between Paddington and Farrington Street in London & carried 10,000 passengers on that day; trains running every 10 minutes). By 1880 – it expanded to carry 40 million passengers every year

  • Critics of underground railways – iron monsters; broken streets for construction; smoking people created heat and asphyxiation (suffocation); for 2 miles railways around 900 houses were destroyed; led to displacement of poor between two World Wars

  • It was success as many could live outside and join for work. Chicago, New York and Tokyo did not have the well-defined transit system

  • 18th century – family as unit of production, consumption and political decision making – it was transformed by industrial life. Ties loosened and marriage broke; upper and middle class women felt higher isolation; so women must be pushed back to homes

  • City encouraged individualism (independent action of individual) & freedom from collective values of smaller rural communities. Public space became male dominated and domestic was female dominated

  • Chartism (a movement demanding the vote for all adult males) & 10-hour movement (limiting hours of work in factories), mobilized large numbers of men

  • Gradually women demand for right to vote and married women’s right to property started

  • New family became heart of new markets & problem of mass leisure on Sundays and common holidays came in

  • “London Season” – cultural event for wealthy Britishers with opera, theatre and music having 300-400 families in 18th century

  • Working class met in pubs to exchange news, drink and organize political action

  • 19th century – libraries, art galleries and musuems came up – for sense of history and pride. Visitors to London museum increased from 15,000 a year to 8.25 lakh in 1846 with free entry

  • Music halls and cinemas became mass entertainment centres

  • Over 1 million British people went to the seaside at Blackpool in 1883; by 1939 their numbers had gone up to 7 million.

  • Before the railway age, taverns were places on coach routes where horse-drawn coaches halted, and tired travelers had food and drink and rested for overnight stays. After railways, taverns declined. Pubs came closer to railway stations.

  • In 1886 – riots with 10,000 crowd that marched from Deptford to London; similar one occurred in 1887 which was suppressed by police and known as Bloody Sunday of Nov 1887

  • 1889 – thousands dockworkers went to strike and marched through city

Haussmanisation of Paris

  • In 1852, Louis Napoleon III (a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) crowned himself emperor & took rebuilding of Paris with chief architect of the new Paris was Baron Haussmann, the Prefect of the Seine.

  • Poor was evicted to beautify the city

  • 17 years after 1852, Haussmann rebuilt Paris with broad avenues and open spaces; bus shelters and tap waters were introduced. Reconstruction displaced 3.5 lakh people from center of Paris.

  • Some believed he had killed the streets and made it boring

  • New capital later became the toast of Europe with architectural, social and intellectual developments

City in Colonial India

  • Urbanization in India was slow in 19th century under colonial rule

  • Early 20th century – 11% Indians were in cities

  • Large proportion of urban dwellers were in 3 Presidency cities (Bombay, Bengal and Madras) which were multi-functional with major ports, warehouses, educational institutions.

  • Bombay – premier city - Population grew from 6.44 lakhs in 1872 to 15 lakhs in 1941

  • 17th century – Bombay was group of 7 islands under Portuguese

  • In 1661 – control passed to British after marriage of Britain’s King Charles II to Portuguese princess.

  • East India Company shifted base from Surat to Bombay

  • Initially it was outlet of cotton textile from Gujarat

  • In late 19th century – port with raw material as cotton and opium – later an administrative center and finally industrial center

  • 1819 – became capital of Bombay presidency after defeat of Maratha in Anglo-Maratha war & city expanded

  • 1854 – 1st cotton textile mill was established. By 1921 – 85 cotton mills and 1.46 lakh workers. It was home to only 1/4th local residents and rest were outsiders

  • Women formed 23% mill workforce between 1919 and 1926 & later number dropped to 10% as h=jobs were taken by machines

  • Till 20th century – Bombay dominated maritime trade. Located at junction of two railways (encouraged higher migration)

  • 1888-89 – Kutch famine drove people to Bombay

  • Flood of migrants created panic and plague epidemic spread in 1898 where 30,000 people were sent back in 1902

