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Life in Whitechapel

Mr McDonald

This PowerPoint is created using information

taken from the resources created by Russel
Tarr at Wolverhampton Grammar
What we shall learn today:
1. What London was like in the
nineteenth century.
2. How pollution was a factor in the
3. How employment was a factor in the
4. How the social conditions led to the
London in 1888
• London in 1888 was a
divided city.
• Just like today, the
West End was the
wealthiest area, and the
East End was much
• Jack the Ripper
operated in the East In this PowerPoint we will
End, for a variety of examine a number of these
reasons. reasons.
Reason Number One
• London was an industrial city and as such
suffered from pollution.
• The smoke and stinking gas fumes choked
the streets so badly that at times it was
not even possible to see your own hand in
front of your face, this was known as smog
(smoke and fog = smog!)
• These smogs were called “Pea Soupers”
because of their greenish colour.
The houses in areas
such as Whitechapel
were always near the
railways which were
polluting the air!
The Terraced Housing used
coal to heat the houses and
this meant soot would leave
the chimney with the smoke.
This would rise up in to the
atmosphere and then land
back down.
Reason Number Two
• In the poorer areas of the city such as
Whitechapel the housing was poor.
• There was no sanitation and sewage ran
openly through the overcrowded, maze-like
• There was little work available for women,
and no help for those women who were
unemployed other than the workhouse.
• Many were forced to become prostitutes
to survive.
Prostitution in those days
was dependent upon the
circumstances of the
women. Some worked in
brothels – houses where
prostitutes were
The other type of
prostitute was more
common. These were
women forced to go on the
streets to make ends
meet. All the victims that
Jack killed were these
type of prostitutes.
Reason Number Three
• For many such women,
their only escape from
their terrible lives was
drink, and they quickly
became helpless
• The Whitechapel area
had a large amount of
Pubs and Inns to profit
from the poverty and
depression of the
1. How did the conditions in the East End
help Jack the Ripper? (Use as many
examples as you can.)
2. Which was the main problem that led to
Jack being able to commit his crimes. (Try
to explain your answer)
3. Which in your opinion was more important
to Jack, the environmental conditions or
the social conditions in the east end of
London? (Explain your answer.)

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