How prostitution became a significant of London's history during the 18th and 19th century.

Essay by pinoUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2003

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Prostitution became a significant of London's history during the 18th and 19th century. At the time, prostitution was a chronic problem of the public order. It became so big in London that it attracted the attention of many groups such as, "the church, the state, the medical profession, philanthropists, feminists and others." (Bartley, 1) All of these groups worked together in order to resolve the problem, even though at the time prostitution was not illegal. However, it was an activity that many felt was socially unacceptable. Prostitution began because Britain was experiencing political and social ferment during the Industrial Revolution. The industrial revolution brought up new social groups, which had struggled to exert themselves politically and culturally. (Fisher, 29) During the 18th & 19th centuries London had many deficiencies in their legal system, which can explain the openness of prostitution. A major factor of this problem lays in the fact that almost none of the laws under which prostitutes were most usually arrested in the 18th century referred to their offence by name.

Instead, prostitutes were charged for violating laws. At the time, laws of night walking were put into the system. The main objective was to enforce a dawn-to-dusk curfew, so the police could keep the towns under close watch. London decided that it was time for to get involve and find a solution before the city went out of control. First of all, police officers started by taking more action on the streets. Also, they started policing Disorderly houses. In addition groups such as the Reformers, Commentators, Church and others, used their own methods of resolving this problem. Finally, how did the people of London feel towards prostitution and prostitutes?

The streets were becoming an unsafe environment for the citizens of London. Prostitutes started occupying the streets...