The Industrial Revolution

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The Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution had transformed the economic and social structure of Europe. Europe shifted from a traditional, labor-intensive economy that was manly based on farming and handicraft to a more capital-intensive economy based on manufacturing with machines, specialized labor, and industrial factories. This revolution had changed Europeans, their society, and their relationship with other countries. The development of large factories forced people to move from the countryside to the urban areas. Men, women, and children were part of the work force. The children started to work as young as 8yrs. old. They would work long hours; 14hrs a day 7 days a week, they would have little time to eat or take breaks, and they were paid very little. They lived quite a long distance from work, so they would have to wake up really early to go to work, and sometimes they wouldn’t have much time to eat breakfast. They would be working in unhealthy conditions and in uncomfortable places, this would lead to a future with disabilities or they wouldn’t see the future at all. “- When did you first begin to work in mills or factories? When I was about 10 yrs. of age. -What were your usual hours of working? We began at five and gave over at nine, at five in the morning. -At what distance might you have lived from the mill? About a mile and a half. -Is their not considerable dust in a flax mill? A flax mill is very dusty indeed! -What were your wages at 19yrs. old at Mr. Benyons? I think it was 4s [shillings] a week.” In the mines it would be a little bit different, in a sense that they couldn’t use boys under the age of 10 because they would need boys that would be a bit strong, in occasion they would have 4-5 boys under 10yrs. old, and they would be working with their fathers. They would still need children to be in the small tunnels occasionally opening doors for ventilation, and pulling the chariots full of coal using a harness and chain/rope. They would be in they most uncomfortable positions that, like I said before, would lead to disabilities when they grow up. “Not more than five or six boys under the age of 13; the two youngest are from eight to nine yrs. of age, who work with their fathers. The boys, in carting out from the googs [narrow inclined planes up which the coal is pulled by a chain and windlass]”

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