Would England Have Been Better Off W/O the I.R.?
The government has made laws saying that employers have to look after the workforce and provide safety equipment and other things for them. Because of this working today is pretty safe. At the start of the Industrial Revolution none of these laws existed and so working in a factory could prove to be very dangerous indeed. Industries such as the cotton trade were mainly hard for workers to endure long hours of labor. The nature of the work being done meant that the workplace had to be very hot, steam engines contributing further to the heat in this and other industries. Machinery was not always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts of the machines whilst they worked. Children were often employed to move between these dangerous machines, as they were small enough to fit between tightly packed machinery. This led to them being placed in a great deal of danger and mortality (death rates) were quite high in factories. Added to the dangers of the workplace also consider the impact of the hours worked. It was quite common for workers to work 12 hours or more a day, in the hot and physically exhausting work places. Exhaustion naturally leads to the worker becoming slow, which again makes the work place more dangerous.
There were some positive effects of the Industrial Revolution. The improved production made products available to the people at cheaper prices. The population of industrial cities grew and this created more communication of ideas. These were positive effects, as well as the important reforms made in education and health and working conditions in factories as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The reforms helped improve living standards as a large number of people lived in reasonable comfort. It is certain that the impact of the changes that occurred were different for people of different classes and geography. As a...
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