Effects Of The Industrial Revolution On The Working Class Family

1556 words - 7 pages

The industrial revolution was the widespread replacement of manual labor by machines that began in Britain in the 18th century and is still continuing in some parts of the world today. The industrial revolution was the result of many fundamental, interrelated changes that transformed agricultural economies into industrial ones. Consequently, these rapid technological changes affected the lives of millions of people. The early industrial revolution lead to the exploitation of workers in factories and the conditions in the factories were ghastly. Moreover, these factories produced densely inhabited cities where many resided in atrocious living conditions. Finally, not only were the work ...view middle of the document...

William's older sister had even longer days where she started at 5am and finished at 11pm. They were given little breaks, one forty-minute break for their lunch in a fifteen-hour day. Sometimes they were even deprived of this lunch break. Such long hours had many physical consequences on the children. Some children's growth was stunted and others' bodies deteriorated at a very young age. However, these young children had no time to slow down or work a lower pace and when they did they were "strapped at times, when [they] were not quite ready to be doffing the frame when it was full" (Doc. 1)A Parliament Commission investigated the mines in which children worked in 1842. Young girls, such as Patience Kershaw, had to work with naked men because of the extreme heat underground. She revealed that these men beat her and that the younger boys took "liberties with [her] sometimes." Such conditions can have negative side effects of the development of young girls, especially mentally and emotionally. Examining the lives of the children who worked in factories is appalling but the rules in the factories were equally as disturbing for both children and adults of both sexes.Conditions in factories were far from pleasant. In certain factories, such as the Foundry and Engineering Works of the Royal Overseas Trading Company, Berlin, workers were faced with many strict rules. Firstly, any tardiness was greatly punished, where an arrival of two minutes late would cost the worker a loss of a half hour's wage.6 Furthermore, workers were confined to their space of work and were not permitted to leave it for any reason unless their supervisor allowed it. Doors were locked while the factory was in working hours and any conversation among workers was highly prohibited. (Doc 6) As shown, workers faced many harsh rules and regulations that were overly severe. Young girls working in textile factories faced many hard times as well. They worked in extremely dusty conditions that caused irritations of the lung and throat. To add to that, a "terrible nerve-racking noise of the rattling machines" was heard day in and day out. Also, no one could stop working for any reason and if they did, they would be greatly fined. As a result, many women collapsed with the exertion of their work. (Doc. 9)These poor workers were greatly exploited by the rich businessmen who, described by the poem Clothier's Delight were "griping and grinding the poor and this is a way for to fill up [their] purse, although [they] do get it with many a curse." This entire poem demonstrates how the rich oppressed the poor and how all the benefits of the industrial revolution were felt by the rich and not the poor factory workers.Not only did the factories have horrible conditions, but also the factory towns themselves produced terrible unsanitary living conditions for the working class family. F. Engels, author of the book The Condition of the Working Class in England, wrote about these horrid conditions...


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