Men feared that women would overcrowd the educated, professional placement in society and that it would change the role of women in the home. The second industrial revolution in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. The change in technology, education, and lifestyle had significant influence on social issues. Workers migrated to the cities, traditional family roles changed, and the new middle class gained influence through their buying power. The middle class was changing due to urbanization of the cities and migration
Women's Work in the Industrial Revolution The industrial revolution swept through Europe and North America during the 19th century, affecting the class structure, economy, government, and even the religious practices of everyone who lived in or did commerce with these new "industrialized nations." It made the modern age possible, but it was not without its "growing pains." The position of women before the industrial revolution was often equivalent to chattel, and then as now, they were expected to take naturally to housework and child rearing. The history of working women in the Industrial Revolution is rife with accounts of abuse and tragedy, but overall it improved their position in capitalist societies. Below, I will explain the different positions women held in society, the home, and the workplace during the Industrial Revolution in Europe and America, and compare them to history and to contemporary women.
However, global awareness has brought about tremendous change. During the English Industrial Revolution from the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s, women worked in mines, factories, mills, schools, and other assorted domestic institutions in order to have a better financial standard of living. These jobs were dangerous and unsanitary, which led to lives of hardship (Women in World History 1). Because of the calamities women faced during this time, they began to realize that the gender inequalities in society had to be changed. In 1848, the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York gave way to the National Women’s Suffrage Association.
The employment opportunities for women enlarged and women began to slowly gain their rights as full citizens, finally receiving the right to vote in 1920. The attitudes of the women in the work force also changed as time progressed. At first, they struggled for even the opportunity to work. As the century progressed, they became more active in union activities and, as newspapers from the period demonstrate, they fought to achieve better working conditions and better wages. By 1900, many poor and working-class young women, mostly of Northern white extraction, were leaving the confines and moral structures of their families and elders and venturing forth to the large industrial cities such as New York (Lunbeck 781).
Drastic changes in simple life As time as passed, life for women has changed drastically in their social and personal life. As researching about women and their lives in the Victorian era vs. Women today, I was able to get a grasp on how much has changed. From their simple everyday lives of what they wear and their hobbies, to their job duties and family life; so much as changed that show how powerful women were and still are today. Throughout my paper, I decided to focus mainly on the lives of women in the Victorian era and today including; dressing, living, marriage. Before starting my actual research, I drew back on my own knowledge of the Victorian era and was only really familiar with the way the Victorian women dressed.