Work, Life and Leisure

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08 Work, Life and Leisure

Characteristics of the City:

  • Three historical processes have shaped modern cities in decisive ways.
  • The rise of capitalism
  • The establishment of colonial rule over large parts of the world
  • The development of democratic ideals.
  • Industrialisation and the Rise of the Modern City in England
  • Five major types of industries employed large number of people. These were
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Wood and furniture
  • Metals and engineering
  • Printing and stationary
  • Precious products such as surgical instruments, watches and objects of precious metal


Marginal Groups:

  • Women
  • Lost their industrial jobs owing to technological developments and were forced to work within households.
  • Children
  • The Compulsory Education Act of 1870 and the Factory Act of 1902 kept children out of industrial work.



  • The unhygienic condition of slums highlighted the need of housing for the poor.
  • Workers’ mass housing scheme were planned for preventing the London poor from turning rebellious.
  • Rent control was introduced in Britain during the First World War for easing the impact of severe housing shortage.


Transport in the City:

  • The London underground railway was introduced.
  • 10th January, 1863: The first underground railway in the world opened between Paddington and Farrington Street in London.
  • Better-planned suburbs and a good railway network enabled large numbers to live outside Central London and travel to work.


Social Change in the City

  • In the Industrial city, ties between household members loosened, increasingly higher levels of isolation was faced and among the working class and the institution of marriage tended to break down.


Leisure and Consumption

  • Various methods of recreation were adopted by the working class people in the 19th
  • By the early 20th century, cinema became the great mass entertainment for mixed audiences.


The City in Colonial India

  • In the early 20th century, no more than 11% of Indians were living in cities.
  • Population in the Presidency towns rose considerably owing to the availability of major ports, warehouses, homes and offices, army camps, as well as educational institutions, museums and libraries.


Bombay: The Prime City of India

  • 1661: The control of Bombay passed into the British hands after the marriage of Britain’s King Charles II to the Portuguese princess.
  • 1819: Bombay became the capital of the Bombay Presidency after the Maratha defeat in the Anglo-Maratha war.
  • 1854: First cotton textile mill was established in Bombay
  • 1919-1926: Women formed 23% of the mill workforce
  • Late 1930s: Women’s jobs were increasingly taken over by machines or men
  • 1898: The City of Bombay Improvement Trust was established.


Land Reclamation in Bombay

  • 1864: The Back Bay Reclamation Company won the right of reclaiming the Western foreshore from the tip of Malabar Hill to the end of Colaba.


Bombay as the City of Dreams: The World of Cinema and Culture

  • 1896: Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar shot a scene of a wrestling match in Bombay’s Hanging gardens and it became India’s first movie.
  • 1913: Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra
  • By 1925, Bombay became the film capital of India.


Cities and the Challenge of the Environment

  • The Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853 did not work to clean the air as smoke was not easy to monitor or measure.
  • In Calcutta, high level of pollution was a consequence of the huge population that depended on dung and wood as fuel, and also the use of steam engines that ran on coal.
  • 1863: Calcutta became the first Indian city to get smoke nuisance legislation.
  • The inspectors of the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission finally managed to control industrial smoke. Controlling domestic smoke, however, was far more difficult.


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