Condition of the Working Class in England. Friedrich Engels.

All that can be said about London, is also applicable to Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, to all the big cities. Everywhere barbarous indifference, ruthless selfishness, on the one hand, and the indescribable poverty — on the other, everywhere social warfare, every house in a state of siege, everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and it's all done with such shameless candor that was horrified by the consequences our social system, which act here so nakedly, and is not surprised at anything, except that in this crazy cycle all still has not shattered to pieces.

Every big city has its densely populated working class slums, located in one or more areas. However, poverty is often huddle in cramped corners in the immediate vicinity of the palaces rich, but it is usually set aside a completely separate area in which, far from the eyes of happier classes, it must itself be interrupted as he can. These slums in all the cities of England in general are the same, and this most hideous house in the very nasty part of the city, often a string of one-story or two-story brick buildings are almost always located in a mess, with residential basements in many of them. These houses, consisting of three or four rooms and a kitchen, and are referred to as cottages in England, except for some parts of London, the usual residence of the worker. The streets are generally unpaved, muddy, with bumps, covered with plant and animal garbage, no drains and sewers, but with standing puddles of fetid. Irregular, chaotic construction of such parts of the city interfere with ventilation as well as a lot of people live here in a small space, you can easily imagine what the air is working in these areas. Besides the street in good weather are still drying clothes, from one house to another, across the street, stretch rope, hung with wet rags.

On the occasion of examining the body of 45-year Anne Galway Mr. Carter, an investigator from Surrey, 14 November 1843, the newspapers described the deceased home. She took with her husband and 19-year-old son of a small room at number 3 on the White Lion Court, Bermondsey Street, London, where there was neither beds nor bedding, nor any furniture. Dead lying next to his son on a pile of feathers that stuck to her nearly naked body, for there was no blankets, no sheets. Feathers so firmly stuck to the entire corpse, that it can not be investigated until it is cleared, and then the doctor found it extremely exhausted and completely bitten by insects. Part of the floor in the room was broken, and the whole family enjoyed this hole as a latrine.

Anyone who has at least some shelter, a lucky compared with the homeless. In London, every day 50 million people, waking up in the morning, do not know where they will spend the next night. The happiest of them who manage to put aside until the evening a couple of pence, go to one of the so-called houses of accommodation (lodging — house), in which the set of all the big cities, and for my money there are a shelter. But what kind of shelter! House from top to bottom bunks made to, in every room, four, five, six beds — as much as can fit. On each bed awake at four, five, six people, too, as much as can fit — the sick and the healthy, young and old, men and women, drunk and sober, all huddled together indiscriminately. Start all sorts of arguments, fights, beatings, and if his bunk mates collisions with each other, it turns out even worse, conspired to jointly stealing or committing acts of animal properties such that they do not have the words in our human language.

"These streets" — said in an English magazine, in an article about the health conditions of the workers in the cities {«The Artizan» — magazine — October 1843.} — "These streets are often so narrow that you can out of the window of a house step over a window of the house opposite, and to the same house as high as piled floor to floor, the light barely reaches yards and streets. In this part of town is no sewage or any waste pits or latrines in homes and, therefore, all the dirt, all the scum and filth, at least 50 thousand people every night thrown into a ditch. Because of this, no matter how sweeping the streets, yet there is a weight-drying mud, publishing a terrible stench, which is not only unpleasant for the sight and smell, but also extremely harmful to the health of the inhabitants. What wonder if such places are neglected not only the health and morals, but the most common rules of decency? Moreover, all they had to get acquainted with the inhabitants of the area, can attest to how common are here disease, poverty and demoralization. This society has fallen to incredibly low and pitiful level. — The dwellings of the poorest class in general is very dirty, and apparently never subjected to any cleaning. In most cases they consist of a single room, which, in spite of the very poor ventilation, yet always cold because of the broken glass and poorly prilazhennoy frames; wet room, often located below ground level, the situation is always miserable, or not at all, so that an armful of straw is often a bed for the whole family and for her outrageous proximity lying men and women, children and the elderly. The water can get only in the social column; difficulty of delivery, of course, in all respects favors the spread of dirt. "

During the flood of the River Aire "(which, by the way, like all rivers, washing the factory towns, flowing into the city clean and clear, and flows out at the other end of the black and stinking, polluted with all sorts of filth) 'houses and flooded basements are often so water, that it has to be pumped out and pour out into the street, even in a time where there are sewers to remove impurities from the water rises in the cellars of the cloaca {It must be remembered that these "cellars" are not pantries, and housing for the people.} forming evaporation, saturated with hydrogen sulfide and full of miasma, and leaves a disgusting sludge, extremely harmful to health. During the spring flood of 1839 the consequences of such an overflow cloaca were so disastrous that, according to the report registrar of civil status, in this part of the city in this quarter of the year had two births in the three deaths, while in other parts of the city for the same quarter , the ratio was reversed, ie, three births accounted for two deaths. "

Summarizing the results of our travels through the country, we must say that almost all the 350 thousand workers of Manchester and its suburbs live in poor, wet and dirty cottages, and the streets on which these cottages are located, for the most part are very nasty, in the disrepair, built without any concern for ventilation, with only one concern — the greater profit developer, in short, in the working cottages Manchester impossible either to maintain cleanliness, convenience, or to comply with, and because there is no place and home comfort, these homes can feel nice and cozy only people degenerate physically demoralized, lost human form, intellectually and morally come down to the state of the animal.

