The Social Impact of Industrialization

Topics: Trade union, Employment, Industrial Revolution Pages: 7 (1368 words) Published: April 26, 2013
The Social Impact of Industrialization (consequences)

II.The Impact of Unchecked Industrialization
A.New Products and Greater Access
- Made life easier
- Railroads made it easier to transport goods and made it available nationwide
- Made it easier to do business (electricity allowed for business elsewhere)
- Prices were lowered as goods became more accessible

B.Rise of Monopolies
- Americans at the time found it hard to compete with big name companies
- many thought opportunity was essential, felt threatened by monopolies
- felt that big businesses controlled the government, had influence over them - rate discrimination – charged different rates depending on who they were dealing with 1.Interstate Commerce Act (1887)

- first attempt by congress to regulate business
- created to oversee the practices of the railroad companies
- banned and prohibited certain practices (pools, kickbacks)
- established the interstate commerce commission
- had the power to file a lawsuit and seize and assist orders
- However did not give the ICC the power to control rates
- could not stop kickbacks from happening (in the courts hands)
- When ICC filed suits the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the railroad companies
- 15/16 times supreme court ruled in favor of companies
- Companies found loopholes, formed trusts instead of pools (same purpose) 2.Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
- Outlawed trusts and other combinations of businesses that restrained trade
- does not define restrained trade
- Supreme court still ruled in favor of companies
- Instead of trusts they established holding companies (a company that owns other smaller companies) - used in 1982 to break up AT&T and against Microsoft in 1988

- No prohibitions against what could be released into the atmosphere D.Labor
1.Demand for Unskilled Labor
Disappearance of Workshop
- Skilled laborers where no longer needed
- Need for unskilled laborers
- Had little bargaining power (they were easy to replace) 2.Immigrant Labor
- Good source of unskilled laborers
- Many were poor and could not afford to buy land
- Different from the early immigrants coming into the country
- Primarily form eastern and southern Europe (Poland, Russia, Italy)
- Don’t speak English
- Not protestants (At the time Americans were anti-Catholic)
- Did not assimilate into American culture
- Settled in enclaves (little Italy, little Russia, etc)
- Had own newspapers, food, language
- Disturbed traditionally minded American protestants 3.Working Conditions
- Very few codes (i.e. Construction, business, health) existed
- Anything goes
- Long hours, low pay
- $1.50 a day if unskilled, if skilled maybe $3 a day
- Hazardous to health (no guardrails, no ventilation, inadequate fire escapes, no safety wear)
- If injured at work, fault was their own
- No workman’s comp
- Very few breaks
- Hired workers that spoke different languages so they couldn’t communicate with each other
- In 1913 there were 25,000 workplace fatalities
- 700,000 job related injuries
- Triangle Shirt Fire (1911)
- Woman workers, primarily immigrants
- Fire breaks out on 8th, 9th, 10th floor
- Firehoses only reach the 6th floor
- Fire escapes were rusted over
- Usually chained shut
- No sprinklers in the building
- When fire broke out, workers couldn’t escape, many jumped to their deaths
- 146 perished
4.Child Labor
- Children were easier to boss around
- Paid 1/3 the wage of adult workers
- Saw size of children as beneficial
- Not uncommon to work at age 8 or 9
- Not uncommon to work 60 hour work weeks
- Were prone to accidents (3x more likely to suffer an accident than adult workers)
- 1880 - 1 in 6 children were working
- 1900 - 1.7 million children under 16 in the workforce
- Many...
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