Subsequently, goods were high in price and exclusive to only wealthy people. The Industrial Revolution meant factories could mass-produce items at much lower costs than the cottage industries, making goods more affordable to consumers. With the invention of the steam engine, a shift from rural waterwheels to steam engines as an industrial power source facilitated the emergence of factories and industrial cities.
Factories started the process of urbanization by causing people to leave rural sectors and move to the cities looking for a better life. The increase in population in the cities caused overcrowding, pollution, and thus became a breeding ground for communicable diseases. Cities had a snowballing effect developing new business. New and improved transportation systems evolved. The developments in transportation played an important role in industrialization. Growing cities necessitated investments to be made in improving infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and canals.
This paved the way for industrialization which needed an efficient system to transport mass amounts of goods from factories to markets. Factories changed the meaning of labor. Even if the hours worked were roughly the same in the factory or in the cottage, factory wage earners lost control over the pace and methods of their work. Constant supervision was also a novel experience, at least for the head of the household. The head of the household, usually the father of the family, was the supervisor in the family run cottage.
In the factories he lost his supervision power and was just a worker. Consequently men avoided factory work in the early nineteenth century.
Industrial revolution essay
Most cottage working families chose to stay in their homes. As factory production grew, home workers saw their earnings shrink. The next generation cottage workers would find their choice tipped much more heavily toward factories. Life was drastically changed during the Industrial Revolution. Factory workers were living in germ infested, crowded and very unhealthful conditions, much like their place of work. Children and women labored in harsh conditions, working long hours with little pay. Much of the British working class was worse off. Real wages stagnated while workers sacrificed freedom, health and family.
The Industrial Revolution, in this case, increased the demand for child labor by creating work situations where they could be very productive. Whether it was an increase in demand or an increase in supply, the argument that child labor laws were not considered much of a deterrent to employers or families is fairly convincing. Since fines were not large and enforcement was not strict, the implicit tax placed on the employer or family was quite low in comparison to the wages or profits the children generated [Nardinelli ]. On the other hand, some scholars believe that the laws reduced the number of younger children working and reduced labor hours in general [Chapman and Plener ].
Despite the laws there were still many children and youth employed in textiles and mining by mid-century. Booth calculated there were still 58, boys and 82, girls under 15 employed in textiles and dyeing in In mining the number did not show a steady decline during this period, but by there were 30, boys under 15 still employed and girls under See below.
There are many opinions regarding the reason s for the diminished role of child labor in these industries. Social historians believe it was the rise of the domestic ideology of the father as breadwinner and the mother as housewife, that was imbedded in the upper and middle classes and spread to the working-class. Economic historians argue it was the rise in the standard of living that accompanied the Industrial Revolution that allowed parents to keep their children home. Although mandatory schooling laws did not play a role because they were so late, other scholars argue that families started showing an interest in education and began sending their children to school voluntarily.
Finally, others claim that it was the advances in technology and the new heavier and more complicated machinery, which required the strength of skilled adult males, that lead to the decline in child labor in Great Britain. Although child labor has become a fading memory for Britons, it still remains a social problem and political issue for developing countries today.
Alfred Samuel Kydd. The History of the Factory Movement. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. Booth, C. XLIX : Chapman, S. The Lancashire Cotton Industry.
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The Rise of the Machines: Pros and Cons of the Industrial Revolution | enycozotuv.tk
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Problems of Modern Industry. London: Longmanns, Green, Citation: Tuttle, Carolyn. Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. August 14, Please read our Copyright Information page for important copyright information. Send email to admin eh. Newsletters To join the newsletters or submit a posting go to click here. Carolyn Tuttle, Lake Forest College During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Great Britain became the first country to industrialize.
Preindustrial Jobs Children who lived on farms worked with the animals or in the fields planting seeds, pulling weeds and picking the ripe crop. The Child Labor Debate What happened to children within these factory walls became a matter of intense social and political debate that continues today. Factory Acts Although the debate over whether children were exploited during the British Industrial Revolution continues today [see Nardinelli and Tuttle ], Parliament passed several child labor laws after hearing the evidence collected.
The Extent of Child Labor The significance of child labor during the Industrial Revolution was attached to both the changes in the nature of child labor and the extent to which children were employed in the factories. Estimates of Child Labor in Mining Children and youth also comprised a relatively large proportion of the work forces in coal and metal mines in Britain.
Explanations for Child Labor The Supply of Child Labor Given the role of child labor in the British Industrial Revolution, many economic historians have tried to explain why child labor became so prevalent. The Demand for Child Labor Other compelling explanations argue that it was demand, not supply, that increased the use of child labor during the Industrial Revolution. Influence of Child Labor Laws Whether it was an increase in demand or an increase in supply, the argument that child labor laws were not considered much of a deterrent to employers or families is fairly convincing.
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