Period Of 1750 Essay, Research Paper
Riod The period of the 1750’s can be best described as the pre industrial era, a period in which the economies of the majority of western Europeans consisted mainly on the household. This household mode of organization was predominately evident in farms, in artisan’s workshops, and in small merchant’s shops. As the time passed, there was an obvious shift from the cottage and textile industry of the 1750’s to the establishments of factories and machinery of the mid Eighteen hundreds. This transformation brought about significant changes in the relationships between the employers and the workers, working conditions, family life, and most of all the standards of living. In the pre industrial era, the father usually was the employer who often had children and servants who helped and assisted him. Most of the time the relationships between these two parties have been relatively friendly and not as strict in the factories. Also in the cottage industry, the household was the basic unit of production and consumption. Due to this, there was a very strong bond between parents and children, one aspect that is not seen in 1850’s.
In pre industrial Europe, many workers had concentrated their production toward the household. The households were small usually consisting of not more than five or six members. Also, families were nuclear, in which households usually never had more than two generations living in the same roof. Everyone in the household was involved and worked. All goods and income that was produced went to the benefit of the household rather than the individual. The eldest child was usually trained in the trade of his father. After he had learned this, he would start his own enterprise or often accompany his father. The wives would also play a major role in the family economy. The wife would most likely help with the husband business and take care of the bare necessities. Thus, because of this unity and cooperation between the family members, there was a close affinity between the children and parents. At this time, the father was an important leader in the household. The family economy was solely based on his leadership and determination. The economic life of the family depended on his lands. That is why at times, the sudden death of the father brought disaster to the economy of the household. The father usually employed his children to inherit the trade when he passed on. Because employers would often refer to family members, they were usually treated with respectfully and fairly.
The Industrial Revolution began in the eighteenth century first in Great Britain and gradually spread throughout Europe. As this spread, the population of Europe began to skyrocket. The sheer number of human beings put an immense amount of pressure on the environment. The increase in population meant that housing, water, sewers, food supplies, and lighting were completely inadequate. The European family was shifting from the chief unit of production and consumption to solely consumption. During this time, factory workers underwent a process called proletarianization, the process of indicating the entry of workers into a waged economy. Ultimately the waged economy meant that families were less closely bound together than in the past. Since wages could be now sent over long distances to parents, children now moved farther away from home. As the emergence of factories and machines became more and more popular, it demanded fewer skills then they had before. Tending a machine required fewer skills than most work done by men. As these women and children took place in the workforce, they had to undergo many hardships. Unlike the ideal working conditions of the cottage industry, these workers were submitted to various kinds of factory discipline. Such examples are closing of factory doors to late workers and dismissal for drunkenness. As women began to work in factories, they were often subject to long hours and low wages. In almost all such cases, the labor conditions were harsh and always cruel. This would apply especially to children. Children would have to enter the factory setting working twelve hours a day and spending the majority of time from the absence of parents. This led tot he English Factory Act of 1833, forbidding the employment of children under age nine and restricting the workday to nine hours. In essence, this had further divided the work and
Home life. Consequently, the parental link was thoroughly broken.