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Industrial Rev Essay

890 words - 4 pages

The Industrial Revolution created the new working class. Comparing to the life of the wealthy and people in middle class, the housing conditions of the industrial workers seemed outlandish. They were packed into tenements, or multistory buildings divided into tiny rooms, with no running water, sewage, nor clean drinking water. Their wastes were dumped onto the streets and rivers. On top of these harsh conditions, the sanitation system in these tenements were extremely poor which caused the widespread of diseases, such as cholera. Although their housing condition was bad, it paled in comparison with the working condition in the factories. The working class was composed of farmers who abandoned their rural lifestyles for the industrial cities and job opportunities. Comparing to their previous lifestyle, life in factories was harsh and the workers had to work up to sixteen hours for six or seven days a week with low wages. The workers only got breaks whenever the factory owners permit them and most of the factory owners were Social Darwinism or Rugged Individualism who didn’t care about their workers. The long hours of work resulted in exhausted workers which led to maiming accidents as people accidentally lost parts of their bodies to the machines. In addition to being maimed, many workers developed lung diseases due to long hours of inhaling lint in the unventilated factory air and workers with physical conditions were laid off. Worst of all, women in the factories were burden with factory work and house work. Suffering from exhaustion and diseases from the factory works, women went home to face problems, such as clothing, food, and children. The conditions of the factories were no better in New York City, United States, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was an example for the accidents that happened in textile factories. The workers had no place to escape to when the fire started, consequently, killed 114 workers.
As more workers faced being laid off for their physical injuries, secret labor unions rose despite the laws. The unions wanted to start a reform calling for higher wages and better conditions, but with no real political power, the unions were unable to make any of their dreams come true. The discontent within these unions eventually led to violence. Groups of textile workers named Luddites resisted the machines and factories violently because as skilled artisans, the machines threatened their trades and income. The Luddites were unique in the way that they had a fictional leader named Ned Ludd, or Ludlam, who was described as the modern Robin Hood. Although their leader was fictional, the figure was rather meaningful and united the workers. Their goal was to destroy as much machines as possible to show their discontent...

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