6.9 Institutional Responses and Reform

2 min readfebruary 12, 2023

Sharii Liang

Sharii Liang

Jillian Holbrook

Jillian Holbrook

AP European History 🇪🇺

335 resources
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An ever-increasing amount of national outcry from the public, important individuals, and various organizations for reform continued to pressure the Conservative government. Would they listen or stick to their stubborn and collapsing traditional ways of life?

Sick of This: Literally and Figuratively

Disease, pollution, crime, and overcrowding were signature traits of any industrialized country’s cities. This was due to the relatively primitive infrastructure of the time. Now, it was the infrastructure’s turn to become modernized, and this time, the government was leading the charge.

Sanitation and Public Health

The disease mostly stemmed from copious amounts of human waste and polluted river water. To fix this, sewage and water systems became commonplace in cities.

Edwin Chadwick

In Great Britain, Edwin Chadwick served on a royal commission that instituted major reforms in sanitation and public health. He was a strong advocate for the creation of a central public health authority and for the provision of clean water and effective sewage systems. His efforts helped to improve the living conditions and health of many people in England. 😷


Overcrowding was another large problem. Cities were just never-ending rows of apartment buildings and factories with too many people. The housing was extremely shoddy as well. To fix these issues, cities were redesigned with modernized infrastructure, which included parks, public transportation, public lighting, and public housing. 💡

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Georges Haussmann

Georges-Eugène Haussmann was a French civil servant and urban planner best known for his extensive renovation of Paris during the mid-19th century. His plans involved the creation of wide, tree-lined boulevards, the demolition of many narrow and overcrowded medieval streets, and the construction of new parks, public buildings, and sewers. These changes helped to modernize the city and improve living conditions for its residents!


In regard to crime, governments reformed prisons and established modern police forces. Prisons became more focused on rehabilitation and less inhumane. Police forces were used to check rampant crime and serve as a deterrent to criminal behavior.

Economics and Education

The involvement of the government in social reform also changed the mindset of those who advocated liberalism. Staunch supporters of laissez-faire economics began to support interventionist economic and social policies. Liberals found that the involvement of the conservative government could actually help instead of suppressing change.
Public education became a recurring proposition during this time. Many interested in reform, public order, economic growth, and nationalism believed improvement began with required public education.🏫
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