Before the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes using hand tools or basic machines.
Industrialization was a shift into powering special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production. This changed businesses and industries by different inventions aiding in speeding up the production of manufactured items. The Industrial Revolution changed the way people worked by making them work scheduled hours. It also changed from working for yourself or community, to working for a boss and becoming a piece of the factory machinery. There were many good things, as well as, bad things that the Industrial Revolution brought. The good things that the Industrial Revolution brought were the steam engines, more houses, money and clothing, as well as, more technology. The bad things that the Industrial Revolution brought was child labor and working conditions.
The working conditions for starters dealt with the working class who made up 80% of society. Since the population was increasing, people from the country came to the towns and the new factories to get work. This resulted in the unemployment rate to exceed for workers in the first phases of the Industrial Revolution. For the first generation of workers from the 1790’s to the 1840’s, working conditions were very tough and sometimes tragic.
Most laborers worked 10 to 14 hours a day, six days a week, with no paid vacation or holidays. Another problem was that each industry had safety hazards. Under these dangerous conditions, accidents on the job occurred regularly and workers got hurt.
The workers were not given medical help and their wages were stopped. It didn’t matter the extent of the injury, no compensation was afforded. Child labor was the cheapest labor of all. Some of the machines in the factories were not difficult to operate, therefore a child could perform the simple tasks. Some tasks would be performed more easily by children than adults, such as fitting into small spaces. These children were paid 1/10 of what men were paid.
Also, by having children doing factory work, it had a negative effect on their health. Due to this, labor unions were created in order to help the workers with work-related difficulties. The difficulties included were low pay, unsafe or unsanitary working conditions, long hours, and other situations. For those in the industrial area, they organized labor unions, fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions.
This movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired. The growth of the Industrial Revolution depended on the ability to transport raw materials and finished goods over long distances. The three main types of transportation that increased during this time were waterways, roads, and railroads. All three of these transportation modes were greatly used and improved overtime.
The Industrial Revolution impacted the people and environment. The world saw a major increase in population, which led to an increase in living standards. It also changed the lives of Americans by stimulating the rise of unskilled labor. The Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in world history as it resulted in a complete change in society on all levels.
The effects of the Industrial Revolution improved the lives of Americans and influenced many other cultures. Without these changes, what would our world be like today?