• The social changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution were significant
    • The Industrial Revolution brought with it an increase in population and urbanization, as well as new social classes
    • The bad living conditions in the towns can be traced to lack of good brick, the absence of building codes, and the lack of machinery for public sanitation.
    • The factory owners’ tendency to regard labourers as commodities and not as a group of human beings.
    • The Industrial Revolution created a new working class
    • The new class of industrial workers included all the men, women, and children labouring in the textile mills, pottery works, and mines
    • Wages were low, hours were long, and working conditions unpleasant and dangerous
    • Women and children regardless of where they worked, had the most exploitative working condition and the lowest rates of pay.
    • This is a picture of two children working in the mines.  They were small enough to fit into narrow space. These are often the conditions children worked in.

Conditions in City Life

  • People flooded into cities from the country side in hopes of finding jobs.
  • Exclusive neighborhoods were build for wealthy bourgeoisie, while the working poor was forced to live in the ghettos
  • The poor were forced to tolerate intrusions even at the most intimate times.
  • People were used to work and home being in the same place and it was normal for parents and children to work together
  • Working day ranged from 12 to 16 hours
  • As many as 8 to 10 people would share one room, families and single people of both gender would sleep together.
  • Houses were built in rows or in squares with a common courtyard, in which there might be a water tap and a common toilet.
  • There was little access to fresh air and little provision for clean water or removal of refuse, including human waste.
  • When production was in demand, workers would work extremely hard for a long hours.
  • When the market was slow, they worked at a more leisurely pace.
  • Employers imposed fines and penalties for lateness, for interruptions in work and for absenteeism

Social structure as a result of Industrial Revolution

  • Increase in standard of living eventually resulted from urbanization
  • Gap between wealthy and working class still remained enormous
  • Industrial and urban development made society more diverse and less unified
  • Diversity within middle class
  • Upper middle class: bankers, industrial leaders, large-scale commerce
  • Diversified middle class: businessmen, professionals, merchants, doctors and lawyers
  • Lower middle class: independent shopkeepers and small traders
  • Working class: about 80% of population
  • Many were peasants and hired hands (especially in Eastern Europe)
  • Less unified and homogenous compared to middle classes
  • Highly skilled workers were at the top of working class (about 15% of pop.)
  • Semi-skilled workers: carpentry, bricklaying, successful factory workers
  • Unskilled workers and domestic servants were at the bottom.

Changing family

  • Romantic love most important reason for marriage by 1850
  • After 1850 the work of most wives increasingly distinct and separate from their husbands.
  • Middle-class women begin to organize and resist their second-class status to husbands
  • Child rearing more child-centered with wife dominating the home domain.


One thought on “Social Changes during Industrial Revolution

  1. More industry changes needed to be added to this specific page that is germane to the Industrial Revolution.

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