Assess the Significance of Popular Pressure in Bringing About Improved Pay and Conditions for Workers in the Period 1789- 1889

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Peterloo Massacre, Manchester Pages: 3 (1078 words) Published: March 29, 2012
The significance of improving workers’ pay and working conditions was vital to the success of the ongoing industrial revolution during this period as it helped soothe the demands of the unsatisfied workers. Due to changes and new laws introduced, improvements began to occur. Popular pressure however was only significant in bringing about this change to an extent. The development of specialized skills in the factories and mills, and due to the competition between employers as they repeatedly sought to hire better and better workmen was a factor that contributed in bringing about better pay and conditions for workers. In fact it was a combination of other factors such as the economy, trade, advance in technology, public outrage and political pressure that led to better worker conditions and better pay. Overall, public outrage and the technology were key in bringing about these changes.

Working conditions for many people in Britain during 1789-1889 were very dreadful. Most work places were usually unsanitary, hazardous and overcrowded. This also had an impact on the living conditions as the people could only build cheap houses due to the little pay they got for the hard work they did. These factors widened gap between the rich and the poor. Although these people and their work were undoubtedly one of the largest factors towards the successfulness of the Industrial Revolution, they themselves suffered greatly, and reaped nearly no benefits for their work. The overall quality of their lives was incredibly poor. Every aspect of their lives, from working conditions and home life, to nutrition and cleanliness, was affected by overwhelming poverty.

One man who had a great impact on the change of conditions for workers was Robert Owen. He owned a textile mill; however he looked after his workers. Owen thought that his way was the best and persuaded Peel who had started the act of employing pauper or orphaned children in his mill as apprentices, to put through...
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