The Impact Of The Industrial Revolution On Western Society

1468 words, 6 pages

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In turn, more factories and machinery needed to be built to keep up with the consumer’s demand for products providing more jobs. The construction of these railways also created jobs for the common people. The increase in job opportunities led to an increase in people who could afford to buy the products, which consequently led to even more factories and employment opportunities. Railroads, in addition to improved roads, canals, and seaports created enormous trade systems that benefited the lower class as opposed to solely the elite resulting in great economic growth in many countries.
During the Industrial Revolution, new social reforms came about, eventually resulting in a positive change for much of European society. Much of these reforms were due to the issue of child labor. Children worked with unsafe machinery in dangerous environments where permanent injury or even death was not uncommon. Many children worked in places like mines where cave-ins, gas fumes, explosions were common, cotton mills in which the temperature were dangerously high, and factories where they were terribly mistreated. Children were forced to work long hours, earning low wages, received few, if any, breaks, and were disciplined by receiving beatings. For example, Joseph Hebergam, a boy who worked since age 7, stated, “…and beat us till we were black and blue,” resulting in Hebergam being forced to deal with life long injuries. However, eventually a series of factory acts limited the work hours of children and women. The Factory Act of 1833 eliminated the extensive use of children in potentially dangerous situations and the use of children in any workplace that used any machines that were driven by any source of electrical power at night. Furthermore, set the minimum age for a child to legally work at 9 and stated that children 9-13 were not allowed to work for more than twelve hours a day. The act also set guidelin View More »

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