Was The Industrial Revolution A Good Thing

Was The Industrial Revolution A Good Thing Essay Research Paper The Industrial Revolution was a series of many changes that took place in Great Britain from to There is much controversy as to whether the changes were for better or for.

? Essay, Research Paper

????????? The Industrial Revolution was a series of many changes that

took place in Great Britain from 1750 to 1900. There is much controversy as to

whether the changes were for better or for worse and to whether the Industrial

Revolution was a good thing or a bad thing. Some people say that it improved

peoples? lives, and that technology and entertainment got better. They say that

Britain was made a great, rich and powerful country. Others disagree and say

that it was a bad thing and that during the Industrial Revolution there were

terrible working and living conditions and many people suffered because of the

changes that took place. They also say that it caused a lot of pollution and

that it changed many people?s lifestyles for the worse. In this essay I will

investigate the bad and then the good things that happened to people?s lives in

Britain between 1750 and 1900 and then make up my own mind as to whether the

Industrial Revolution was a good thing or not. ????????? In the early 1700?s a lot of people worked on the land.

Nearly all of the people that didn?t work on the farms worked in their homes,

spinning or weaving. Most families spun and wove in the same room as they did all

of their domestic chores. This room was usually quite full, with the children,

adults and even the elderly all helping to produce wool and cloth. This was a

good idea, because the less capable members of the family could get help if

they needed it and the parents could look after the young children. This was

also a good idea because the family could choose whichever hours they wanted to

work and they could also choose how much leisure time they had, according to

how much work there was to be done and when they wanted their free time. A good

thing about the Domestic System was that they could keep all of the profits for

themselves because they sold their products at the nearest market town. They

were self-employed, so there was no middleman taking the profits away from

them, unlike in the factories and mills. ?All of these facts about the textile industry

and the Domestic System before the Industrial Revolution make the Industrial

Revolution a bad thing because the Domestic System had a lot of benefits. It seemed

good compared to the situation after the change in the textile industry. During

the Industrial Revolution new methods of spinning and weaving were introduced,

which couldn?t be done in the home because the machinery, including the Water

Frame, invented in 1769 by Richard Arkwright, was too large to be used in the

home. Mills, built by fast flowing rivers, were used to do spinning. Lots of

jobs had to move to huge factories that were built especially. At the factories

and mills parents couldn?t supervise their children whilst they were working.

The employers made children undertake many dangerous tasks for very low wages.

In some mines children, women and men all did the same type of work for the

same length of time. Women earned just half the amount that men did and

children were only paid a third of what men were paid. Children

were exploited and forced to work in dreadful conditions. They were beaten when

they didn?t do their work. Most children became very tired and were frequently

found asleep on the mill floors. This was not surprising when children as young

as 6 or 7 were working 14 hour days, with no substantial breaks for meals, some

with only half an hour in the middle of the day to sit down, eat and rest. Even

heavily pregnant women and women who had just had children were known to be

working in the mills and mines. There is evidence in reports from the mid

1800?s, including one in 1843 which said that young children working in the

cotton mills and factories were beaten cruelly for making minor errors. They

were said to be beaten with whatever tools their boss could find, including

hammers, sticks with leather attached to them, whips, straps and files. Some

children were also punched and kicked.? At most

work places there was hardly any safety precautions taken at all. There were no

protective guards on the machines and most workers wore bare feet. A lot of the

workers were in constant danger whilst doing their jobs. Young and small

children were forced to put their lives at risk by picking up cotton from

underneath deadly machinery that was still in motion. Also at the mills, older

children that were too big to crawl under the machines had to pull heavy

baskets all day long. The tired

children and adults that worked all day long at tip punching machines were in

constant danger of their fingers or hands being punched off, some children?s

arms were even broken. Another

very dangerous process was fork grinding. Pictures that were drawn in the

1860?s show that fork grinders had hardly any safety equipment at all. Not many

fork grinders had safety goggles or masks to protect them from the dangerous

flying sparks and metal dust. There was a survey published in the Medical

Times, 1843. It stated that 855 out of every 1000 fork grinders between the

ages of 20 and 40 died, whilst the national average was only 296. This showed

that this job was very bad for the workers? health. Some other health risks in

the cotton mills were the loud monotonous noise from the machines which was

terrible and also deafening and there was an awful smell that made some of the

workers sick. The dust that flew about was also very dangerous. It made the

children cough very badly. Some of the workers died, just because of the cough.

