The Revolution seemed to be advantageous in various aspects but was actually the complete opposite for he common workers’ working conditions, living conditions, and it exploited child labor. Although the Industrial Revolution resembled a new lease on life and led to a more advanced society, it had a negative impact on the common factory worker. Some would claim that the Industrial Revolution was purely beneficial to society and to people as a whole. The Revolution provided many “… Expanding employment opportunities” for all people (Deane 35). This employment provided better wages for most people, especially farmers’ daughters. The wages, typically set at $3. 00 to $3. 50 per week, were much higher than anything farm daughters could earn in their hometowns” and therefore, many farm daughters came to work in mills (Dublin). This led to more independent women and when “compared to most American women, mill girls and former mill girls had a tendency to speak up” (Stewart). However, all these seemingly beneficial effects of the Revolution do not outweigh the negative effects it had on the working conditions, living conditions, and child labor. The Industrial Revolution had many negative repercussions on the working conditions for the common worker.
Although the Revolution created many bobs, there were still many people left unemployed. This created a loss of bargaining powers for the employees because if they were to argue that their pay was too low, or any other complaint, the factory owner could easily fire them and hire someone else to take their place (“Effects of the Industrial Revolution”). The common worker had “a 12 to 14 hour day, six days a week, 309 days a year, with only three holidays” (Mack). They were constantly working and had very little opportunity to enjoy free time due to the fact that they were generally tired when they got out of work.
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Additionally, due to no fatty laws, many of the work places were extremely dangerous to be in, especially when rushing around in it. It was very common for factory workers to get injured and possibly killed while working. If a worker got injured, there was no such law as workmen’s compensation and they would generally lose their job because they are not fit to work (“Effects… “). However, the injustice to the common worker did not stop at terrible working conditions but also leaked into their living conditions and home life. The Industrial Revolution proved to have negative effects on people’s living conditions.
Firstly, the skilled workers who made clothing from their own homes, were basically kicked out of the textile industry. Many of them became very poor or if finding a job in the factory, had a difficult time keeping up with the fast pace of factory life. As stated before, common workers had very little free time for recreation due to the long hours. In the working-class neighborhood, people began to lose their sense of community and “local governments actively sought to ban traditional festivals in the cities” (“Effects… “). Additionally, many of factories built dormitories for the women ho worked there.
The dorms were small and crowded and offered little privacy for the women. They also tended to have rodent and insect problems. The women were also expected to follow a strict set of rules such as going to church every Sunday, no drinking, and had a curfew (Mill Times). Although the Industrial Revolution had negative effects on the common workers, most devastatingly were the effects it had on children. The children who worked during the Industrial Revolution did not have the easy life that We have Grover accustomed to today.
Children as young as six ere expected to work and help provide for the family (Davies 76). Only wealthy children went to school and had play time. Children of the common worker only learned basic skills on Sunday, their only day off. They worked in the same factories, and even coal mines, as the other adults. Doing so was just as dangerous for the children, if not more so, as it was for the adults. However, they were generally given the easier tasks or the tedious tasks. Children were expected to cram themselves into tight spaces if a machine broke to try and fix it.
They also worked very long hours and “they were paid /1 0 of what men were paid” (“Effects… “). Due to low wages for children, they were almost preferred over the adults. Children also would not join workers unions or attempt to go on strike. Corporal punishment was not uncommon in the factory life for children. Additionally, working long hours could be dangerous for the children because “A tired, sleepy child could easily loss a finger, arm, or scalp to the devouring machinery’ (Mack). It took a long time before Child Labor laws came into practice as well as mandatory schooling.
The Industrial Revolution had many negative impacts on society and the way people lived their lives. Although it benefited some people, such as the factory owners, it did not benefit the common worker. They were forced into poor working conditions and were not guaranteed that they will survive the work day. If they did not survive, or were badly injured on the job, the employer could fire the employee and were not required to give benefits. Living conditions also took a nose dive during the Industrial Revolution and many lived in uncomfortable homes. Local governments also helped factory owners by trying to ban festivals.