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The Industrial Revolution 1 Essay

2968 words - 12 pages

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and technology had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world.
The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. In the two centuries following 1800, the world's average per capita income increased over ...view middle of the document...

EFFECTS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Amid all of the inventions, development, growth and sustainability that Europe encountered, it had its disadvantages on the populace of Europe (most especially Britain).Below are some of the effects the industrial revolution had on different areas in Britain.

CHILD LABOR
Child labor had existed before the Industrial Revolution, but with the increase in population and education it became more visible. The reasons child labor emerged were due to an increase in poverty rates and the children being a cheap source of labor. Many children were forced to work in relatively bad conditions for much lower pay than their elders, 10-20% of an adult male's wage. Also orphans were treated worse than other children. Children as young as four were employed. There was still limited opportunity for education, and children were expected to work. Employers could pay a child less than an adult even though their productivity was comparable; there was no need for strength to operate an industrial machine, and since the industrial system was completely new there were no experienced adult laborers. This made child labor the labor of choice for manufacturing in the early phases of the Industrial Revolution between the 18th and 19th centuries. In England and Scotland in 1788, two-thirds of the workers in 143 water-powered cotton mills were described as children. Beatings and long hours were common, with some child coal miners and hurriers working from 4 am until 5 pm. Conditions were dangerous, with some children killed when they dozed off and fell into the path of the carts, while others died from gas explosions. Many children developed lung cancer and other diseases and died before the age of 25. Workhouses would sell orphans and abandoned children as "pauper apprentices", working without wages for board and lodging. Those who ran away would be whipped and returned to their masters, with some masters shackling them to prevent escape. Children employed as mule scavenger by cotton mills would crawl under machinery to pick up cotton, working 14 hours a day, and six days a week. Some lost hands or limbs, others were crushed under the machines, and some were decapitated. Young girls worked at match factories, where phosphorus fumes would cause many to develop phossy jaw. Children employed at glassworks were regularly burned and blinded, and those working at potteries were vulnerable to poisonous clay dust. Reports were written detailing some of the abuses, particularly in the coal mines and textile factories and these helped to popularize the children's plight. The public outcry, especially among the upper and middle classes, helped stir change in the young workers' welfare.

Politicians and the government tried to limit child labor by law, but factory owners resisted; some felt that they were aiding the poor by giving their children money to buy food to avoid starvation, and others simply welcomed the cheap labor. In 1833...

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