The working conditions were generally very poor during the Industrial

Revolution, a lot worse than the safer and more relaxed working conditions

before 1750 in the Domestic System. The Domestic System gave people more free

time to enjoy themselves and work together in close and friendly communities

and in harmony with nature, instead of with complete strangers and cruel

employers who were obsessed with time and profit and exploited their workers,

especially the women and young children which is what happened in the mills,

mines and factories. There was

an organisation called the Ten Hours Movement, which claimed to want shorter

days for the children although only the leaders of this organisation cared

about the children. Most just wanted shorter days for themselves. There were

Acts that were supposed to improve working conditions, because employers found

ways around them and children were forced to lie about their age. Also if the

working hours were shortened then the workers wouldn?t get paid as much and

would need to do more hours because they needed the money. Parliament was not a

lot of help because they didn?t have enough inspectors to inspect every single

workshop thoroughly, if at all. The worst evils of child labour ended when

parents began to earn reasonable wages for themselves, so they had no reasons

to send their children to work as well. The

transport was basic in 1750, but at least no pollution was caused unlike during

and after the Industrial Revolution. Pollution from transport and factories is

still a problem today. Another

bad point about the Industrial Revolution is that the living conditions also

got worse after 1750. As many peoples? jobs moved into the towns and cities the

people also ended up moving house with their jobs. The houses were built very

closely together in narrow streets. Lots of them were terraced houses. Pictures

that were drawn at the time show terribly overcrowded conditions in houses and

streets. The houses were built very closely together. People bought, for

example, an acre of land and then built and sold as many houses as they could

on the land with no reference to drainage or anything. Nobody could do anything

about it. Most of

the houses didn?t have a water supply. Some people went down to the nearest

river to collect their water, although this wasn?t sufficient for drinking or

washing. In some towns the water was turned on for a certain amount of time

each day, in Liverpool it was turned on for four hours. The poor had to tap for

it, although they could only fetch as much as their pans could carry. Another

bad thing was that there were no proper refuse collections. Rubbish was thrown

into the middle of the narrow streets along with sewage and all sorts of

refuse. Some of the sewage in towns such as London went down gutters into the

rivers, along with dead bodies of animals and humans which were also thrown in.

This sounds bad enough but the place where this sort of thing was thrown was

very close to where people collected their water for washing and drinking. For

example in London, the Battersea sewer emptied into the Thames just above the

Chelsea water intake. The richer people did pay a water carrier one shilling

each week, to come in his cart, bringing fresh water. The

population rose very quickly. Between 1801 and 1841 the population doubled from

10.5 million to 21 million. Industrial towns grew even more quickly.

Manchester?s population rose from 75,000 to 450,000. Many towns grew so fast

that living conditions become worse. Some families lived in the cellars of

houses. Some families managed to fit about 9 people in one tiny cellar, and

also a couple of pigs! The 1840 Report on the Health of Towns recorded 39,000

people living in 8,000 one-room cellars under houses. These statistics show

that living conditions were very poor in the cities in the 1840?s. Of course

not everybody lived in city slums with overcrowded conditions and poor waste

disposal, although the country cottages were often cold and damp. Many

children that were born died before they grew up. 1 in 6 children died before

they reached 1 year of age and 1 in 3 before they reached 5. Disease attacked

the weakest people. That of course included the babies and young children.

Cholera was the new killer disease at the time. It came into Sunderland from

abroad and was spread through the water supply. There were epidemics in 1832,

1838, 1848 and 1854. Thousands died from it. Seven thousand died of cholera in

September 1849 in London alone! There were also many more infectious diseases

including typhoid, spread by lice and tuberculosis, carried by bacteria in the

air. There were no vaccinations or cures to these new diseases, so nothing

could be done but to let the children and other sufferers die. There was

a lot of poverty and quite a few homeless people. ?There was a survey done in 1842 showing that

the average age of death for a labourer in an urban area, Manchester was just

17, a lot lower than that of a labourer in a rural area, Rutland which was 35.

The average age of death for a professional working in Manchester was also 35.

