Also, over eighty percent of people worked for themselves. There were no working jobs, where anyone would work for a large company. The only work people could find was to provide for their own family or trade their belongings with others. (Hellbender 4) The trade routes to most countries had been cut off as a result from the War of 1812. Since Great Britain powered over Europe, the U. S. Was not able to get into those countries anymore. America did not have money to trade for, so people needed to find a way to produce their own goods and resources. The people were desperate to find jobs.
The people who did not eave any money started working in the new sprouting factories. By then, everyone was willing to do anything just to get a job that paved money. Factory owners had an idea to not pay the workers very much, and keep most of the money. This brought a big contribution to the factories’ working conditions. (Trucker 16) Everything about the factories was terrible. This was because the factory owners did not care about the employees’ lives, as long as they worked. The employees only wanted the job done so they would earn money. All of the people that were able to work had to work for long hours at a time, sometimes even days.
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They would usually have to be woken up at four or five in the morning and go until eight to ten at night. In addition, they went without lunch or breaks the whole working day. Also, the workers were not paid enough for their labor and sacrifices. The people never had time to go to places in the free time that they had. They were too tired, and they did not have the money required for the transportation and attractions. In the steel mills at Homestead, Pennsylvania, the workers were treated very poorly. It was common for men to fall through hanging walkways in the tops of the mills because they had holes in them.
There were ovens that rose to extreme temperatures that would burn the men and melt their skin. The screeching of saws cutting steel caused many to go deaf. After the saws cut the steel, the grains of steel and dust would get into their lungs, resulting in respiratory problems, or until they could not breathe anymore and suffocate. According to Hellbender, they worked every day Of the year, besides Christmas, for twelve hours each day, and were not given lunch or even shower rooms. The last option available to earn more money was to bring their children to work in the factories with their parents. Olson 38,39). Hellbender 126) The children had the most risky and arduous work in all of the factories. Since the children were small, they would work between the open gears, sharp tools, and compressing spaces. Often times, there would be fatal accidents. Toddlers going underneath equipment to sweep debris and fibers would often get caught by swinging blades and become decapitated. In addition, they would fall into hot, melted metal or burning buckets of lard by slipping, or even get caught between moving gears, grinding them into pieces. Then, the parents of the child would be notified about their loss.
The factory winners would even make them pay with their own money, since the child had broken it by stopping it up, but in reality they just wanted the latest equipment out. During that time, new inventions were coming out, so everyone wanted the latest items. (Library of Congress) There were millions of new inventions made, but several very important ones completely altered our modern way of life. These included the Spinning Jenny, Steam Engine, Cotton Gin, Reaper, and the Modern Automobile. The Spinning Jenny was invented by James Harvests in 1764. This machine made it possible to spin more than one ball of thread and yarn in weaving.
Next, the Steam Engine was invented by James Watt in 1765. This allowed people to sell goods all across America, and was the main electric power source for the nineteenth century. The Cotton Gin was created by Eli Whitney in 1793. The Cotton Gin was created to take out the seeds in the cotton plant in a more efficient amount of time than doing it by hand. Originally, it was meant to decrease the amount of slavery, but ironically, the Cotton Gin increased slavery. Machine owners did not have anyone to work the cotton gins, so they bought more slaves. The Reaper cut grain ten times faster than our or five men put together.
It was invented by Cyrus McCormick in 1831, and it tripled the amount of grain harvested every day. Lastly, the Modern Automobile was first demonstrated by the Audrey Brothers, J. Frank and Charles, in 1893, but there is no specific date on when it was invented. The first affordable car was made by Henry Ford in 1908 which was called the “Model T”. (Olson 1, 14). (Jeremy 1). (Hellbender 3) Most immigrants came from other countries because they heard that America was booming with success in industry, had many job opportunities, provided religious freedom, and provided education.
The foreigners were lured in, believing that it would be a wonderful experience for their family. When they got to America, however, they had to accept any work they could find, since they were not property owners. Many could not read, write, or even speak English. They had to start out with the lowest paying jobs there were. The immigrants were usually forced to work on canals, steel mills, and eventually replaced the girls that worked in the low paying, harsh environment called the Lowell Mills. Earlier, the Lowell factories hired young girls to work long hours for very little pay.
The girls were willing to do any work that provided money, and once they started leaving, the immigrants began to replace them. (Hellbender 40) Most of the immigrants came from Ireland, England, Germany, Czech, and Canada. The cities with the most immigrants were on coastal cities, such as Boston and New York. When the Czech arrived in America, most were already educated, and they were able to get well paying jobs. They mostly settled in North-Central states, California, Hawaii, and Texas. Many started out working as farmers of grain, fruit, and vegetables. Soon, the grain production turned into breweries.
The Czech also established the brewery Budweiser, which is still in production today. (Monomania 54) Today, ninety-five out of one hundred people cannot grow their own food. Ninety-nine people out of one hundred cannot make their own clothes. Now, more than ninety percent of America’s population works for a larger business. If people today were to go back to life in the uses and early 1 ass’s, most of the population would be helpless. Due to everyone’s dependence on machinery and technology for so long, everyone has forgotten everything about depending on themselves . (Wells 87). (Hellbender 4)
Due to the Industrial Revolution, the United States is more advanced than ever before. Means of transportation have drastically changed from wagons and horses, to railroads, air transportation, and automobiles with speeds greater than one hundred miles per hour. America also does not have to depend much on trade with other countries, because now, there can be production of almost anything during any season, and not have to wait for certain foods to harvest as people would have in the eighteenth century. Advanced technology is also booming everyday. New communication devices, the world wide web, and television is available whenever needed.