scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 580
Measurements of the historical standard of living have formed a major preoccupation for social and economic historians for more than a century The debate over the standard of living has been dominated by two broad groups of historians Those who have thought that general living standards improved during the period of classic industrial revolution roughly between 1780-1850 and those who have claimed that the welfare of people underwent a general decline Those who have assumed an improvement have frequently been referred to as optimists and those who have argued for a decline have been called pessimists These historical perceptions have often acted as points of focus for disagreement about the effects of industrial capitalistic development upon working-class life and welfare In spite of their differing views on living standards historians on both sides of the debate have employed similar sources and methods in their descriptions of the welfare histories of social groups and classes Traditionally these have been anecdotal evidence evidence taken from reports of royal commissions and select committees for example or quantitative evidence the purchasing power of people calculated from surviving evidence of prices and incomes Evidence left behind by working-class people themselves household budgets or diaries and autobiographies for example have also been used to demonstrate the welfare of the working-class Each of these sources of evidence has its limitations It has been argued that they do not reflect adequately the standard of living of large sections of the population A number of reasons have been suggested for their insufficiency as a means of assessing welfare Anecdotal evidence of living standards was sometimes collected by social inquirers who were active in campaigning for change Their evidence may have been influenced by their desire for change and they may therefore have selected unrepresentative examples of living standards to support their appeals for change on behalf of a particular social group child workers or slum dwellers for example
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA