Those who lived in the Victorian times, particularly the common everyday family of Great Britain, had an extremely rough time during this era. When speaking of the Victorian era, many things were changing. Not only was government changing from a strict monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, but this was essentially the heart of the Industrial Revolution.
Both skilled and unskilled workers were generally out of work as machinery took their places. The industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing all changed throughout the industrial period. Many jobs were cut and people were simply out of work.
Another problem is that Britain was quickly urbanized. Instead of people being spread out across the country, they all flooded to areas that might have jobs available. It was a time where people were hungry and willing to relocate to put food on the table for their families.
This even raised more problems. There simply were not enough jobs to support a number of people there. Therefore, employers could pay very little to get some hard labor done. These jobs would hardly put food on the table and people were still starving to death.
The children did not have it much easier than their fathers either. Instead of doing as most normal children do today where they are outside playing, enjoying their video games, and have few worries in the world. Children during the Victorian era were working in factories often as young as three years old.
They were paid very little and generally used more as slaves for their families than anything else. Until the latter part of the Victorian era where some laws were made to limit the number of hours they were allowed to work, they would work up to 16 hours daily.
The stress and terrible working conditions that they were exposed to caused to average life expectancy for a young male to be only 25 years old. The laws prohibited them from working more than 12 hours, but still, working conditions were tough.
A lot of what ended up occurring was that the poor got much poorer. The other side is that the rich were now in a capitalist environment where they could get much richer. Their businesses often blossomed where they paid little but produced a lot of things which were in high demand.