Rapid Urbanization During The Nineteenth Century Essay

Rapid Urbanization During The Nineteenth Century Essay

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During the nineteenth century, England underwent major social and economic changes resulting from London 's rapid urbanization. These changes were highlighted by a drastic rise in population. Between 1831 and 1901, the population of London jumped from under two million to roughly six and a half million. This population growth was caused by a combination of immigration from other countries and an influx of citizens from rural England. A result of the population increase was a much larger working class, which led to a rise of the middle class to fill the great divide between London 's wealthy and poor. Small businesses, such as banks and stores, were more common than large factories during this time. Another major effect of the city 's surplus population was an increase in suburban areas on the city 's outskirts to accommodate more people. Additionally, new methods of transportation became a necessity; both steam-powered trains and electric-powered trains experienced a significant rise in popularity over the course of the century (Cruttenden 28-29). The magnitude of the industrialization of London was brought to the attention of the public via the literature of authors at the time. Although multiple writers attempted to encompass the city 's social changes in their work, none are as well-known today as Charles Dickens. He strived to paint a realistic picture of the changing society in his novels, including his famous works Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. Dickens explored the social changes resulting from the rapid urbanization of England during the nineteenth century through plot, setting, and contrasting good and bad characters in his novels.
The plot of Oliver Twist, a novel Dickens wrote at the age of twenty-six following th...


... middle of paper ...


... people of all ages were greatly affected by the urbanization of London.
Although a passion to write was Dickens ' primary motivation for taking on the career, awakening the public to the social changes was arguably his most significant contribution to nineteenth century England. Roaming the streets of London helped him get a strong sense of the urban setting, which allowed him to craft realistic novels. Many conflicts in his books reflected real-life issues faced by Dickens himself, such as poverty and solidarity in Oliver Twist. As London 's population grew, a need for a stronger awareness of the magnitude of the social changes grew as well. Dickens ' exploration of the social changes caused by the rapid industrialization of England through plot, setting, and characters in his novels left an indelible mark on English literature as well as nineteenth century London.

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