10 History Chapter 3 Work Life and Leisure

Chapter Notes and Summary• Durgacharan Ray in 1880 wrote a novel, Debganer Martye Aagaman (The Gods visit Earth) in which he gave a description of Brahma’s (The Creator) journey by train to Calcutta accompanied by some other Gods.
• These Gods were greatly surprised by life style of people residing in magnificent city of Calcutta (Kolkata).
• These Gods were so impressed by trains, large ships, big factories, bridges, monuments and beautifully decorated shops that they decided to build a Museum and a High Court in heaven.
• history of modern city can be traced back to last
200 years. processes which have shaped history of modern cities are
1. rise of industrial capitalism.
2. establishment of colonial rule over large parts of world.
3. development of democratic ideals.
Characteristics of City
1. towns and cities that first appeared along river valleys such as Ur, Nippur and Mohenjodaro were larger in scale than other human settlements.
2. These cities supported various social groups such as artisans, merchants and priests.
3. cities were centres of political power,
administrative networks, trade and industry, religious institutions and intellectual activity.
4. These cities varied greatly in size and complexity.
5. Some were metropolises and others were smaller urban centres.
Industrialisation and Rise of Modern City in England
1. Industrialisation was most important factor to change form of urbanisation in modern period.
2. textile industry of Leeds and Manchester in England attracted a large number of migrants.
3. London soon started emerging as a great industrial centre with a population of about 675,000 in year 1750.
4. following were most important industries of London which gave employment to a large number of people at that time
(a) London dockyards
(b) Wood and furniture
(c) Clothing and footwear
(d) Printing and stationery
(e) Metals and engineering
(f ) Precision products like surgical instruments and watches
Marginal Groups
1. Marginal groups include social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty and discrimination.
2. industrialisation process in London gave rise to crime and criminals.
3. Philanthropists were worried about public morality and industrialists wanted a hard working and orderly labour force.
4. Most of these criminals, according to Henry Mayhew, were poor people who lived by stealing petty things like bread,
coal, clothes, etc.
5. To control crime, authorities imposed high penalties on criminals.
6. Women tried to increase family income by activities like tailoring, washing or matchbox making.
7. After passage of Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870 and Factory Acts, children were kept out of industrial work.
1. living conditions in London changed dramatically when people started migrating from countryside to city in search of jobs.
2. These labourers had to live in cheap and safe tenements provided by individual landowners.
3. Although, poverty was not unknown in countryside, it was more clearly visible in city.
4. In 1887, Charles Booth conducted a survey and concluded that one million Londoners were very poor and were expected to live upto an average age of 29.
5. More and more people began to recognise need for housing for poor.
6. reasons behind this concern were
(a) poor and filthy living conditions of one room houses which posed a serious threat to public health.
(b) Danger of fire hazards in tenements.
(c) Fear of social disorder or rebellion by workers,
especially after Russian Revolution in 1917.
Cleaning London
1. A variety of steps were taken to clean up London. Attempts were made
(a) to decongest localities
(b) to develop greenery
(c) to landscape city
(d) to reduce pollution
(e) to develop a green belt around London
(f ) to introduce rent control
(g) to build large blocks of apartments
2. Architect and planner Ebenezer Howard developed principle of Garden City, However, only well-off workers could afford houses in garden city replanned.
3. Between two World Wars (1919-1939) British state took up responsibility of housing working classes and built about a million houses for them.
4. Meanwhile city had extended beyond range where people could walk to work.
Transport in City
1. problem of transport was partially solved by London Underground Railway System which opened on
10th January, 1863.
2. It was started between Paddington and Farrington Street in London and carried 10,000 passengers on first day.
3. people did not accept underground readily
(a) Many people considered it as a menace to health as engines released harmful gases like sulphur-dioxide and carbon-dioxide.
(b) Many felt that ‘iron monsters’ added to mess and unhealthiness in city.
(c) Many houses were destroyed and people were displaced due to construction of underground railway.
(d) Charles Dickens in his novel Dombey and Son,
highlighted massive destruction which accrued because of underground railway.
4. By 20th century, most of metropolises such as New York, Tokyo and Chicago followed London in building their own Underground Railway System.
Social Change in City function and shape of family was completely transformed; ties between members of households loosened, divorce cases became common, tensions in families increased and family institutions broke down.
Men, Women and Family in City city encouraged a new spirit of individualism among men and women, but men and women did not have equal access to new urban space.
1. Women were also denied political rights.
2. Women came to participate in political movements for suffrage that demanded right to vote for women.
3. With advancement of industrialisation, family became heart of a new market of goods, services and ideas.
Leisure and Consumption
1. London season; annual ‘London Season’ was for rich or elite class.
2. It was customary to hold dinner parties and cultural events like Opera, theatre, and music performances.
Pubs Various public houses known as pubs, were opened for people to have a drink exchange news and sometimes to organise for political action.
New Sources of Entertainment Many libraries, art galleries, and museums were established for large scale entertainment of common people.
1. Music halls and cinemas also became new source of entertainment for common people.
2. Beaches British industrial workers were increasingly encouraged to spend their holidays by sea so as to derive benefits of Sun and bracing winds.
Politics in City
1. In 1886, due to a severe winter, outdoor work came to a stand still and London poor exploded in a riot,
demanding relief from terrible conditions of poverty.
