Industrial Revolution: The Downtrodden Working Class

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Factory, Cotton mill Pages: 4 (1152 words) Published: November 20, 2013
The Industrial Revolution in both Britain and America was a revolution that altered the economy and the standard way of life. The Revolution took place during the 18th and 19th century and took a primarily agricultural society and industrialized it. After learning to use the power from rivers to provide power to factories, it began a whole new era of mass production and a more variety of goods. This effected the textile and iron industry the most but eventually made way for increased transportation. The Revolution seemed to be advantageous in various aspects but was actually the complete opposite for the common workers’ working conditions, living conditions, and it exploited child labor. Although the Industrial Revolution resembled a new lease on life and led to a more advanced society, it had a negative impact on the common factory worker.

Some would claim that the Industrial Revolution was purely beneficial to society and to people as a whole. The Revolution provided many “…expanding employment opportunities” for all people (Deane 35). This employment provided better wages for most people, especially farmers’ daughters. “The wages, typically set at $3.00 to $3.50 per week, were much higher than anything farm daughters could earn in their hometowns” and therefore, many farm daughters came to work in mills (Dublin). This led to more independent women and when “compared to most American women, mill girls and former mill girls had a tendency to speak up” (Stewart). However, all these seemingly beneficial effects of the Revolution do not outweigh the negative effects it had on the working conditions, living conditions, and child labor.

The Industrial Revolution had many negative repercussions on the working conditions for the common worker. Although the Revolution created many jobs, there were still many people left unemployed. This created a loss of bargaining powers for the employees because if they were to argue that their pay was too low, or any other...

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Stewart, Doug. "PROUD To Be A Mill Girl." American Heritage 62.1 (2012): 46-55.
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