• Country of Economic Contrasts
  • 1st millionaires appear
  • Cities have slums
  • Stark contrast between the rich and the poor (upper and lower class)
  • 1/4 + of babies die before their 1st birthday
  • New technology makes life easier (for those who can afford the luxury)
  • Technology in the Home
  • 1900s was a time of “gadgets”
  • New “gadgets include:
  • Safety razors
  • Electric irons
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Push lawnmowers
  • Automobiles


    • Term “weekend” is first used
    • Vacations
    • *Note: Many people could not afford to take time off.  This, like gadgets was a luxury for the wealthy elite.


  • Middle/Lower class families need additional income to support themselves
  • Wives are sent to work (aside from their regular duties – caring for the household, raising children)
  • Children are forced to work (most children only achieve a grade 3 education


  • No electricity                        Garbage littered streets
    Little Ventilation                   Polluted air
    Outdoor toilets                     Unpasturized milk
    Tainted Water Supply          High death rate/ disease


  • Large families in small houses (1 to 2 rooms)
    • Could you be a “slum dog millionaire”?
    • It was very difficult to move from lower to upper class.
    • Average wage was $425 / year (women and children earning much less)
    • Rent = $12/month/room (basement appt.)
    • Food = $13.38 / month (little meat, few vegetables)

Changes in the Workplace

  • Mass Production
  • Service Sector
  • Rural Depopulation
  • Mass Production
  • Workers specialize in one area (able to make things faster) as opposed to creating entire product
  • Introduction of the assembly line
  • Assembly Lines and the Model T
  • Service Sector
  • Creation of jobs in the service sector (people who “serve” others)
  • Taxi Drivers
  • Mailman
  • Railroad
  • Bank Teller
  • Accountant
  • Sales Person
  • Cleaner
  • Clerical work
    -invention of
    telephone & typewriter
  • Many clerical jobs are given to women as the economy expands
  • -women are better at detail
  • -women have nimble hands making it easier for them to use the machines
    • Rural Depopulation
    • As farms become more and more mechanized, there
    • are less jobs in rural areas (less farm hands and farmers are needed)
      • Fewer people live are living in rural areas
      • Young people head toward the “city” in hopes for a better future
      • Women (unable to own/inherit land, are often not paid for farm work) in need of supporting themselves must move to the city for employment
      • Working Conditions
      • Working Conditions
      • Hard labour / long hours/ low pay
      • 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week
      • Companies hire women & children because they can pay them much less than men


  • Poor lighting, ventilation, noisy, dirty, dangerous (from the machines)
  • Poor work conditions saves the companies $
  • No safety regulations
  • workers forced to retire because of poor health that was a direct result from the work environment
  • Job security is non-existant and unemployment is common
  • Little to no compensation for work place related injuries (or deaths)
  • The physically disabled are deemed unemployable (will not be able to find jobs)
  • Unstable Job Market
  • Jobs are not stable
    • Seasonal jobs = job shortages
    • More people than jobs
    • Good for employers
    • Large work force
    • Easily threaten employees
    • Low wages
    • Fire people easily
    • Large inflow of immigrants
    • Able to pay even lower wages
    • Constant labour force
    • Use immigrants as strike breakers
    • Reform Movements
    • Social Gospel
    • Urban Reform
    • Education Reform
    • Struggle for Equality
    • Labour Movement
    • Social Gospel
    • Since the government does not do anything to remedy common problems (exploitation of workers, poverty, crime, disease) private charities help the poor/sick and social reformers leap into action
      • Religious revival
      • Believe that it is everyone’s duty to help the less fortunate


  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union
  • Young Men’s Christian Association
  • Salvation Army
    • Urban Reform
    • Poor city planning is becoming a problem
      • Need to improve living conditions
      • Creation of Public Works
      • Building of infastructure
      • Sewers, gas lines, water lines
      • Telephone / Electrical wires
      • Public Transit
      • Children’s Aid Society
      • Education
      • Begin to provide free schooling
      • Begin educating labourers in work camps far from cities (1899 – Frontier College on Georgian Bay, ON) provides workers with basic literacy skills through evening classes
      • Education is viewed as a means to “Canadianize” immigrants through assimilation (& teaching them “Canadian” customs)
      • Movements to educate rural women
      • Women’s Institute
      • Fights for legislation regarding education, cleanliness and nutrition
  • The Struggle for Equality:
    The Women’s Movement
  • Campaign for women’s sufferage (right to vote)
  • Launched by the Toronto Women’s Literary Club
  • Run by Emily Stowe
  • Denied access into university in Canada
  • Became a Doctor in the United States
  • Denied entry into the College of Physicians and Surgeons


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