As a reward for their service to the bourgeoisie, the starving vagabonds were forced into workhouses, little different from slave labor and extermination camps. The workhouses were the first major “surplus people retention centers,” meant to warehouse the surplus population. Many of the residents were children, abandoned by their parents who lacked the means to support them. Lacking ventilation and heat, the workhouses were frigid cold in winter and stifling hot in the summer. Diseases like tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, and typhoid were rampant. Not only to save money, but also fearful that too rich a diet, including meat, would make the inmates feel overly entitled and spark their rebellious spirit, the workhouse guardians deliberately underfed them. Whereas life expectancy for a feudal peasant had been about thirty-five years, by the 1850s it fell to about twenty-five for the poor in Liverpool and Manchester.1