As soon as the Industrial Revolution began, many people who lived as farmers and agriculturists had migrated into urban towns hoping to make more money as factory workers. When families began to hear about factories, they automatically assumed that it would be a wonderful opportunity to make money easily. For instance, “While industrialization brought about an increased volume and variety of manufactured goods and an improved standard of living for some, it also resulted in often grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes.
” ( http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution ). Citizens seemed to be thrilled to join in on this advanced world of modernization. However, the working class soon started to realize that factories were not what they imagined they would be. In reality, workers were unsafe in these factories, even though many people thought they had received more benefits from the process of industrialization. An agrarian nation and an industrial nation are two completely diverse societies that function differently. An agrarian nation depends on agriculture and farming for survival.
This type of society was generally associated with domesticating animals and plants. Besides farming and herding, there were many other jobs that brought the community together. There were artisans that worked as blacksmiths, shopkeepers, weavers, potters, watchmen, etc. Families lived close to one another for protection. They also did not have much division of labor, rather they worked together as a united nation. On the other hand, an industrial nation is more technologically advanced then an agrarian one.
They rely on factory production for the survival of their large population. The goal of this type of society is to mass produce standard goods. The use of external energy sources expands the scale and rate of production. Food was generally produced on commercial farms by merging fossil fuel-based fertilizers with harvesters.
By having this system in place, human labor was decreased, while production was increased. Unlike the agrarian nation, the industrial nation had a large quantity for division of labor. The Industrial Revolution was a time where many technological advances were made.
An increase in technology meant that medical procedures such as surgeries were now easier to accomplish. More medicines were then able to be made. This resulted in the average life expectancy to increase. Railroads greatly impacted this revolution. People were able to transport materials quickly and with greater quantities then ever before.
Because of this advancement, factories were able to produce more goods which helped businesses flourish. Since businesses were manufacturing many goods, people were able to get their necessities. Citizens in the country also used railroads to transport themselves into cities ,which helped provide more workers for the factories. The invention of the telegraph made it easier for big businesses to operate efficiently.
For instance, “Big businesses, helped by the telegraph, improved the standard living for regular Americans… Railroads used telegraphs a lot because they needed to be able to communicate instantly between far-flung stations.” ( https://www.enotes.com ) Therefore, we see that the telegraph helped run railroads in a more effective way. The use of telegraphs helped citizens become more aware of their surroundings. People were able to communicate across long distances and share news. They felt more unified and connected as a nation. Life changed for the average person because of the revolution.
The cost of travel decreased immensely, which caused people to use trains more often. This triggered overall happiness of the population to increase because the average standard of living increased. People were able to be civil and live in more beautiful homes and go to better schools. After moving from rural to urban areas, many individuals hated working in factories, but it was their only choice. In most cases, people didn’t have much money. Therefore, they couldn’t afford to move back to the countryside. Industrialization expanded variations in income.The wages, as well as the standards of living of the workers, varied with the changes of the business cycle.
Overall, worker’s standards of living didn’t progress until the 1850’s. The true beneficiaries of the revolution were the middle classes. Rising incomes allowed them to build their own businesses, to keep women at home, and to develop a moral code that stood in contrast to the destitution of the working class. The working class suffered dreadfully from the Industrial Revolution for many different reasons. They received low pay in exchange for their hard work. Before The Industrial Revolution, workers were often paid based on the quality and amount of hard work they put into their products. Because of industrialization, any worker was paid by the hour no matter what task they were presented with. Additionally, these workers were not skilled.
Therefore, they can be easily replaced with no problem. This idea was put in place because bosses hoped to make a maximum profit. There were many attempts at reform because of the unfair treatment of workers. However, it was very hard from 1799 to 1800 because of the British Combination Acts. These were “British acts of 1799 and 1800 that made trade unionism illegal. The laws, as finally amended, sentenced to three months in jail or to two months’ hard labour any workingman who combined with another to gain an increase in wages or a decrease in hours or who solicited anyone else to leave work or objected to working with any other workman.” ( https://www.
britannica.com/event/Combination-Acts )This act prevented workers who felt mistreated from forming unions in order to help their cause. This also meant that they could not go on strike in order to improve their working conditions. However, many working class people did not like this and decided to take matters into their own hands. Many created groups in which workers would help each other if one was injured or became sick from work. Eventually, these groups became their own labor unions in which they fought for better working conditions and fair pay. Young children were working in factories for many hours, in conditions that were unsafe for them. Because of this insensitive behavior, the government passed a Factory Act in 1833.
It states that no child is allowed to work under the age of nine years old, children should not work at night, children should get two hours of schooling everyday, and four factory owners should be placed in order to make sure the laws are in action. With these rules set in place, children were able to work in safer conditions. During The Industrial Revolution, working conditions in mines were terrible and harsh. The goal was to improve these conditions.
With these hopes in mind, the Mining Act of 1842 was set in place. This act stated that no female should be employed underground, boys under the age of ten years old were not supposed to be working underground, and parish apprentices that were between the ages of ten and 18 could work in mines. Many changes occurred in society because of the Industrial Revolution. Although some changes benefitted society, many caused harm to society as well. The working class was most affected by the Industrial Revolution because they are the ones who had most use of the jobs and new products.
However, many believe that the increase in jobs and product diversity was not worth all the pain that was inflicted by harsh working conditions. Men, women, and children all suffered during the first few years of industrialization. However, in modern times, factory jobs are no longer as dangerous as they once were.