HIS 202 B03
29 November 2017
The Working Class of the Industrial Revolution
The middle class is the backbone to the American working industry. It has been this way since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century up until the present day of the 21st century. Except there were many more problems for the working class during the rise of industrialization. The American worker was taken advantage of by working in awful environments for long hours with very little pay. However, these workers came together as a whole to work against these conditions by creating strikes and unions to make changes. The effort they began to put forth not only helped them change their surroundings but also improve their quality of life.
The textile industry was one of the largest environments that had many safety violations. “It appears, then, that whether a worker was employed in a textile factory (the most extreme case) or in a small workshop, he suffered a marked deterioration in his life at work—the obvious consequence of the quickening pace of industrialization,” (Hopkins). The business owners really did not care how their employees felt about the working conditions they went through. They would work throughout the entire day, no matter how hot or cold it was. If someone was to get injured while they were working, there was nothing they could do about it. If they stopped working, that would pretty much mean they were done working for that company. Jobs were scarce during the Industrial Revolution which is why many workers did not complain. They were lucky to have a job and get money no matter how bad the conditions were for them. Families were forced to make their children begin working very early in life in the industry because there was not enough money being made by just the parents. On top of these awful conditions, the hourly wages were unbelievably low. The business owners took advantage of the fact that these workers had nowhere else to go for money therefore they gave them very small amounts of money hourly. This is why there was fine line between the rich and the poor. These laborers not only worked in awful conditions but they lived in it as well. Most of these workers lived in the "slum", which was very overcrowded. There could be up to 10 people or more living in just a single room, which is basically as big as a modern style apartment. At the time, the population was increasing so fast because of more people moving to areas for work therefore apartments became even more crowded and grew to worse conditions. The space was not the only problem, however, illness was just as bad and common. Due to everyone living in the same terrible conditions and very close to one another, diseases spread rapidly and lack of medicine and medical care resulted in many deaths.
After years of suffering in the workforce, few workers began to realize the way they were being treated was not right. They began to form unions...