Great Britain was the marquee nation during the Industrial Revolution and accordingly so, Manchester became one of the leading textile centers of the world. This proliferation was accompanied by a huge influx of population which would lead to issues ranging from those of aesthetics and environmental issues to the increasing harshness of the populace's lives. While bystanders contend that the laborers lived in dreadful conditions, those benefitting from the industrialization naturally assert that the public welfare is not declining.
One of the most obvious negative effects on Manchester's state as a whole was the decline of aesthetic value, and the increase of pollution, which resulted from the pervading textile industry. Often, outsiders would be appalled at the sad state of the city's residences: the smoke-blackened houses and towering, lifeless buildings. For those who were educated and involved in examining the effects of widespread pollution and squalor, Manchester was an even blacker place.
Edwin Chadwick, a public health reformer, described the bad ventilation, overcrowding, and general decomposition of the area. The whole of a labor-intensive town was thick with filth and grime, which served only to weaken the populace in areas such as education, pleasure, and overall health. However, in a preface to a business directory by Wheelan and Co., Manchester is set forth in a positive light, having "remarkable and attractive features." Sadly, it is not difficult to explain the disparity between the comments of Wheelan and Co. and the majority of the other opinions. Being a business enterprise, it is in the interest of the company to put an encouraging shine on the state of things or else the company could very well flounder.
The prevailing squalor in Manchester led not only to pollution, but also to an upsurge in new and horrific maladies. Cramped, overcrowded living spaces...