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Urban Livelihoods

Work, Life and Leisure: 10 CBSE SST

Question: Give explanations for the following:
(1) Why did the well off Londoners supported the need to build housing for the poor in the nineteenth century?
(2) Why were a number of Bombay films about the lives of migrants?
(3) What led to the major expansion of Bombay’s population in the mid-nineteenth century?

Answer:

  1. (i) Living in slums was very dangerous for the labourers. They lived upto an average age of 29 years as compared to the average life expectancy of 55 among the higher and the middle classes.
    (ii) Such slums were not only harmful for the slum dwellers, but they were also a threat to the public health, and could easily lead to any epidemic,
    (iii) Poor housing could prove a great fire hazard and could engulf other areas in the fire disaster.
    (iv) Especially, after the Russian Revolution of 1917. it was felt that poor housing could lead to any social disaster, and could lead to rebellions by the poor slum dwellers.
    (v) Lack of proper houses was also increasing the pollution level.
  2. Most of the people in the film industry were themselves migrants who came from cities like Lahore, Calcutta, Madras and contributed to the national character of the industry. Those who came from Lahore, then in Punjab, were especially important for the development of the Hindi film industry. Many famous writers, like Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto, were associated with the Hindi cinema.
  3. (i) In 1819, Bombay became the capital of Bombay Presidency. So it attracted more and more people towards the city.
    (ii) With the growth of trade in cotton and opium, a large number of traders and bankers along with artisans and shopkeepers came to settle in Bombay or Mumbai.
    (iii) As a result of the establishment of many industries along with the expansion of the cotton industry, more and more people migrated to Bombay from the neighbouring areas, especially from the nearby district of Ratnagiri.
    (iv) Bombay dominated the maritime trade of India with the European countries.
    (v) The introduction of railways, also encouraged a higher scale of migrants to this city.
    (vi) Famine in the dry regions of Kutch drove a large number of people into Bombay or Mumbai.
    (vii) When Bombay became the hub of Indian films, many new people—artists, dramatists, play writers, poets, singers, story writers flocked to this city despite its massive overcrowding.

Question: What forms of entertainment came up in the nineteenth century England to provide leisure activities for the people?

Answer:

  1. London Season: For wealthy Britishers there had long been an annual ‘London Season. Several cultural events, such as the opera, the theatre and the classical music performances were organised for an elite group of 300-400 families in the late eighteenth century.
  2. Pleasure gardens: Pleasure gardens came in the 19th century to provide facilities for sports,entertainment and refreshments for the well-to-do.
  3. Pubs for working class: Working classes met in pubs to have a drink: exchange news and sometimes, also to organise for political action.
  4. Libraries and museums: Libraries, art galleries and museums were established in the nineteenth century to provide people with a sense of history and pride in the achievements of the British.
  5. Music halls and cinemas: Music hails were popular among the lower classes and, by the early twentieth century, cinema became the great mass entertainment for the mixed audiences
  6. Beaches: British industrial workers were increasingly encouraged to spend their holidays by the sea. so as to derive the benefits of the sun and the bracing winds.

Question: (1) Explain the social changes in London which led to the need for the Underground Railway.
(2) Why was the development of the Underground Railway criticised?

Answer:

  1. (i)Industrialisation was the most important factor responsible for the urbanisation in the modem period.
    (ii)London soon started emerging as a great industrial centre with a population of about 6,75,000. Over the 19th century, London continued to expand, and its population multiplied fourfold.
    (iii)The city of London attracted people from all walks of life like clerks, shopkeepers, soldiers, servants, labourers, beggars, etc.
    (iv)The living conditions in London changed dramatically when people started migrating from the countryside to the city in search of jobs. This was largely because accommodation was not provided to the labourers by the factory owners.
    (v)The labourers had to live in cheap and unsafe tenements provided by the individual landowners.
    (vi)Poverty was clearly visible in the city. In 1887, Charles Booth conducted a survey, and concluded that about one million landowners were very poor, and were expected to live only upto an average age of 29. These people were more likely to die in a workhouse, hospital or a lunatic asylum. Meanwhile, the city had extended beyond the range where people could walk to work. So the planners realised the need for a means of transport.
  2. (i) Many fell that the “iron monsters added to the mess and unhealthiness of the city.
    (ii) To make approximately two miles of railway, about 900 houses had to be destroyed.
    (iii) The London Tube Railway led to a massive displacement of the London poor.

Question: Explain what is meant by the Haussmannization of Paris. To what extent would you support or oppose this form of development? Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, to either support or oppose this, giving reasons for your view.

Answer: Haussmannization of Paris: It simply means that the new city o: Pahs was designed by the chief architect of new Paris. At the instance of Napoleon 111 (a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte). Haussmann built the new city of Paris for continuous 17 years (between 1852 ro 1869). He designed straight, broad avenues (or boulevards), and open spaces and transplanted full grown trees. By 1370. about one-fifth of the streets of Paris were the creation of Haussmann. In addition, night patrols were introduced, bus shelters were built, and tap water was introduced. Opposition of Haussmannization: Many opposed this form o: development About 3.50.000 people were evicted from the centre of Paris. Some said that the city of Paris had been monstrously transformed. Some lamented the passing of an earlier way of life, and the development of an upper class culture. Others believed that Haussmann had killed the street and its life to produce an empty boring city. Arguments in Support of Haussmannization: The new Pans city soon got converted into a civic pride as the new capital became the toast of all of Europe. Paris became the hub of many new architectures. social and intellectual developments that were very influenced through the 20th century in many parts of the world.
Letter to the Editor to Self Explanatory.

Question: To what extent docs government regulations and new laws solve problems of pollution? Discuss one example each of the success and failure of legislation to change the quality of:
(1) public life
(2) private life

Answer: The government regulations and new laws had a mixed history of the successes and failures:

  1. New legislations in London were not taken seriously by the factory owners. They were not ready to spend on technologies that would improve their machines.
  2. The Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853 failed to clean the air.
  3. Calcutta (Kolkata) became the first Indian dry to get the smoke nuisance legislation.
  4. In 1920. the nee mills of Tollygunge began to burn rice husk instead of coal, leading residents to complain that ‘the air is filled up with black soot which falls like drilling rain from morning rill night, and it has become impossible to live’. The inspectors of the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission finally managed to control the industrial smoke.

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