Poverty & Social Issues in Georgian Britain

Lesson Rationale

Industrialisation created great wealth but also great poverty. Life was harsh in the rapidly growing industrial towns and cities; high unemployment, overcrowding and crime were all huge problems. Georgians became increasingly aware of the “evils of drink”. Gin became a very popular drink: it was cheap and readily available in the many gin houses that popped up where people drank to alleviate the harsh realities of their lives. This activity investigates attitudes towards poverty and alcoholism using Hogarth’s famous images depicting the social evils associated with drunkenness. This activity also has links to SMSC/PSHE education.

Key questions in this lesson:

  • What social problems did industrial towns create?