Industrial Revolution Essay

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There were many revolutions that happened throughout the world. The one that really shaped modern day society was the Industrial Revolution in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. It changed the whole of Britain and would later change the world. Despite the early social problems of child labour and sanitation created by the Industrial Revolution, its long-term social reforms including; the Factory Act and the Public Health Act outweighed the short-term issues encountered.
All over Britain new factories were being built and with them, the demand for workers increased. Even though the pay was low for adults, it was still too much for the factory owners to afford. They also needed workers who were small enough to fit into the tight spaces in the new machines. Child labour was the only option. There were many more dangerous jobs which children had to perform, some included crawling under the wool and cotton machines to fix threads. These children had to work for the majority of the day with little or no breaks. Some of them were as young as four. Children were made to work in mines as rushers and harriers. These jobs as well as many other jobs often meant very young children had to work long hours. “I am a harrier. I am fourteen years old and I have been employed ever since I was six. I come to work at seven o’clock, and sometimes leave at four, five or six in the evening in summer, and in the winter near seven.” (Speed and Speed, 1985). As stated in that quote, children had a hard life working in mines and other work places. The pay was also much lower than adult workers in the same factory. Injury was common in work places for kids; they ranged from broken bones to death. The factories had very poor sanitation, which led to...

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... increased. Hiring adults decreased the profit for the factory and most adult workers couldn’t fit into the small spaces in-between the machinery. The only option was child labour. Their rights as well as the rights of the adult workers were improved with the passing of the Factory Act. The sudden concentration of workers in cities caused diseases to spread. Diseases were being transferred from human to human in the cramped living spaces and spread by water or animals such as rats. In 1848 when the Public Health Act was passed, it created a Board of Health in each city to look after and stop the spread of diseases. The Industrial Revolution may have caused many problems which meant Acts and laws had to be passed (and then monitored, regulated and enforced created more work for the government of the day), but without them, we wouldn’t have many of today’s luxuries.
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