RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner on the largest ship of her time. She sank in the North Atlantic ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Over one thousand five hundred people died in one of the deadliest commercial maritime disasters in modern history.(RMS Titanic np) Most of the deaths were mainly from third class and particularly the men. This comes off as suspicious to many researchers and made them wonder, does your social class affect your survival chance?
The Titanic is defined as,¨ A British luxury liner that sank after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage in April, 1912, with a loss of one thousand five hundred seventeen lives.¨(Titanic np) This liner was owned by White Star Line and was the most luxurious of its time. This was White Star Line’s largest ship and was going to be their superstar. That all changed in April of 1912.
This paper was made to show how social class and money was a big factor on if you got to survive on Titanic. It will show how back then, money meant everything, even life or death. Did first class get luxury and safety, or is that just a common myth. That is what this paper will tell you, how did the deaths on the Titanic vary from social class to social class?
Everyone on the Titanic was sorted into different social classes. A social class is,¨ A broad group in society having common, economic,cultural, or political status.¨(Social Class np) Social classes on the Titanic could be sorted into three different classes. These classes were first class, second class, third class, and crew. First class is,¨of the highest or best class or quality, best -equipped and most expensive, and given entitled to preferred treatment, handling, ect.(Titanic np) There were around three hundred twenty five first class passengers on the titanic including one hundred seventy five men, one hundred forty four women and six children. They were some of the richest people of their time. First class got all of the amazing amenities of the Titanic but for a cost. A single birth first class stateroom would cost back then, thirty pounds or one hundred fifty dollars.(Tickets np) They would get all of the first class amenities. More wealthy passengers could buy a parlor suite. These suites cost around eight hundred seventy pounds or four thousand three hundred fifty US dollars. (Tickets np) These rooms were very large and luxurious.
The next class down on the Titanic was second class. Second class is,¨of a secondary class or quality, and,¨ second rate; inferior.¨ (Titanic np) There were two hundred eighty four passengers in second class. (survival np) Second class staterooms were very nice for their time. These staterooms cost around twelve pounds which is sixty US dollars. (Tickets np) The second class passengers didn’t get as many nice amenities as the first class passengers but they still got very nice amenities.
Third class passengers were the lowest social class of all. They were very well known to have the nickname, steerage. They are,¨of the lowest or poorest class or quality; inferior.¨ (Titanic np) The third class passengers were usually very poor and weren’t considered real gentlemen or women. Their staterooms cost anywhere from three to eight pounds or about forty US dollars. They were known to talk in the main lounging area for their type and play deck games on their deck.
The final big chunk of people on the ship that fall under many social classes are the crew members. The crew are,¨ The people who sail or operate a ship or boat.¨(Titanic np) There were many different crew members on board including the captain, the officers, the deckhands, the maids, the engineers, the security, and many more. These were the people who saved many lives and ran the ship. If it weren’t for them, many more people would have died that night.
On that tragic night of 1912, many people unwilling fully lost their lives. Over one thousand five hundred people lost their lives.(RMS Titanic np) But if you crack down the numbers into classes a little bit more, you can see something interesting, but that will come later.
From the first class passengers, sixty one percent survives and thirty nine percent died.(Survival np) Out of those numbers four women died but three voluntarily stayed on the ship. Out of the second class passengers, forty two percent survived and fifty eight percent of them perished.(Survival np) Out of the deaths, fifteen of the ninety three women died.(Survival np) Of the third class passengers, only twenty four percent survived and the other seventy six percent died.(Survival np) Out of the deaths eighty one out of the one hundred seventy nine females died.(Survival np) Out of the crew, twenty four percent survived and seventy six died.(Survival np) There were not many children on board the Titanic but the death results are sad. Out of one hundred and nine children,there was one death in first class, zero deaths in second class, and fifty two deaths in third class.(Survival np)
The survival chance of the passengers could be determined by their social class. When the call was made by the officers to have the passengers board the lifeboats the first and second class passengers could get to the boats first. The Titanic had specific decks for specific social classes. Second and first class shared a deck and that happened to be where the lifeboats were located. The first and second class passengers could go up a flight or two of stairs and be at the boats. That was not the case for the third class passengers. These passengers had to navigate through a maze of corridors and staircases to get to the boat deck, and by then, it was to late. It was not easy for the third class passengers to get up to the boat deck and that was not fair for them.
The officers made the call that women and children were to board the boats first. On both sides of the boat women and children had to board first but on one side of the boat let men on if there were no more women in sight. However both sides would let some elderly first class men on the boats, but many of those men gave up their seats for women. Those men were considered real gentleman, and went down with the ship.
One of the biggest controversies of the Titanic was if their were gates blocking third class passengers from getting up to the boat deck. There have been many statements about gates being located in the lower decks of the Titanic blocking third class passengers from getting up. White Star Line had denied that the blocked the passengers from getting to the boats. They said that they used the gates for immigration reasons.
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