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Industrial Revolution

Great Britain
Pre-conditions in Great Britain
► What was feudal life like?

► Agricultural Revolution 1600’s – 1700’s
 Seed drill
 Crop rotation – wheat, clover, barley, turnips
 Selevtive breeding

► Effects?
 More money?
 More food?
 Survival rate goes up
 Population boom
 Move to?
 urbanization
Results of the Agricultural Revolution
on Quality of Life

The population of
Britain goes from:
1700 – 6 million
1900 – 38 million

The population
shifts from:
80% rural to
1790 1850 1900 1940 1990
70% urban
Changes in Industry
► Cottage
Industry – working out of your
home (shop)
 Examples of Cottage industry?
 Textiles are the first industries to be
industrialized… what are textiles?
 How were textiles made initially?
Changes in Industry
Changes in Industry
► Improvements come to the textile industry
 ex. Spinning Jenny – allows one person to spin
8 bobbins at one time
► New power sources are discovered
 Then water power is harnessed to run machines
 Switch from hand power to machine power
The Factory System
► Who can afford to build a factory?
► What happens to the cottage industry?
► How are workers treated in the factory?
 Employees came to the workplace
 Workers began at a certain time
(the clock becomes an important feature of life)
 Workers were paid a specific wage
 Workers completed tasks – they didn’t complete
“items” (loss of pride)
Changes in Industry
► Less people farming meant more people
available for work in the cities.
► These people became the ‘muscle’ to make
the industrial revolution work.
 Built machines for agriculture
 Coal mines
 Factory workers
 Built roads
 Built railroads
Factory Conditions
► Water power was used in many textile
 Factories had to built beside streams
 When water was scarce there was no
production in the factory

► Steam power was developed
 James Watt refined the steam engine and
made it practical to use
 He measured the power of his engine by
using horse power
 Now the factory could be built anywhere!
Quality of Life for Factory Workers
► Life was worse than before factories were built.

► Owners wanted to make as much money as they could on
the backs of their workers.

► People live in slum housing, and worked in dreadful
factories. Children worked in dangerous conditions. People
who were hurt were fired. Low wages were paid and long
hours were worked.

► People who opposed the factories were called Luddites
(the machine breakers) and actually attacked factories.
They claimed that factories increased unemployment,
created low wages, and produced poorer quality goods.
They wanted things to go back to where they were before.
► Coal crucial to the Industrial

► Before 1842 there were no
protection laws regarding age
limits, hours or conditions of

► Teams of women employed to
use windlass to lift coal and

► Men refused to do such work.
“I have been down six weeks and made 10
to 14 trips from the face to the top each
day. I carry a full 56 lbs of coal in a
wooden bucket. I work with sister Jesse
and mother. It is dark the time we go”
(girl 6 years old)

“I have a belt around my waist, and a chain
passing between my legs, and I go on
my hands and feet. The road is very
steep and we…hold onto anything we
can…I am not as strong as I was…I
have drawn til I had the skin off me…”
(32 year old woman)

Youngest children usually employed as
scavengers and piecers

► picked up loose cotton from under
► extremely dangerous, children were
expected to carry out the task while
machines were still working

► children had to lean over spinning
machines to repair broken threads
► might walk 20 miles per day
► Life, work conditions brutal and

► Poverty, periodic
unemployment, over-crowded
and inadequate housing, bad
work conditions, restricted

► High incidence of
dismemberment, disease, death

► Human existence is a struggle,
survival is an end in itself

► Fatalistic attitude, ‘God gives
and God takes away’
Who Would Help the Workers?

► read the “The Rules of the Mill”
► read the “ Interviews of Child Labourers”

► 14 -18 hour days
► No talking
► Low pay
► Dangerous work (mines, piecers, abuse)
Sadler Committee Report
► Listento 4 excerpts taken from Sadler’s 89
interviews he conducted. As we read these
stories, put yourself in their shoes, and
think about the following:
 What would it be like to be a child labourer
during the Industrial Revolution?
 What would it be like to be the parent of one of
these children?
Who Would Help the Workers?
► Will the government step in?
 Yes!

► What did they do?
 They made it “illegal” to be poor!
 1832 – Poor Laws
 Workhouse if you are poor
 You can leave when you have a job on the
outside… hmm?
The Workhouse
Who Would Help the Workers?
FINALLY – 1842…
► The government
brought in
legislation to
protect children
and workers.

► They also created
social welfare
programs for the
Who Would Help the Workers?
► 1842 – Mine Acts
 No women or boys under 10 allowed underground

► 1846 - The Factory Act (4 inspectors in England)

 No kids under the age of 10
 No kids at night
 10 hr work day for women and children
 2 hrs of school a day

► 1870 – Education Act
 Public schools for all kids (to Gr 6) – paid with taxes
Stories of Poverty
► Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist, Great
Expectations, David Copperfield, etc

► Beethoven – despite great success, died very
poor (and deaf)

► Van Gogh – sold only one painting (out of 1700
paintings) in his life ($80)
 Today each Van Gogh painting STARTS at 11 million!
1. Should the government have stepped in?

2. Why didn’t the government step in

3. Is the government involved in business
today? How? Explain!

4. Should the government be involved in the
business world still or should they leave it