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Industrial Revolution Essay Research Paper A report

Industrial Revolution Essay, Research Paper A report concerning critical thinking and the Industrial Revolution. The 18th century brought about many changes to European countries.

Industrial Revolution Essay, Research Paper

A report concerning critical thinking and the Industrial Revolution.

The 18th century brought about many changes to European countries.

Advancements in science, technology and engineering brought about an

improvement in living conditions to the widespread area. The improved living

conditions induced an increase of population by the millions. From

1750-1800, the English population grew from 6 to 9 million and the French

population grew from 19 to an enormous increase of 26 million. Stricter

sanitation came about decreasing the amount of disease drastically. Food

became cheaper because of increased purchases. Items that once considered

luxuries became necessities. Sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, and furs changed

into household items instead of extravagances only the very wealthy could

afford. Even the poor were able to afford new vegetables, such as potatoes

and carrots, and cotton and linen clothing. The increase in population also

brought about the demanding for the increase of goods. In order to meet the

needs of the countries, vendors, store owners and merchants were forced into

large scale production of their merchandise.

The creation of factories came about by retailers struggling to meet the

requirements of the masses surrounding them. The formation of power driven

machinery was launched in order to compete with others. The machinery turned

out products by the thousands or even millions depending on the needs of the

country. The first factories were relatively small in scale, but there were

also large employers who had a few thousand. The factory system destroyed

the great majority of old hand trades because the desire for hand crafted

materials was decreased due to the expense and the slow creation process.

Some farmers abandoned their farming because of the changing conditions and

began working at factories for low wages.

The Industrial Revolution brought about a new way of distributing goods. It

made production quicker, more efficient and cost effective. All people

thought the advancements made created a better environment surrounding them,

but the workers in the factories were frequently plagued by ailments received

while working in dangerous conditions that came with the job. People may say

that the Industrial Revolution was a great time in history where living

conditions of all were better, but in actuality many became unhealthy because

of unpleasant working conditions. In effect, the Revolution did more harm

then it did help.

School children were taught that they were to keep busy in their work

because of the consequences facing them in the lines of a simple school hymn

which say, ?In works of labour or of skill I would be busy too; For Satan

finds some mischief for idle hands to do. (Isaac Watts, Divine and Moral

Songs for Children 1869) This document very reliable not only because an

author and date are provided, but because it is probably wide known

throughout England since it is a hymn taught to the children of the middle

class.

Workers during the Industrial Revolution often felt overworked because of

the long, stressful hours placed upon them by their employers. A Manchester

spinner explains that they are ?locked up in factories eight stories high,

(the worker) has no relaxation till the ponderous engine stops, and then they

go home to get refreshed for the next day; no time for sweet association with

their families; they are all alike fatigued and exhausted.? (Black Dwarf,

1818) This document highlights good points surrounding the overworking of

the workers, but since there is no name, the reliability of the document is

decreased greatly. There was a great deal of back breaking work that workers

were forced to do during continuous and strenuous hours.

This did not happen during the whole period of industrialization, but began

when the introduction of machines such as the steam engine explains the

spinner. They say that when steam engines were incorporated, ?workmen lost

their power over their labor? implying that they needed now to keep up with

the machine?s pace instead of their own. Not only did factory workers feel

overworked, many other occupations felt the strain put on them by their

unending hours. A miner in Germany also explains ?my forehead burns like

fire… when it becomes unbearable I stop my slow, energyless working.? This

document is highly unreliable because it lacks a citation of where it is

from. It also lacks a specific date. We were given the timing of this

excerpt to a vague time of ?early in the twentieth century.? Both documents

display the objection to the long hours put in by workers , but they do have

a reason to distort information in order to get others to sympathize with

them. Some professional people also agreed that the ceaseless toiling was

unhealthy for the workers. A doctor?s report on Manchester textile workers

declares that ?prolonged and exhausting labour, continued from day to day,

and from year to year, is not calculated to develop the intellectual or moral

faculties of man… to condemn man to such severity of toil is, in some

measure, to cultivate him in the habits of an animal.? (The Moral and

Physical Conditions of the Working Classes ?Employed in Cotton Manufacture in

Manchester, 1832) Since this document includes a full citation including the

author, the publication, and a date, it can be considered a reliable source.

