Industrial Revolution

A report concerning critical thinking and the Industrial Revolution.

The 18th century brought about many changes to European countries.
Advancements in science, technology and engineering brought about an
improvement in living conditions to the widespread area. The improved living
conditions induced an increase of population by the millions. From
1750-1800, the English population grew from 6 to 9 million and the French
population grew from 19 to an enormous increase of 26 million. Stricter
sanitation came about decreasing the amount of disease drastically. Food
became cheaper because of increased purchases. Items that once considered
luxuries became necessities. Sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, and furs changed
into household items instead of extravagances only the very wealthy could
afford. Even the poor were able to afford new vegetables, such as potatoes
and carrots, and cotton and linen clothing. The increase in population also
brought about the demanding for the increase of goods. In order to meet the
needs of the countries, vendors, store owners and merchants were forced into
large scale production of their merchandise.
The creation of factories came about by retailers struggling to meet the
requirements of the masses surrounding them. The formation of power driven
machinery was launched in order to compete with others. The machinery turned
out products by the thousands or even millions depending on the needs of the
country. The first factories were relatively small in scale, but there were
also large employers who had a few thousand. The factory system destroyed
the great majority of old hand trades because the desire for hand crafted
materials was decreased due to the expense and the slow creation process.
Some farmers abandoned their farming because of the changing conditions and
began working at factories for low wages.
The Industrial Revolution brought about a new way of distributing goods. It
made production quicker, more efficient and cost effective. All people
thought the advancements made created a better environment surrounding them,
but the workers in the factories were frequently plagued by ailments received
while working in dangerous conditions that came with the job. People may say
that the Industrial Revolution was a great time in history where living
conditions of all were better, but in actuality many became unhealthy because
of unpleasant working conditions. In effect, the Revolution did more harm
then it did help.
School children were taught that they were to keep busy in their work
because of the consequences facing them in the lines of a simple school hymn
which say, “In works of labour or of skill I would be busy too; For Satan
finds some mischief for idle hands to do. (Isaac Watts, Divine and Moral
Songs for Children 1869) This document very reliable not only because an
author and date are provided, but because it is probably wide known
throughout England since it is a hymn taught to the children of the middle
Workers during the Industrial Revolution often felt overworked because of
the long, stressful hours placed upon them by their employers. A Manchester
spinner explains that they are “locked up in factories eight stories high,
(the worker) has no relaxation till the ponderous engine stops, and then they
go home to get refreshed for the next day; no time for sweet association with
their families; they are all alike fatigued and exhausted.” (Black Dwarf,
1818) This document highlights good points surrounding the overworking of
the workers, but since there is no name, the reliability of the document is
decreased greatly. There was a great deal of back breaking work that workers
were forced to do during continuous and strenuous hours.
This did not happen during the whole period of industrialization, but began
when the introduction of machines such as the steam engine explains the
spinner. They say that when steam engines were incorporated, “workmen lost
their power over their labor” implying that they needed now to keep up with
the machine’s pace instead of their own. Not only did factory workers feel
overworked, many other occupations felt the strain put on them by their
unending hours. A miner in Germany also explains “my forehead burns like
fire... when it becomes unbearable I stop my slow, energyless working.” This
document is highly unreliable because it lacks a citation of where it is
from. It also lacks a specific date. We were given the timing of this
excerpt to a vague time of “early in the twentieth century.” Both documents
display the objection to the long hours put in by workers , but they do have
a reason to distort information in order to get others to sympathize with
them. Some professional