Workers in the Gilded Age

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Factory, Industrialisation Pages: 3 (833 words) Published: October 3, 2007
Workers in the Gilded Age

Before the industrial age, factories and workplaces were small enough that the owner knew everyone by name and often worked alongside his or her employees. Industrialization was a time period where there was a major shift in technology. The 19th century was the century of greatest change. Technological changes that played a role in Industrial Revolution were the use of new basic materials like steel and iron. New energy sources were being used which consisted of; coal, the steam engine, electricity and petroleum. These technological changes tremendously increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods (Dougherty). Without industrialization, our nation would be nowhere as far as technologically goes. Industrialization had positive and negative effects in our society. Industrialization had its benefits; however, it did not benefit everyone. Workers that lived during the industrial period were forced to face new customs in their daily lives in order to survive. Workers had to learn to use new machines and new technology, in which none of them were use to. There was a new organization of factory work. Before industrialization factory workers were required to finish a job from start to finish. For instance, if they were required to make a lamp they would assemble the whole lamp; where as after industrialization workers were only responsible for one part of the job. For example, a worker would be required to just do a few screws of a lamp. The worker obtained new and distinctive skills and his task shifted. Instead of being a craftsman working with hand tools, he became a machine operator. Breaking down the job benefited individuals by making jobs faster and cheaper (Finnerty 2).

Industrialization created more jobs and benefited the working class, especially the immigrants that were coming here from Europe. Industrialization required the production by machine rather than by hand. The fact that machinery...

Bibliography: Dougherty, M. (Ed.). (2007). The American Promise: A Compact History, Third Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins.
Testimony of Joseph T. Finnerty, Report of the Committee of the Senate upon relations between Labor and Capital, 5 vols. (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1885), vol 1, pp. 740-46. Reprinted from Robert D. Marcus and David Burner, American Firsthand, Volume II: Readings from Reconstruction to the Pesent, Fifth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St.Martins, 2001, p.62-9.
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