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The Whitechapel murders provide a case study of sorts.The reactions of the West End mirrored the debate over “Outcast London” and the fear of social revolution on the part of the poor of the East End.Part of the problem of overcrowding was due to the policies of the government and to middle-class reformers.
During the autumn of 1888, a killer terrorized London.
He chose as his victims mostly older, decrepit, drink-ridden prostitutes from the East End district of Whitechapel.
Like their forbears, most Jewish refugees made good on the few opportunities presented to them. whether they become bootmakers, tailors, cabinet-makers, glaziers, or dealers, the Jewish inhabitants of the East End rise in the social scale.
As Charles Booth noted They are set down on an already over-stocked and demoralized labour market. in the midst of the very refuse of our civilization, and yet . The Jews’ success created some animosity with the Irish community.
Unlike most papers on this subject, I intend to avoid the issue of who committed these horrible crimes, but instead to examine the reactions of London, both West and East Ends, to the killings.
Jack the Ripper should be studied within the context of the 1880s, a period of economic uncertainty and heightened class tensions.
The name “Jack the Ripper” appeared on a number of letters mailed to the police and to various news agencies.
The publication of several of these letters, in the hope that someone would recognize the handwriting, vastly increased the killer’s fame.
Although rents in the West only rose by 11 percent between 18, those in the East End jumped by 25 percent.” It also prompted people to spend as much of their time as possible away from home; although many joined social, religious, or philanthropic clubs, a larger number spent much of their spare time in the local public houses.
Drunkenness led to disease, the loss of jobs, and, often, violence.” Poor sanitation, another problem intimately linked with overcrowding, caused a high rate of child mortality.