  • Bombay was crowded – (Londoners had average 155 square yards with 8 persons per house while Bombay had 9.5 square yards with 20 persons per house)

  • Early 1800s – Bombay Fort area was divided into native town (Indians lived) & European (white section) to north of Fort and similar in south as well

  • Crisis for housing, water supply became acute in mid-1850s. textile mills increased pressure on housing

  • Parsis, Muslims and upper caste traders had spacious bungalows while 70% lived in chawls (multi-storeyed structures owned by private landlords – were divided into one room tenements with no private toilets) – 80% population resided in one room tenements in 1901

  • 90% of millworkers were housed in Girangaon, a ‘mill village’ not more than 15 minutes’ walk from the mills.

  • Bombay’s first Municipal Commissioner, Arthur Crawford, was appointed in 1865.

  • People had to keep the windows of their rooms closed even in humid weather due to the ‘close proximity of filthy gutters, privies, buffalo stables etc.’

  • Due to small homes, streets were used for cooking, washing and sleeping. Liquor shops and akharas came up in empty spots.

  • Jobber in mill could be the local neighborhood leader to settle disputes, organize food supply and credit

  • Depressed classes were kept out of the chawls and lived in shelters of corrugated sheets, leaves, or bamboo poles.

  • Town planning in Bombay was due to fear of plague while in London it was due to social revolution

  • City of Bombay Improvement Trust was established in 1898 & focused on clearing poorer homes out of the city centre

  • By 1918, Trust schemes had deprived 64,000 people of their homes, but only 14,000 were rehoused. In 1918, a Rent Act was passed to keep rents reasonable

  • Bombay developed by reclamation projects – earliest project began in 1784 - Bombay governor William Hornby approved building of the great sea wall, which prevented the flooding of low-lying areas of Bombay

  • In 1864, the Back Bay Reclamation Company won the right to reclaim the western foreshore from the tip of Malabar Hill to the end of Colaba. Reclamation often meant the levelling of the hills around Bombay.

  • By 1870s – most private companies closed due to mounting cost & city expanded 22 square miles

  • Bombay Port Trust, which built a dry dock between 1914 and 1918 and used the excavated earth to create the 22-acre Ballard Estate & finally Marine Drive

  • Bombay as “mayapuri” or city of dreams

  • Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar shot a scene of a wrestling match in Bombay’s Hanging Gardens and it became India’s first movie in 1896

  • Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra (1913)

  • By 1925, Bombay had become India’s film capital - money invested in about 50 Indian films in 1947 was Rs. 756 million. By 1987, the film industry employed 5.2 lakh people. Writers like Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto came here

City Challenges

  • Natural features were flattened for demand of housing

  • Refuse and waste product polluted air and water and noise pollution became an issue

  • Use of coal in homes created serious problems

  • Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, hundreds of factory chimneys spewed black smoke into the skies – descending black fog on the towns

  • By the 1840s, few towns such as Derby, Leeds and Manchester had laws to control smoke in the city.

  • Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853, as they were called, did not always work to clear the air

  • Calcutta build on marshy land and fog with smoke created smog – high pollution and population. Railway brought pollutants by line from Raniganj in 1855. High amount of ash in Indian coal was a problem

  • In 1863 - Calcutta became the first Indian city to get smoke nuisance legislation.

  • In 1920 - rice mills of Tollygunge began to burn rice husk instead of coal – black soot that falls like rain and makes it hard to live

  • Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission finally managed to control industrial smoke

Singapore Planning

  • Started in 1822 but benefit only to white rulers in Singapore

  • Under Lee Kuan Yew it became independent nation in 1965 – housing and development program on every inch of land

  • 85% people were provided ownership of housing – tall blocks, which were well ventilated - ‘void decks’ or empty floors were provided in all buildings for community activities & reduced crime

  • Controlled migration in the city and prevention of racial conflict