2. A similar riot occurred in 1887, which was brutally suppressed by police.
3. It became popular as Bloody Sunday of November
4. London Dock Strike of 1889 was considered a milestone in development of British Labour Movement.
5. A large city population was thus both – a threat and an opportunity.
City in Colonial India Till early 20th century only
11% of Indians were living in cities and most of these were in three Presidency Cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
1. These were multi-functional cities because they had major parts ware houses, homes and offices, army camps,
educational institutions, museums and libraries.
2. Bombay (now named Mumbai) was premier city of India and it expanded rapidly.
Bombay Prime City of India city was founded by Portuguese and British colonists in 17th century.
1. city was named Bombay by Portuguese and this served as city’s official name until 1995, when it was changed to Mumbai; both names are popular.
2. In 1661, control of islands comprising Bombay passed into British hands after marriage of King Charles II to Portuguese princess.
3. importance of Bombay is evident by following
(a) It was major outlet for cotton textiles from Gujarat.
(b) It functioned as a major port city.
(c) It soon emerged as a major industrial centre.
(d) It was an important administrative centre in Western India.
(e) opening of Suez Canal in 1869 brought West closes to Bombay.
Work in City city of Bombay expanded rapidly after it became Capital of Bombay Presidency in 1819.
1. opening of Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of largest seaports of India.
2. first cotton mill was established there in 1854.
3. By 1921, there were more than 85 mills with more than
15,000 workers.
4. railways encouraged a large number of people to migrate into city.
5. Worried by influx of population and plague epidemic of 1898, district authorities sent about
30,000 people back to their places of origin by 1901.
Housing and Neighbourhoods A person living in London enjoyed an average space of 155 square yards, whereas a person living in Bombay had a mere 9.5 square yards.
1. London had an average of 8 persons per house, whereas it was 20 persons per house in Bombay.
2. Bombay Fort area was divided between a ‘native town’
where most of Indians lived and a ‘White Section’
where Europeans lived.
3. rapid and unplanned expansion of Bombay led to following problems
(a) water crisis
(b) lack of space
(c) crisis of housing
(d) pollution
(e) overcrowded colonies and homes
(f) filthy atmosphere
(g) disputes between sections of society
(h) fears of plague epidemics
1. caste and family group clashes.
4. About 70% of working people lived in thickly populated chawls of Bombay.
5. Chawls were multi-storeyed structures built since the
1860s in native parts of town.
Social Life As city was overcrowded, there was an interdependence among people.
1. Liquor shops and akharas came up along with other leisure activities.
2. homes were small so, streets and neighbourhoods were used for a variety of activities and social functions.
3. Caste and family groups in mill neighbourhoods were headed by someone who was similar to a village headman.
4. People belonging to depressed classes found it very difficult to find houses.
To overcome these problems Bombay Improvement Trust
was established in 1898.
1. In 1918, a Rent Act was passed to keep rents reasonable,
but it did not have a favourable effect.
2. According to Census of 1901
(a) mass of island’s population or 80% of total population, resides in tenements of one room.
(b) average number of occupants of a tenement are between 4 and 5 .
(c) People had to keep windows of their rooms closed even in humid weather due to ‘close proximity of filthy gutters’, privies, buffalo stables, etc.
(d) There was a scarcity of water.
Land Reclamation in Bombay
1. A project was launched in 1784 to join seven islands of Bombay into one landmass.
2. Governor of Bombay, William Hornby, approved building of great sea wall to prevent flooding of low lying areas of Bombay.
3. In 1864, Back Ray Reclamation Company won right to reclaim Western foreshore from tip of Malabar Hill to end of Colaba.
4. Bombay Port Trust also launched a reclamation project to build a dry dock between 1914 and 1918.
5. famous Marine Drive of Bombay was developed.
Bombay as City of Dreams, World of Cinema and Culture
1. Bombay has been associated with film industry and is popularly known as Mayapuri.
2. Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar was first India to make a film and it became India’s first movie in 1896.
3. Many famous writers, like Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto were associated with Hindi Cinema.
Cities and Challenge of Environment
1. City development everywhere created following problems
(a) ecological imbalance
(b) pollution
(c) environmental disturbance
(d) filth and dirt everywhere
(e) smoke related illness and spread of epidemics
(f) unemployment
(g) overcrowding of living spaces
(h) scarcity of housing, food and water
2. By 1840s a few towns such as Derby Leeds and Manchester had laws to control smoke in city.
3. Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853, as they were called, did not always work to clear air.
Calcutta Calcutta served as capital city of India during British Raj until 1911.
1. Its inhabitants inhaled grey smoke, particularly in winter.
2. Colonial authorities were at first intent on cleaning place of miasmas or harmful vapours.
3. railway line introduced in 1855 brought a dangerous new pollutant into picture-coal from Raniganj.
4. Calcutta was first city to get a Smoke Nuisance Legislation in 1863.
5. In 1920, rice mills of Tollygunge began to burn rice husk instead of coal.
6. inspectors of Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission finally managed to control industrial smoke.
Conclusion city has always been attracted to those seeking freedom and opportunity.
1. Gods in Durgacharan Roy’s novel found heaven imperfect compared with all that they had witnessed and experienced on their visit to Calcutta.

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