Industrial Revolution Living Conditions Essay

1082 Words 5 Pages
In the United Kingdom, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution was in full force, drastically changing labor in factories and working class living conditions. The changes brought by the Industrial Revolution created jobs for the working class and increased population, but also worsened working conditions and living conditions, and caused more children to be employed in unsafe working environments. Through the technological advancements and changes brought by the industrial revolution, new jobs in cities were created and increased food production led to substantial population growth. In England and Whales in 1831 there were a total of about 14 million people. By the year 1871, the total population had increased to approximately …show more content…
According to John Francis Bray, “It is the inequality of exchanges which enables one class to live in luxury and idleness, and dooms another to incessant toil”. The incessant toil Bray speaks of is the life of working long hours each day and living in poor, unsanitary living conditions. However, the upper class thrived on the manual labor system, profiting by overworking workers and paying them almost nothing. After working sometimes twelve or more hours a day, workers would have to return to homes without running water unsanitary conditions. Diseases thrived in the contaminated homes of workers. In addition to sickness, “most workers [lacked] clothing, bed, furniture, fuel, wholesome food”, which only increased the stress and strain put on the workers. Robert Baker, a supporter of the Public Health Act, said “A great source of the social evils of the working classes is their insanitary state, whether considered in a physical or a moral point of view”. Although the living conditions factory workers were subjected to were physically degrading, Baker suggests that the conditions also affected their mental state. Living in sickness, without much food or water and after working often twelve or more hours would have been morally degrading, causing workers to lose …show more content…
In 1843, the average age of death rate laborers was 18 years old, which is much younger than the average age of 32 in rural areas. Child labor was a problem in the industrial revolution, children being employed in factories and coal mines as early as eight years old, however there was some dispute about whether child labor should be legal or not. Andrew Ure, a supporter of longer hours and child labor said “I never saw a single instance of corporal chastisement inflected on a child, nor indeed did i ever see children in ill-humor”. Only based on his account, it would seem child labor was no issue during the industrial revolution, and that children enjoyed working long hours, but other sources conflict with his statement. On children working in factories, Robert Southey said “their health, physical and moral, is alike destroyed; they die of diseases induced by their unremitting task work”. There were conflicting views, as many factory overseers and owners employed children and exploited them, forcing young children to work long hours in order to make more money for the owners. There was also the other argument, that working children was unnecessary and cruel, and forcing them to work long hours subjected them to sickness and disease, causing them to die

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