The highest average age of death was unsurprisingly that of a professional

living in Rutland, which was 52 years of age. These statistics show that

disease was worse in the towns than in the countryside and worse for the poor

than for the rich, although the rich people?s water was often taken from the

infected water supply anyway. These

statistics just about sum up the poor working and living conditions in the town

and cities and how people?s lives were made worse by the Industrial Revolution. Now that

I have explored the bad changes that took place between 1750 and 1900, I will

explore some of the many good changes that took place in the same period of

time. In 1750

Great Britain was a very backward country, compared to lots of others. Before

1750 Britain had been similar for hundreds of years. The population before the

Industrial Revolution was just 6 million and afterwards it had grown to a lot

to over 39 million, which shows that Britain was a popular country to live in.

Another good thing about the population rising was that more cloth and other

products were needed, making industry better and making Britain a wealthier

country, because there was over 6 times as many people needing clothing, food

and other produce. Britain became ?The Workshop of the World.? In 1750

Britain wasn?t really very powerful. It then had its? empire in North America

and the Caribbean, but by 1900 its? empire covered nearly a quarter of the

world including Africa, India, Canada, Australia, The Far East and the

Caribbean. In 1750

only the richest 4% of men were allowed to vote, this was bad because only a

small fraction of the population could give their opinions when the whole

population should be able to. The monarchy had some political importance. In

1900 this situation had improved and Britain had become far more democratic.

Parliament and the cabinet had all of the political power and all adult men

were allowed to vote. This was a great improvement because for the first time

in history governments had to consider the opinions of ordinary people, but it

was not until later that women were allowed to vote.? Britain?s Navy became the world?s most powerful military force. In the

early 1700?s most people worked on the land – hardly anyone travelled a long

distance to get to work. This was partly because methods of farming were very

basic and before brilliant new machinery was invented farming was very hard

work. Many people were needed to plough the fields and harvest the crops.

Another reason why so many people worked on the land was because farming was a

major industry and there were vast areas of countryside. Farming techniques in

1750 were not very good. Mainly horses and oxen pulled ploughs. Also,

before the Industrial Revolution, Britain was only producing 5 million tonnes

of coal each year. After the Industrial Revolution farming and mining

techniques had improved tremendously. Many machines were used for ploughing and

harvesting and mining had become a huge industry. In 1900 Britain produced 225

million tonnes of coal, compared to the 6 million tonnes that it produced in

1750.? This was due mainly to the great

development in mining machinery. Other industries also grew a lot including the

cotton, iron and ship building industries. In 1750 Britain was only producing 2

million kilos of cotton, whereas in 1900 it was producing 850 million kilos. In

1880 cotton cloth made up one third of Britain?s total exports. In 1750 the

steel industry was not known whereas in 1900, 5 million tonnes were produced.

Some of the many industries that were centered around the major cities- i.e.

London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, were coal mining, iron

mining, iron manufacturing, silk, linen, pottery, cotton, ship building and

engine making. The products that were made in Britain were sold in shops around

the country and exported abroad, bringing in lots of money. This made Britain a

more wealthy country than it was in the early 1700?s, when the Domestic System

produced the majority of wool and cloth and farming and mining techniques

weren?t very good. At the

time the Domestic System seemed good but it also had its? bad points. Nearly

all of the children stayed at home all day so not very many children went to

school. Only the rich could read and write. Schools were built that everybody

could visit and the various Acts that took place between 1819 and 1878

shortened the hours that children were allowed to work in factories, allowing

more time for their education. The Factories Act in 1833 stated that children

must attend school for 12 hours each week. This was good, because before this

many children had not been aware of the world outside of their local

environment and were uneducated and unable to read or write. Another bad point about the Domestic System and the textile

industry before the Industrial Revolution is that it couldn?t produce a lot of

wool with just one spinning wheel in each house; thousands of times more cotton

(which replaced wool) could be spun on the great new machines in the large

factories. The Spinning Jenny was invented. It could spin 16 spindles at once

making spinning a lot more quickly. Another great new invention was the Power

Loom, invented in 1785 by Edmund Cartwright. It speeded up weaving a lot. The

hand loom weavers were then forced to give up their jobs and become factory

weavers. A good thing about producing a lot more cloth was that it was

guaranteed to sell and be exported abroad, so the workers received regular

wages, unlike in the Domestic System. Before the Industrial Revolution they had

to go to the nearest market town or pay a master clothier to sell it for them. Another

good point about the mills, that was not so before the Industrial Revolution

was that steam power was invented. New textile factories were built, this time

not necessarily near to rivers. By 1880 all of the spinning and weaving

processes had become fully mechanised . The

machines took a lot less effort to power than when the Domestic System was in

use. Before the Industrial Revolution hand power and sometimes water power were

used in the textile industry. Another

way in which steam power was used was to develop the transport system. In 1750

most people travelled by foot, heavy loads being transported by horse. In 1830

horses were used to pull boats along the newly made man-made rivers, canals.

