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Life in 1912 in England
Transcript of Life in 1912 in England
During the previous century, Britain had just gone through the Industrial Revolution and to many, the Titanic was seen as the key of achievement and enterprise
The rich in 1912 were able to lead very opulent and leisurely lives, with many servants, enormous meals, houses in the town and country. It was the perfect life... This was the life of the Birling family, in the play 'Inspector Calls' the Birling family are the stereotypical upper class family of 1912, they own a 'large suburban house', the father of the family is a wealthy businessman and they all have high social status's.
The poor in 1912 had a tough life, they worked as factory workers, miners and other jobs of labor for survival. They usually made very little money which often was less the poverty line... In the play 'Inspector Calls' Edna and Eva Smith represent the poor working-class
women. Women would work in the factories, as parlor maids...
The Great Class Divide
The Middle and Higher class
Middle class, like Mr Birling showed ignorance, rejecting the war 'these silly little war scares'
Money was spent on battleships and investing in armsthis money could have helped cure poverty
The middle class supported 'lower wages for higher prices' which increased industrial unrest in the working classes.
That led to many strikes for a pay raise. People like Eva smith wanted the rates raised so that they could average about 25 shillings a week. But, Mr Birling refused them all because of the fact that if he let the demand for a new rate increase, he'd have to add about 12% to the labour costs.
Life in 1912 in England
The growth of companies and businesses had made many families rich e.g; the Birling family
The working class worked for these companies and were expected to survive with their poor pays.
Those who were rich treated the poorer people like peasants and had not even the slightest of thoughts to change their labour costs. Trade unions were weak and workers were unable to stand up to their powerful, 'superior' employers.
In England in 1912, there was the great social class division where the very rich people were separated from the poorer people.
The upper and middle class claimed 66% of the National income while the lower and working class only claimed 34%. Working women like Eva Smith earned less than 1 pound a week