The Pros And Negatives Of The Industrial Revolution

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The Industrial Revolution, without doubt, had numerous benefits, among them cheaper products, new products, and a superior assortment of jobs. However, hidden in this prosperous age are countless negative consequences. Behind the closed doors in gleaming factories, conditions were almost unbearable. Although many view the Industrial Revolution as a glorious awakening in science and engineering, these advancements wreaked havoc among a substantial majority of the population. Ultimately, the negatives of the Industrial Revolution, including rampant disease/physical deformation, poor working/living conditions, and child labor, triumphed over the positive aspects. During the Industrial Revolution, the world saw a new age of medicine as scientists…show more content…
For example, Elizabeth Bentley, a former factory employee, testified saying that the cause of her deformities was due to her strenuous factory work as a child, in which she was required to “stop the frames, and take the bobbins off, and carry them to the roller, and then put empty ones on, and set the frame going again” (Document 7). Not only was this work repetitive and mundane, but it was also exceedingly dangerous, as Bentley also states that “there are so many frames, and they run so quick…” (Document 7). Furthermore, Bentley believes that her physical deformation was caused by this work, specifically by stopping the spindle. The Industrial Revolution may have been favorable for the few, but for countless people it was a period of pain and suffering, especially with the rampant disease, due in part to the horrible living conditions. During the Industrial Revolution masses of people moved to the large cities in search of work in the many factories and industries. However, even the largest cities could not support the multitude of people congregating in them. In effect, living conditions worsened. People often lived with their entire families in small apartments called tenements. As shown in a…show more content…
Children had no choice but to face the harshness of being part of the work force as they needed to support their families. By and large, children did work equal to that of adults, but the work was much more dangerous to the incompetent children. For example, Mary Paul, a 16-year old textile factory worker writes “I am at work in a spinning room tending four sides of a warp which is one girl’s job” (Document 1). In addition, the vast majority of factories employed children in dangerous positions such as this, creating a hazardous environment. As well as this, the complex machines were often difficult for the children to operate due to their small size, yet they were still expected to do work equal to that of an adult. In fact, children were also severely injured because of their harsh working conditions, for example, Elizabeth Bentley, a former factory employee, testified before the court saying “Yes, it is very common indeed [to have crooked knees]” (Document 7). Children like Elizabeth Bentley were perfectly healthy before commencing work in factories, but were left crippled. In fact, business owners even favored employing children as they could pay them even less than women. As a result, children, to business owners, were the perfect employees, they were cheap, less resilient, and small enough to complete complicated tasks in small spaces. Additionally, Children often had to perform dangerous
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