Between 1830 and 1900 transport developed hugely. A network of canals was in

operation all over the country. Steam was used to operate trains and trams were

also used. The rocky, muddy and dangerous roads changed to a network of fast,

safe roads throughout Britain. The

claims that the working conditions in the factories and mines were poor were

only partly true. There were many reforms in working conditions in the early

1800?s. There were some dangerous jobs, although the statement about 855 out of

every 1000 fork grinders between the ages of 20 and 40 dying was probably an

exaggerated claim. Also, sources of information written by journalists at the

time may exaggerate and not tell the full truth about working conditions.? In 1842

Parliament appointed a Royal Commission to find out about working conditions.

In the mines the commission discovered the bad working conditions and did

something about them. The Mines Act of 1842 stated that no females could be

employed in mines and neither could boys under 10 years of age. The Factories

Act of 1833 stated that no child under the age of 9 must work in a textile mill

and that those up to thirteen must work for no longer than 48 hours each week

and must attend school for 12 hours each week. The 1842

Mines and Collieries Act banned underground work for women and children under

10 years old and no winding gear was to be operated by those under 15. Mine

inspectors were appointed to check that nobody was breaking the laws or working

in dangerous conditions. The 1874 Factories and Workshops Act made a maximum of

a 56 and a half hour week for all factory workers. This meant a ten-hour day

Mondays to Fridays and 6 and a half hours on Saturdays. The 1878 Factories and

Workshops Act applied all previous laws and sent inspectors to every workplace

with machinery, so all workers in industry were protected. Working conditions

were quite pleasant after these acts had taken place and the government

inspectors had inspected all of the mines and factories. These reforms had

improved the quality of work for nearly everybody. There

were also important reforms in living conditions. The problem of the disposal

of human waste was solved by the 1875 Public Health Act. That act stated that

there must be drains, toilets and underground sewage systems in all streets.

The problem about the filthy water supply was solved in 1848, by the Public

Health Act that stated that home owners could receive piped water in their

houses for a small charge. The other main problem was the poor quality housing.

This was solved by the 1875 Artisans Dwellings Act that stated that slums must

be cleared, there should be thicker walls on houses and that all houses must

have a sewage system. There

were fewer open spaces in towns in 1900, than there had been in 1750. This

problem was about the lack of recreational space and was solved by the 1875

Public Health Act. New parks then opened. Parks were great for the children and

the adults to have fun. There were fields, lakes and bandstands?a great place

to spend the time that they had off work. The 1875

Public Health Act also solved the problem of poor personal hygiene. Public Baths

were opened, which gave the public a place to wash. All of

these reforms that took place during the Industrial Revolution were for the

better and helped to make Britain a better and healthier place to live. Before

the Industrial Revolution most families stayed at home for most of the day

working, some even spent their leisure time at home. During the Industrial

Revolution, mainly in the late 19th century, there was a growth in

new entertainment. This was partly because of the working people who were beginning

to get more time off work. Another reason why so many people began to travel

away from their home towns and cities was because of the excellent railway

network, with its? cheap fares. This was ideal for travelling easily and

quickly all around the country. It became common for factory workers to be

given the Saturday afternoon off and in 1871 Bank Holidays were introduced.

Many people visited their local pub and drank heavily. Others discovered new

forms of entertainment including day excursions, football matches, music halls

and circuses. Some

popular resorts that developed in the late 19th century were

Blackpool and Brighton. They are still popular resorts today. People enjoyed

going to them because they were near the sea, to get away from the towns and

cities and to the seaside to get some fresh air. Another

very popular form of entertainment was the music halls. All of the major cities

had one, Birmingham and Liverpool had six each and London had 50. A variety of

shows were on including singers, comedians, magicians and acrobats. The

audience had great fun at the music halls and often joined in with the songs.

