Locating the problems
Urbanisation and population growth combined to produce social problems on an unprecedented scale. As early as 1832, a doctor working in Manchester, JP Kay, graphically illustrated the key problems.
'The state of the streets powerfully affects the health of their inhabitants ... Want of cleanliness, of forethought, and economy, are found in almost invariable alliance with dissipation, reckless habits and disease. The population gradually becomes physically less efficient as the producers of wealth ... Were such manners to prevail, the horrors of pauperism would accumulate.'
'A debilitated race would be rapidly multiplied. Morality would afford no check to the increase of population: crime and disease would be its only obstacles ... A dense mass, impotent alike of great moral or physical efforts, would accumulate ... They would drag on an unhappy existence, vibrating between the pangs of hunger and the delirium of dissipation - alternately exhausted by severe and oppressive toil, or enervated by supine sloth.'