preview

The Working Class

Better Essays
The Industrial Revolution consisted of scientific innovations, a vast increase in industrial production, and a rapid growth of urban populations which consequently shaped a new social structure in the European continent. Initially in the late eighteenth century, the new industrialization period produced dominant bourgeoisie employers and a united men, women, and children workers. The continued increase of factories coupled with a need for employees made the Proletariats within a short period of time a large, underprivileged, hungry, and desperate for money. Meanwhile, their bourgeoisie employers grew authoritative and wealthy as production and profit soared. Despite the common ties between proletariat workers upon the outbreak of the revolution, by the later half of the nineteenth century, these once-unified workers had branched into distinctly different classes based on their skill level, while the working spheres of men and women grew increasingly isolated from one another.
The Industrial Revolution’s foundation began with many new technical inventions that widened the need for industrial workers. Hargreave’s spinning jenny and Arkwright’s water frame both allowed inexperienced workers to spin yarn much faster than talented cottage weavers. Thus, these developments not only assisted the manufacture of cotton goods by making the process much quicker, but they also began the cultivation of a new class of factory workers. For the first time, men, women, and children united in a single working space with complicated machinery to work for middle-class employers. Critics defined this new class of workers as being made up of “part-humans: soulless depersonalized, disembodied, who could become members, or little wheels rather of a complex mechanism” who yielded to their boss’s every demand (Pollard 1). Once-skilled artisans and craftsmen were often subject to working routine processes as machines began to mass produce the goods formerly made by hand. This change in labor had a devastating impact on accomplished workers; they were no longer any different than their unskilled counterparts, women, and children in the eyes of factory owners.
Due to the noticeable difference between Proletariats and the Bourgeoisie, social relations came to be excessively discussed across the European continent. Many people adhered to the idea that individuals were members of economic...

... middle of paper ...

...time also fell into the class of unskilled laborers. Women were generally confined to low-paying jobs that did not have sufficient enough wages for them to live independently. Most often, women found themselves working as domestic servants, which served as the largest component of this group. All unskilled workers were united by their meager earnings.
No development in modern history has altered European society more than the Industrial Revolution. The onset of this revolution not only dramatically increased the efficiency of production, but it altered European’s wealth and urban populations while creating numerous jobs. A new, complex social system resulted that created composed of two different phases. At the onset of the revolution, a wealthy middle class overpowered a large urban working class that comprised of men, women, and children. However, as the revolution furthered, the once united working class was further divided between skilled and unskilled workers. Also, the spheres of men and women no longer intertwined and females were to remain at home and tend to family matters. The Industrial Revolution ultimately changed the social hierarchy of European workers remarkably.
Get Access