One of the best-loved music hall singers was Marie Lloyd. Lots of musicians and

singers were discovered through the music halls. Sheet music was available to

the public, so that they could play along to their favourite songs at home.

This was also a way of making extra money for the performer. Another

place that the whole family would enjoy visiting was the circus. People could

see amazing acts and things that they had never seen before. Some famous

circuses toured the whole of the country including the Barnum and Bailey?s

circus. Football

was a very popular game in the late 19th century. Youths and adults

liked playing and spectating the game. Manchester United and Arsenal, amongst

other teams started playing as works teams at this time. Other teams that are

still going today such as Aston Villa, Everton and Southampton were also formed

at this time. Football was watched by huge crowds. The 1901 Cup Final was

attended by a massive crowd of 110,000 people. The tickets for football matches

were a lot cheaper than today and football became known as ?The People?s Game.? All of

these changes to entertainment that happened in the Industrial Revolution were

good ones because they gave people something to do in their spare time. They

let people explore places that they?d never been before, enjoy themselves with

their family and friends and see unusual performances and shows, instead of

staying in their own town and not going out, apart from to their local pub. Also in

the cities and towns a lot of public facilities were built for the people

including shops, libraries, public baths, music halls and schools. Some of

these I have already mentioned. The public could go out and enjoy themselves

and again see things that they?d never seen before and find out more about the

world outside of their local environment. Another

problem that was solved during the Industrial Revolution was the poor

healthcare and lack of medicine and cures to diseases. In the 1840?s and 1850?s

x-rays began to be used to identify broken bones and also various scientists

invented anaesthetics and antiseptics that made operations safer and less

painful. These new inventions made health care lots better and are one of the

many improvements that took place in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Now that

I have given evidence both for and against the effects of the Industrial

Revolution, I will do a conclusion to find out the answer to the question ?Was

the Industrial Revolution a good thing?" I will also try to make up my own

mind as to whether it was a good thing or not. There

were many arguments against the Industrial Revolution including that there were

very poor working and living conditions, environmental damage and pollution and

that generally people?s lifestyle?s changed for the worse. In my essay I used

the good points about the Domestic System to make the changes that took place

in the textile industry sound bad. There were many good points about the

Domestic System that were not true during and after the Industrial Revolution.

The working conditions were less strenuous, the children and the elderly could

be supervised and the hours were more convenient for the workers who worked at

home. There weren?t many bad points for the workers that worked in the Domestic

System apart from that the houses were crowded, with domestic chores going on

in the same room as spinning and weaving. So, the change in working conditions

didn?t benefit the workers very much, but it did benefit Great Britain as a

whole. Before the Industrial Revolution Britain didn?t have a lot of different

types of industry, whereas in 1900 there were many major industrial cities

producing iron, steel, pottery, silk, linen, ship building and engine making. The

cotton industry grew tremendously from 1750, when it produced 2 million tonnes

each year to 1900, where it produced 850 million tonnes each year. Lots of the

produce was exported and sold abroad making Britain become a very wealthy

country, compared to in 1750. Great

improvements in machinery made farming and mining become easier and quicker,

also helping to produce more, making Britain even wealthier. It was a good

thing that Britain became wealthier, but where exactly did all of the money go?

Britain brought in a lot of money, but living and working conditions were just

as bad as ever, or were they? There

were terrible reports on working conditions in the late 1700?s and early 1800?s.

The safety precautions were virtually non existent, the hours were terrible,

children as young as six were working in the mines and mills along with

pregnant women, children were beaten and exploited, the noise was deafening, the

dust from machines was deadly and the smell was sickening. These were

definitely not conditions that the workers found pleasant and were probably one

of the most terrible things about the Industrial Revolution. The working

conditions weren?t good for anybody, except maybe the bosses and employers. There

