Industrial Revolution: How Did the Industrial Revolution Lead to Reform in Britain?

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Trade union, Employment Pages: 2 (652 words) Published: October 28, 2006
3.How did the Industrial Revolution lead to reform in Britain? The Industrial Revolution was a time of dramatic change, from hand tools and handmade items, to machine manufactured and mass produced goods. Life generally improved, but the industrial revolution also proved harmful. Pollution increased, working conditions were harmful, and capitalists employed women and young children, making them work long and hard hours. These unfair treatments from employers would lead to reforms in Britain.

Early on in the Industrial Revolution, there was little an English worker could do to protest the awful working conditions, and way of life that was forced onto them. Protests and organized resistance not to work were difficult to unite because the working class was very illiterate. This made the organizing of strikes nearly impossible and usually only ineffective and random riots would result.

It took time for the government's unselfish members to invoke awareness in the parliament to help the lower classes. Soon after the identifying of the problems, some acts were passed to protect the rights of workers and to decrease the hours of work. Most of the Acts however were not enforced or honored by factory owners, and many children still worked long hours against regulations. Also, a negative impact of the Acts was that factory owners now began to practice faster paced work and pay less for labor to sustain the previous income. The workers again tried their luck at balancing inequality by forming the labor unions (1). These trade unions developed in effort to protect the workers because factory owners became more like moral enemies than joint producers; this could have gone on for a long time if no legislation was enforced. The unions' engaged in collective bargaining, negotiating between workers and employers for better working conditions and higher wagers. If the employers refused the union would strike (2).

The union movement took form slowly since the...
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