Considering the effects of the Industrial Revolution is interesting and complex because there are myriad social issues to investigate when examining the impact that the this landmark era had upon American citizens. The effect of the Revolution, through making more efficient the production of manufactured goods, it helped to reduce the costs of commodities for consumers, thus allowing many items once considered luxuries to become attainable for vast segments of our population. With the price structure lowering for many items, from textiles to furniture to crop tools, Americans realized an increasing standard of living
While the Industrial Revolution certainly did provide many jobs to scores of people, and the Market Revolution that would result began to produce the middle-class, the sad reality is that the vast majority of the jobs created by the Industrial Revolution were low-wage positions that barely allowed workers to subsist. Many workers found themselves living in squalor as they came home to filth-ridden tenements. Indeed, among the select group of people to financially prosper from the Industrial Revolution (outside of the consumer, who clearly benefitted from the Industrial Revolution's many technological and manufacturing advances which helped to bring prices down and availability up on many goods) were the investors and owners of the companies and factories that flourished during the era.
Furthermore, it seems that the climate for upward economic ability was largely dependent upon as to if one, say an artisan for example, worked independently or for a company. For many skilled craftsmen who were able to work outside of areas where factories handled much of the manufacturing duties or for those who launched their own businesses, their economic realities were in their own hands, and many such people did quite well. However, for a major percentage of artisans who ended up working for major and prevailing manufacturing entities, wage-earning (and...
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