- The social changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution were significant
The poor 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.
Conditions in City Life
- People flooded into cities from the countryside in hopes of finding jobs.
- Exclusive neighbourhoods were built for the 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 genders 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
- Gaps between the wealthy and working-class still remained enormous
- Industrial and urban development made society more diverse and less unified
- Diversity within the 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 the population
- Many were peasants and hired hands (especially in Eastern Europe)
- Less unified and homogeneous compared to the 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.
- Romantic love was the most important reason for marriage by 1850
- After 1850 the work of most wives made them increasingly distince and separate from their husbands.
- Middle-class women began to organize and resist their second-class status to husbands
- Child rearing was more child-centered with wife dominating the home domain.
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