‘Unless the Lord Build the City ...’ considers the reform of public health and education and the influence that religion had on this process. Epidemic diseases like cholera prevailed in the squalid housing of the slums, where sanitation was nonexistent. Local boards of health were created under the direction of central government's health commissioners. School provision in England was wholly insufficient, and education began to be viewed as a prophylactic against revolution. Whilst Anglicans argued over how to reform public schools, Christian Socialists attempted to set up schools for the whole of society. The Anglican Church tried to recover lost ground in society and appeal to a wider group of classes.