How Far Did Living Standarts In Britain Rise Due To Industrialisation?

1225 words - 5 pages

How Far did living standards in Britain rise due to industrialisation? How far did living standards rise? There are debates to weather living standards were better before, with the domestic system, or after, with the new factory system. Which social class benefited the most? What were the consequences to the bad conditions of housing? The different working standards went up and down, from the domestic system which was said to be "˜a golden age', to trying to raise the production of goods, with the factory system. At first the factory system was terrible, bad conditions were causing illness and sometimes due to awful treatment, some even became deformed. Children as young as 7 or 8 were made to work in factories, and if caught slacking would be whipped and beaten.Then the factory acts gradually came in, which laid down laws against these conditions. Here are some of the laws made in 1833: Children under 9 weren't allowed to work, children 9 to 13 were only allowed to work up to 9 hours a day and children 14 to 18 could only work up to 12 hours a day. Children under 13 had to attend school for 2 hours a day. 4 inspectors were to check on this regularly. The rules improved in 1844, so that children aged 8 and above were now allowed to work, children 8 to 13 were allowed only 6 and a half hours a day, children 14 to 18 and women, could only work a 12 hour day. Mill owners were made to put safety fences around all dangerous equipment.Gradually factory owners of mills, mines, and manufactures began to realise that workers could produce more work in shorter hours, because due to tiredness in long hour days, their last two hours of work were often wasted.Mass production in factories eventually destroyed many jobs in the country, but advantages came for some people. Mainly to agricultural workers, because the farmers brought their wages up so they wouldn't move to the better-paid factory work.The upper and middle classes were among the first people to gain from industrialisation, as they brought the latest products in cotton materials, pottery, and iron. The middle class was growing all the time, as people from the working class and entrepreneurs travelled up in progress. Smaller business people, professional people, and shopkeepers grew wealthier in the early nineteenth century. They also benefited from the lower prices of manufactured goods.Furniture, carpets, paintings and wall engravings which were merely seen in 1800, were beginning to be seen in 1840/50. The upper and middle classes were the first to use the new roads and railways, and to take holidays at the seaside. They lived in cleaner and healthier conditions and could afford to live in comfort, with sometimes even a servant to look after them.Among the working class the skilled workers gained the most from industrialisation. Some such as calico-printers and woolcombers went out of work because of new machinery, and this meant that new skilled trades came into demand. Iron puddlers,...

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