Consequently, at the end of the 19th century, the number of people occupying Great Britain had grown over three times compared to the population at the start of the century. Rapid changes in housing, employment, and social welfare resulted in great variations in the lives of the peoples in the Victorian era with this period of adjustment leading to extreme poverty and people dying in the streets due to starvation. This period (19th century) thus braved a plethora of social challenges with the country moving towards industrialization from an agrarian society (Binns, 78). The urban population bloom then foresaw increased social inequalities. The poverty witnessed in Victorian England was principally a result of a sharp increase in the human population. Generally, population growth throughout the nation was unprecedented. However, the bloom in major towns and cities was quite a phenomenon with people flocking urban centers (from their rural roots) in search of opportunities for employment (as a result of the industrial revolution). Apart from seeking job opportunities, people flocked into towns and cities looking for a better way of living, adventure and searching for the unknown. In the end, population growth and internal and external immigration led to the fight for any available job in the country. Because there were a lot of people desperate for jobs (both unskilled and skilled alike), employers characteristically paid low wages that were barely above the level of subsistence (as it was a take it or leave it attitude season for job owners). Situations would get direr when work dried up or if the job was seasonal and the worker had to be rendered jobless again. Since the amounts paid during the active working seasons were barely enough to sustain them, most of the folks had no savings to return home to as they had been living from hand to mouth (Black, 124). Due to the economic difficulties, families had tocontend with at the time, children were hence made to contribute towards the budgets of their respective families (working in dangerous situations and for long periods with very little money to show for at the end of these gruesome endeavors).
Poverty in the Victorian Era