“Adam Smith argued that Individuals who were allowed to pursue rationally their own economic self-interest would benefit society as well as themselves” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2008, p.187). This argument helped industrial capitalism grow in the 19th and 20th centuries. Industrial capitalism affected the bourgeoisie and the working class. Although the bourgeoisie gained money and power, the working class suffered through poor working conditions.
The bourgeoisie, also known as the middle class, gained money and power as the industrial capitalism got stronger. They consisted of merchants, tradesmen, and professionals. In the middle class, the men worked outside the home to support their families, while the women stayed at home to take care of the house and children. Unfortunately, the lower class was unable to do the same. All the members of the family had to work to support each other. Dennis Sherman and Joyce Salisbury ( 2008) state in the textbook “The West In The World”, that the people of the working class had to work six days a week, twelve to sixteen hours a day, earning only a small amount of money ( p.277).
The bourgeoisie and the lower class regarded their children differently. The middle class treasured their children and gave them an education; therefore, they had the chance to become successful in their life. On the other hand, the working class cared for their children, but they also needed them to work as well. In the workplace, children were mistreated. For example, if the children did not perform well they were chained to the machines and whipped. “One governmental investigation of child labor described how children were rendered pale, weak and unhealthy from laboring for hours like little slaves” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2008).
In the bourgeoisie class, the bankers, factory owners, and other businesses earned substantial amounts of money and gained political power from the industrial capitalism. They used this power to suppress the working class. The working conditions in the factories were horrendous. The women received one-third less wages than men. In addition, the children obtained a mere fraction of that pay. Therefore, factories employed women and children more often than men. The owners even created contracts with orphanages to hire cheap child laborers to save money (Sherman & Salisbury, 2008, p. 277).
In the 19th century, industrial capitalism began to gain more power in the form of monopolies. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust was one of these monopolies. His company destroyed smaller and weaker oil companies to become a larger corporation.
On May 15, 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Standard Oil Cartel was a menace to the Republic and ordered it to be broken up:
"For the safety of the Republic we (U.S. Supreme Court) now decree that the...