were lots of reforms in working conditions starting from the mid 1800?s. In

1842 Parliaments Royal Commission found out about the terrible working

conditions. They passed acts that helped the workers, including the Mines Act

of 1842 that banned females from working in the mines and the factories Act in

1833 which stated that no child under the age of nine must work in a textile

mill and those up to the age of thirteen must work for no longer than 48 hours

per week. These reforms were a good thing about the Industrial Revolution,

although some employers found ways around them. By the time the Industrial

Revolution I think that most of the working conditions were a lot better and

that the worst evils of child labour had ended, but nobody but the children and

employers themselves will ever know how much the children suffered. Also, if

these reforms hadn?t have taken place during the Industrial Revolution and if

the acts hadn?t been passed by Parliament, then terrible working conditions mat

have carried on for a lot longer and we may still have bad working conditions

today. Another good thing about the Industrial Revolution was that acts were

passed stating that children must go to school for 12 hours each week. This may

not seem like a lot compared to today, but it gave the children an opportunity

to learn about the world around them, unlike before the Industrial Revolution

when most people were uneducated. One of

the bad points about the Industrial Revolution was the poor living conditions

in towns and cities. The overcrowding was a big problem, with many people

living in slums. The water supply and sewage and waste disposal were also huge

problems. These terrible living conditions and polluted water supply caused

disease and infections including cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid. At first

many children and adults died from these diseases, but in the mid-1800?s x rays,

anaesthetic, antiseptics and other medicines and drugs made operations safer

and less painful. Like the

bad working conditions, the living conditions seemed to be more or less sorted

out by the late 19th century. Another good thing about the

Industrial Revolution was that Parliament took action to make people?s lives

more pleasant. In 1875 they passed the Artisans Dwellings Act stating that

slums should be cleared, thicker walls should be put on houses and all houses

must have a sewage system. The 1875 Public Health Act also improved living

conditions. As a result of this proper underground sewage systems were built

along with drains and proper toilets. Before this in 1848 the Public Health Act

half solved the water problem. It allowed all houses to have piped water for a

small charge. A lot of

pollution was caused during the Industrial Revolution, and is a serious threat

today, on a world wide scale. The factories gave off a lot of pollution. Today

people who live near factories are still affected by pollution. During the

Industrial Revolution pollution was also caused by trains. Now, pollution is

caused more widely by cars, which were not around in the Industrial Revolution.

During the Industrial Revolution was probably the first time that pollution

really became a threat. There

were many more good points about the Industrial Revolution, including great improvements

in travel. Railways, tram tracks and good roads made travelling quicker and

easier. Leisure

and entertainment was a good point. If the new entertainments hadn?t have been

discovered then, then nowadays we may not have popular seaside resorts, such as

Blackpool and Brighton, theatres, cinemas, circuses, sheet music for sale and

the most popular game in Britain may not be so popular. A lot of the football

teams that are popular today such as Aston Villa, Everton, Southampton,

Manchester United and Arsenal were started in the late 19th century

as works teams or teams to keep local youths out of trouble. Lots of the parks

that are around today were made in the late 19th century. Another

point that makes the Industrial Revolution a good thing is that many shops,

libraries, public baths and other public facilities were built. Some of the public

baths are still around today, although they have now changed into swimming

pools. Lots of

things that originated during the Industrial Revolution such as Bank Holidays,

are still in use today. I would

not have liked to live between 1750 and 1850, because the living and working

conditions were very poor. I would?ve hated to work long hours in the mills or

mines and then come home to a cellar shared with ten others with the foul

smells of sewage and other waste in the air. I think

that during the Industrial Revolution many important reforms took place, which

improved the quality of life for most people and that by 1900 Britain would

have been quite a nice place to live. The

changes that took place could mean different things to different people,

therefore people who are very concerned about pollution and environmental

damage will say that it is a bad thing. The people who are interested in health

care would say that the Industrial Revolution was a good thing because many new

treatments and cures to diseases were invented. I would

rather have lived in 1900 than in 1750, although people that prefer more

friendly, rural communities would probably rather have lived in 1750. I think

that the Industrial Revolution had more good points than bad points, because

most of the problems that were around at the beginning of the Industrial

Revolution ended up being solved by acts that were passed by Parliament. I

think that most of the changes that happened about 200 years ago still influence

our lives today. Overall the Industrial Revolution improved the bad living and

working conditions, made Britain wealthier and far more powerful, improved

entertainment, travel, education, public facilities and health care. Out of all

of the points that I?ve mentioned in my essay I can only think of one bad

effect that is long term and is still around. The problem has not yet been

solved ? that?s pollution.