London Labour and the London Poor Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where did a coster sleep if sales were bad?

2. Where did the street people of London in the 1800s conduct their trade?

3. What did shovelers do?

4. To whom did some merchants loan stock at no cost?

5. What does Mayhew seem to believe about certain occupations?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did bolder boys do with coal barges, how was this viewed and what could happen to the boys? How did the boys feel about jail?

2. What were some of the circumstances in the better lodging houses for the street people?

3. What types of generalizations did Mayhew make about the London street people and how did this reflect Victorian thinking on industrialization?

4. What modern institutions did Costermongers fill in the 1800's London and what are some of the merchandise they sold? What did the more intelligent costers do?

5. Where did orphan or runaway coster children live and how did they get money?

6. How did Jewish traders survive in London and how does Mayhew portray the Jewish traders?

7. How did the costermongers obtain their merchandise and what were the circumstances for borrowing?

8. What were the largest group of London street people and what did they do for a living?

9. How much education did most costermongers have and what was the general extent of their intellectual abilities?

10. What was the usual marriage and family situations like with costermongers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mike joined a gang of crossing sweeper youths. They tumbled together and worked sweeping an intersection together. Each kept his own tips, but they prepared meals together and rented a room together in a low lodging house. When there was not enough money for a room, they slept under the arched stone doorway of a church.

1. What were the advantages of youths working together? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. What were the disadvantages of youths working together?Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Discuss in what ways a youth gang as above would be considered a family unit. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Bolder boys sometimes climbed onto empty coal barges and swept up the leavings of the cargo. This was considered theft, and they were usually chased off by the owners. Sometimes one would be arrested and sent to jail for a week. Like coster children, they regarded a week in relatively warm, safe surroundings with regular meals as a vacation.

1. Do you think the sweepings of coal left behind should be considered theft? Why or why not? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Discuss what the fact that some children regarded the jail as a vacation says about the coster children's lives. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Discuss ways in which you see coster children as being abused in general in this era in London. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Mayhew seems to genuinely believe that certain occupations like mudlark or dustman are hereditary, rather than learned.

1. Discuss why you think Mayhew was wrong or right in his belief about the occupations being hereditary. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Discuss how Mayhew's belief of lower level occupations being hereditary shows prejudice towards his research subjects. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. How do you think Mayhew's prejudices affected his ability to research the lives of the mudlarks or dustmen? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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