A Christmas Carol Background
Poverty in Victorian England
Living Conditions in Slums
Slums were run down areas with houses where 30 or more people live together in a single room. People squatted and slept on straw beds that were placed on the hard room floor. Rotting dead bodies laid everywhere on the floor and the mothers had to protect their infants from rats attacking them.
Workhouses are where the poor working class would go if they needed support. They usually worked for clothes, and shelter. The workhouses only provided the minimal amount of food a person needs to survive. The people that lived there were treated as slaves. The workhouses separated the people into men, women, and children. Workhouse were a last resort, and most people would rather suffer outside than go to a workhouse.
The children in the family had to work along with their parents to support their family's need. Some jobs children worked at were pulling carts through small coal mines, street peddling, chimney sweeping, and factories/mills. Most of these jobs were deadly to the children's who worked there. Some children were recruited to become thieves or pickpockets.