‘The abundance of labour in the market affected the lives of workers.’ Explain it in the context of 19th century Britian.
How did the abundance of labour in the market affect the lives of the workers in the 19th century, Europe? Explain with examples.
Ans. In 19th century Britain, there was no shortage of human labour. Poor peasants and vagrants came to the cities in large numbers in search of jobs.
The actual possibility of getting a job depended on their existing network of friendship and kin relations.
If someone had a relative or friend in a factory, he . could easily get a job. But not everyone had social connections.
The following points state that the life of workers at that time was pathetic
(i) After the busy season was over, labourers looked for even odd jobs which till the mid-19th century were difficult to find.
(ii) Though, the wages increased somewhat in the early 19th century, the increase was nullified by an increase in prices of commodities.
(iii) The income of workers depended not on the wage rate alone, it also depended on the number of days of their work.
(iv) Till the mid-19th century, about 10 per cent of the urban population was extremely poor.
(v) Poor workers were forced to live in slums.
(vi) Fear of unemployment made workers hostile to the introduction of new technology. When the Spinning Jenny was introduced in the woollen industry, women who survived on hand spinning began attacking new machines.