Damp climate of England, with its frequent changes of weather more than any other cause the common cold, which causes most of the moneyed class wearing flannel underwear, flannel bibs, vests and abdominal band are widespread. Workers are not only available, these precautions, but he did almost never able to get yourself woolen dress. A heavy cotton fabric, although they are thicker, stiffer and heavier than wool, yet far less protection from the cold and damp, but because of the thickness and properties of the material longer hold moisture and density at all inferior to felting the wool broadcloth. And if a worker can ever afford to buy a Sunday coat of fur, he is forced to buy it in the "dime store" where the fabric will get nasty, the so-called «devil 's dust» {-literally, "dust devil"; fabric, manufacturing from old woolen fabrics, recycled oil presses (in English — devil). Ed. } Made "only for sales, but not to wear", which is falling apart after two weeks or rubbed into holes, or else he must buy from a junk already shabby old coat, the best time is long gone, and that will last him for a few weeks. But most of wardrobe in poor condition, also from time to time have attributed their best clothes to the pawnshop. The clothes are very, very many of the workers, especially the Irish, is a solid rags, which are often even no place to put a patch or this clothing consists of some patches, so that is a completely impossible to know its original color.

With food situation is the same as with clothing: work goes to something that is too bad for the propertied class. In the big cities of England can get the first-class products, but for a lot of money and work, the entire budget is calculated pennies, can not spend so much.

Supplying the workers mostly small traders who buy up bad product and it is because of his bad qualities can sell it so cheap.

"Salted butter sold under the guise of a fresh, which were coated with a layer of salted butter chunks of fresh or offer to try the pound of fresh butter, which lies on top, and after the test release, salted, or wash the salt and oil are sold as fresh. — By the sugar is mixed pounded rice or other cheap products and sell at the price of pure sugar. Industrial waste, resulting from the soap-making, and mixed with other substances and sold under the guise of sugar. To add mootomu coffee chicory and other cheap products, impurities are even and not ground coffee, and forgery is shaped coffee beans. — In Cocoa is often blended finely milled brown clay, which was triturated with mutton fat, so it is better mixed with real cocoa. — In the tea is often mixed into a thorny leaf litter and the like, or a broken tea is dried, roasted on hot plates of brass, to return the painting to him, and sold as fresh. To peppers leguminous admixed dust, etc. simply fabricate Port (from colorants, alcohol, etc.), because it is well known that more than one port England consumed than all can give vineyards Portugal, as the tobacco in all forms in which it occurs in the sale, mixed into different substances nauseating. "

(To this I can add that in view of widespread falsification of tobacco, some of the most prominent tobacco merchants Manchester last summer, have openly stated that without falsifying their cause can not be maintained and that no cigar, standing less than 3 pence, does not consist of pure tobacco .) Of course, it is not limited to falsification of victuals, examples of which I could still bring dozens, including a sneaky custom mixed into flour, chalk or gypsum. Deception practiced everywhere, flannel, stockings, etc. stretch to make them seem longer, and after the first washing, they sit down again; cloth, which at one and a half or three inches narrower than expected, sold under the guise of a wide, for such a thin glaze ware that immediately bursts, thousands of similar scams. — Tout comme chez nous {- Just as we have. Ed. }.

But all of this is provided that the worker has a job, and when he has no work, it all depends on the case, and he eats what he was given, he asked to borrow or steal, but if he got nothing, he simply dies to death, as was shown above. It goes without saying that the quality as well as quantity of food depends on the wage and low-wage jobs that are hungry, even when they have a job, especially if they have a large family, while the number of these low-wage workers is very high. In particular, in London, where competition is increasing workers to the same extent as the population, this group of workers are very numerous, but they can be found in all the other cities. Here, as can dodge and for lack of other food eating potato peelings, vegetable cleaning, rotten fruit {«Weekly Dispatch», April or May 1844, according to the report of Dr. Southwood Smith on the situation of the poor in London.} And greedily pounce on anything that contains even a very little nutrient. If weekly earnings used up before the end of the week, it often happens that the family is the last day of the week does not eat or eat only as much as is absolutely necessary that they should not die of hunger. This way of living, of course, causes many diseases, and only once they start, especially if ill father — the main breadwinner of the family, hard work which requires a total of more food, so that he first falls victim to the disease — that poverty is particularly high and emerges most clearly the brutality with which the company casts its members to fend for themselves at a time when they most need it more support.

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