There is little reason for a doctor to distort the information because his

position looks out for the wellness of man. If we had known more about the

social life of the doctor we may find that he may have acquaintances in the

industry giving him great reason to distort if he wanted to help his friends

in the factory system. This can work both ways because the doctor could have

friends that worked the long hours in the factories and he didn?t enjoy their

abuse.

Owners and those employing the workers have a totally different view on the

treatment of the employees. For example, the owner of a textile factory in

Lille, France feels that ?it is simply false to equate the hours of work in

our factories with arduous work.? (From Archives Nationales de France, 1837)

He also says his workers ?put in ninety hours a week, but he is lucky to get

seventy-two hours of work from them.? The owners and manufacturers have

presumed that all their workers were lazy without really thinking about how

their workers felt about the prolonged hours that they labor. They have

expressed that workers do not really care for what they are doing by

explaining ?they show little concern for maintaining their skill or

productivity, for they believe they are pushed to produce more than men ought

to produce in any event.? (Collected Sources on the History of the Social

Management– Worker Agreements in Industry in the Ruhr Area, 1888) This

excerpt is from a management report created by a Ruhr coal mining company.

This document could be considered highly reliable because it is a publicized

source with a name and date, but since there is reason for the management to

distort evidence to get others on their side of thinking that all the workers

are lazy.

During this time period child labor was very prevalent because factory

owners knew that children as workers could be paid much less than an adult.

Children in orphanages were often hired and forced to work for hours much

longer than any child should be able to bear. Some children were chained to

their machinery so they did not run off, and usually they were looked in

rooms at night so they were unable to escape the harshness of their work

life. They were all tired and lacked the ability to participate in

recreational activities or be in the company of their families. One child

laborer in a British textile mill said in a recollection ?I shall never

forget the fatigue often felt before the day ended, and all the anxiety of us

all to be relieved from the unvarying and irksome toil we had gone through

before we could obtain relief by such play and amusement as restorted to when

liberated from our work.? (The Curse of the Factory System, 1836) This

document could be consider quite unreliable because it is a recollection of

what happened many years before the account was taken. Recollections occur

when the author recalls events that have taken place many years beforehand.

The differences in the time of the occurrence and the time of the account

often arises in information that has been forgotten or modified because the

author can?t quite remember all the facts correctly. There is a name and

date to supplement the citation of the source making this to be a highly

reliable document had it been accounted for years before it was. A textile

manufacturer said they had ?never seen a child in ill-humour. They seemed to

be always cheerful and alert, taking pleasure in the light of play of their

muscles-enjoying the mobility natural to their age.? (Philosophy of

Manufactures, 1835) This document is reliable because it includes the name

of the author, date and title of the source, but there is reason for the

manufacturer to distort because they want to convey a feeling of the

children?s enjoyment of the long hours in the crowded and dark places.

During the years of the Industrial Revolution, the advancements made were

thought to be great feats that only bettered the Europeans way of life.

Reality proves, though, that the advancements often came with consequences.

A factory worker?s general well-being was challenged by the long hours

worked in conditions confirmed to be hazardous to one?s health. At the time,

all was good, but years later the effects of the toils are still felt in

today?s society.

A Document Based Essay Question:

Compare middle class and working class attitudes and its effects

on the worker in nineteenth-century Western Europe. Did any attitudes

cross social class lines?

Jen Guy

June 3. 1997

Modern World

1. Ford, Colin. and Brian Harrison. A Hundred Years Ago. Great Britain:

Harvard University Press, 1983.

2. Langer, William. A Survey of European Civilization. Boston: Houghton

Mifflin Co., 1958.

3. Mingay, G. E. The Transformation of Britain. England: Broadway House,

1986.

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