Growth Of Cities

The growth of cities is when the industrial revolution started in the 1760. When it started the farmers were forced to move in to the cities. There were over 37 people moving in to the cities over that period of time. The numbers of births increased by 3 thousand and so did the death rates.

Poem and explanation

The Poem and Explanation

the poem

 Tis bad enough in man or woman that steals the goose from of the common;

but surely he’s without excuse that steals the common form the goose

 the explanation

“’Tis bad enough in man or woman”

This shows that it was bad enough for a man or a woman to commit the action that is “bad”.


“That steals the goose from off the common”

This shows that the action that was “bad” was to steal an animal off common land. Common land was land that any of the “commons” (basically anyone that was lower down in the hierarchy) could use to keep their animals on.


“But surely he’s without excuse”

This shows that the upcoming sin is even worse than the previous and nobody has a valid excuse to commit it. Also, the “he’s” shows that it is more likely to be a man that commits this sin.



“That steals the common from the goose”

This shows the sin. But, it is mostly showing…


People (usually men, as we have already mentioned) used the goose’s land (common land) as building space for factories. This is called ‘stealing’ because people didn’t give permission for people to use probably their only land for building workplaces, even if it did mean that they got a better-paid job.


Reasons for growth:

What caused the growth of cities in the Industrial Revolution?

The main reasons:

  • Factories were built
  • People moved from rural to urban areas
  • Some factories were powered by water
  • Better transport
  • Loss of cottage industries

The explanations of the reasons:

  • This meant that people moved to cities to be nearer the factories that were built so they had a better chance of getting a job in them. It also meant that, if and when they did get a job in the factory, they would be closer to their workplace. This would mean that, at the start and end of the day, they would not use their essential energy as much by walking to and from the workplace.
  • This is called ‘rural-to-urban’ migration. Basically, the only job that could be done in the rural areas was farming. This was a very low-paid job if paid at all and people needed the money to buy extra land because their common land was being taken off them and used as building space for factories. For this reason, they moved to cities and towns.
  • This meant that they could only be built in specific places so rural areas turned into urban areas because, as a general rule, there are more rivers in the rural areas. Also, factories were built next to canals because barges would transport the necessary materials to the factories.
  • …meant that people could travel to and from the workplaces faster and easier but the new transport did cause a sudden increase in pollution.

Cottage industries were mainly women that owned a loom that made items that would be made in the coming factories and sold them to the neighbourhood. When rural land was bought to build factories on, people moved out of the rural areas and therefore, their cottage industry workers would not have a job. This resulted in them moving to the cities to get a job in one of the factories.

                Croydon case study


Croydon had great transport links, had a canal and the very first public railway. Had lots of jobs in factories, and became useful because it is in between London and Brighton. Population increased, and people caught dreadful diseases, because water was not clean because when people went to the toilet it just went into a pit hole as there were no sewers and in the night some men came and removed it. They dumped it in the local river, and that is where the people washed cleaned clothes and drank, this made people have pneumonia and cholera. People starved, as they did not earn enough money. It was damp because houses were built with no damp-courses.

Manchester case study

Growth of cities

1750 1990
Population 7 Million 37 Million
Living in towns 13% 87%
Deaths at birth 65% 15%
Life expectancy

Men  –  31

Women – 33

Men –  45

Women – 48


Manchester opened many factories. People moved to Manchester as there were a lot of jobs available the wages in these factories. The houses were made out of anything that builders could find. This is why they were in such a terrible state. People caught many bad diseases such as cholera. The deaths decreased which was good this was because there was more doctors.


( this was intended to be a page per section but if this is not possible, do not worry!)