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Early Modern European History - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Date: Social Impact of the Industrial Revolution The industrial revolution which began in Europe in the early nineteenth century had great impac on society. It was attributed to the advancement in technology and transport thus enabling development of new and efficient machines which in turn led to improved productivity and exchange…
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Early Modern European History
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Early Modern European History

Download file to see previous pages... This in turn led to overcrowding in towns and the problems associated with it. The aim of this paper is to discuss the impact of the industrial revolution on different groups in society and how these groups responded to such changes. I will argue that industrial revolution despite its many advantages brought about serious problems to all groups in society; none was spared including infants. These ranged from physical to mental problems. The workers had no option but to work and the manufacturers were bent on ensuring value from their investments: machine and people no matter the working conditions. The industrial revolution affected many areas of society. These can be explained in terms of the working conditions in the factories, changes in living standards, attitudes and values of middle class and the effects it had on lifestyle. One prominent feature of industrial revolution was establishment of factories and also increased mining activities. There is no problem with the country people living their local areas to go work in factories and mines as it was a means of livelihood. Furthermore, it offered more earnings than engaging in agriculture in remote areas. Those who went to town could send money to those back at home. They could also improve on their skills as they specialized in one activity unlike in feudal society where a serf did everything. Improved transport and communication was also essential for the society as now they could communicate and mix with people from all walks of life thus exchange cultures and ideas. Furthermore, women got to be engaged in work instead of being relegated to the domestic duties such as child rearing. If industrial revolution brought all these goodies, why was it so much resented to an extent of establishing commissions to investigate on its workings? Industrial revolution may have changed lives in a positive way but the way it was carried out left a lot to be desired. It led to deterioration of health of the society especially the infants even changed the way society is organized. Testimonies regarding working conditions in England and child labor in factories leading to the famous Factory Act of 1833 tell a lot about the sufferings endured by infants and adults alike in the factories and mines and also the reactions of manufacturers regarding workers plight. One of the testimonies was from the commission of medical examiners in North East England highlighting the physical condition of children working in factories. The report revealed some devastating effects on the children such as “deformity, stunted growth, relaxation of ligaments like knees and ankles and also relaxed muscles” (Sherman 142). The most worrying thing is that children as young as five years were engaged in employment and to make matters worse, they worked for thirteen hours a day. This is a disgrace to humanity that should be rejected at all cost. The 9, 10 and 11 year olds according to the commission worked for 14 and 15 hours a day. In traditional society, children were supposed to stay at home and be cared for by their parents especially mothers. Even today, child labor is prohibited. Children are supposed to be in school studying but since those days schools were for the chosen few, children remained at home learning various skills from the society. When industrial revolution set in, parents colluded with masters to do disservice ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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