Population Explosion

6 June 2016

From 1750 to 1900, the population of Britain dramatically increased from around 7 million to nearly 40 million people. The key question that is mainly discussed is: What was the main reason for this? I shall be studying the most likely causes for the mass increase in the population of Britain, and trying to determine which ones were more likely to trigger this ‘population explosion!’ Firstly, the majority of cities in Britain began to develop into cleaner and more hygienic areas to live in with fresh, dirt free water supplied to homes. This would have affected the growth of the population, because there would be fewer germs contaminating the air from dirt; raising the life expectancy.

I think that this change would have made quite a big impact on the population of Britain, because if everyone was drinking clean water and living in tidier streets, then there were more people less likely to catch nasty bugs- contributing to the expansion of Britain. Leading on from the subject of hygiene, soap became more available (as well as feasible) for the people of Britain. The key result of this was that a significant amount of germs that were originally contaminating Britain were killed off-also raising the life expectancy. Additionally, the use of soap will have meant that births were cleaner, making babies were more likely to survive. With a similar idea to the cleaner cities, this made a large influence on Britain making it a strong partaker in the augmentation of Britain’s inhabitancy. In addition to the reasons outlined above, from 1750 onwards, midwives became more obtainable, since medical areas stepped up a level.

Population Explosion Essay Example

The midwives were able to carry out cleaner births-linking in with the reasons for this defined above such as soap and hygiene- causing the chance of babies surviving births a great deal more likely. Furthermore, not just would the child survive, but it would be more probable that the mother would also live on. I believe that this change made a great effect on Britain’s population for the reason that there were more survivors. Combining with the idea of midwives decreasing death rate, as said above doctors and nurses dramatically improved in medicine and hygiene. For instance, medical operations involved anaesthetics to ensure that patients didn’t have to endure pain during or after each practical. This would have meant that less people would have died, increasing Britain’s life expectancy.

Although it has many factors to back it up, I do not believe that this cause deeply affected the population, since Britain had just become very clean and that increased the life expectancy more drastically. Continuing with the subject of the health of Britain, farmers managed to produce nutritional foods that gave the people the vitamins required to fight off diseases. Some of these foods included: Potatoes, carrots, peas and many more. Noticeably, this will have meant that more people lived longer due to the diets that they had. I consider that this was a huge reason for the increase in population of Britain, for the public were able to enjoy tasty foods that kept them healthy and less vulnerable to diseases.

Maintaining the healthy diet image, during the mid-18th century, a tax was put on gin in the attempt to stop people drinking it. The reasons for this were, many parents were drinking a huge amount of gin and finding themselves with health issues, as well as neglecting their children (therefore leading to a short life.) It mostly worked subsequently highering the life expectancy and making people a lot healthier. I think that although this was a good idea, although it would not have greatly contributed towards triggering Britain’s population explosion. Now moving on to a completely different subject, from 1750-1900 many young lovers came around. This would have meant that there was longer to have children increasing the population.

I don’t feel that this would have made a large impact on Britain because getting married young wouldn’t necessarily make you want to have kids but just give you time to have more. Despite my opinion in the above reason, during the industrial revolution, factories opened where children were forced to work for little pay. This would suggest that parents would want to have children to bring money into the family. However, I don’t think that this would have been a real incentive for couples to have children, making it less likely to have been a main cause for the growth of population in Britain. If it were to have been a true cause, then it would have meant more births but perhaps more deaths from accidents in the factories. Pursuing the subject of children, during the population explosion, a man named Edward Jenner invented a jab to make people immune to the disease smallpox. In 1870, this vaccination was made compulsory –this would have meant that people would be healthier and less vulnerable to deathly diseases. It could be considered that it would be a motivation to have kids if parents were worried before of losing their child. I believe that this was a key reason for the population explosion in Britain because it resulted in more births and an increased life expectancy.

Tying in with the causes outlined above, children were provided with a much better education nearing the end of the 19th century. Clever kids managed to read the pamphlets describing a healthy diet meaning that people could live good lives eating and doing the right things. I think this would have been a reason for both a raised life expectancy and more kids because the midwives could learn how to complete a clean birth meaning more kids and that would raise the life expectancy. Lastly, a slightly surprising cause is that from 1750 onwards, cotton was used for clothes rather than other dirty materials which weren’t as easy to wash. This would have raised the life expectancy since there would be less germs going round from dirty clothes.

I don’t feel that this was a big reason for the increase of population in Britain because if people were using soap and eating healthily then there would not be many germs else causing diseases. In conclusion, after studying the 11 reasons most commonly thought of as the triggering of the population explosion, I believe that although they all have key facts supporting them, the main reason for causing the population explosion was the improvement of hygiene and health; germs would have been the main reason for deaths of less births before the growth in population and preventing those germs spurred on the population explosion the most. Whatever you think happened is for you to determine!!

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