The Industrial Revolution and the Deterioration of the Traditional Family

The Industrial Revolution and the Deterioration of the Traditional Family

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In 1785, Thomas Jefferson said "Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God" (Jefferson 1). These words helped shape America for the next hundred years. American families worked hard on their agricultural properties reaping the rewards of the American dream. Then, in the late nineteenth century, the United States of America was hit by the worldwide phenomenon known as the Industrial Revolution, and the U.S. was transformed into an industrial colossus. The vast lands of America made abundant resources available to those who wished to utilize them. This opened up new jobs, and the once agricultural families were, for the first time, split up; mothers, fathers, and children left their homes to work in factories and railroads. While it is undeniable the Industrial Revolution and all of its technological advances helped the Republic and its citizens flourish economically, the role it played in the breakdown of the traditional American family cannot be ignored.
The women and mothers of the Republic during the Industrial Age were most significantly impacted by the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women would work alongside their partner in the agricultural fields which made it is easy for them to juggle childcare and work in the fields (Bailey 584). This allowed a certain sense of equality for women and men when it came to working. Once the Revolution struck, women would have to leave their children with a caretaker if they wished to work. Though society deemed they stay home and take on more traditional pursuits such as raising children, management of households, and the preservation of family values (Benteley 666). In order to encourage this value, women would be paid less money than men doing...

... middle of paper ...

... all, we must not forget there comes a time when a worker’s life and happiness is worth more than the hourly wage he is paid.

Works Cited

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the past. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
"Childhood Lost: Child Labor During the Industrial Revolution." Eastern Illinois University. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.
Jefferson, Thomas. "Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia: Ch. 19." Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia: Ch. 19. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.
Bailey, Thomas A., David M Kennedy, and Lizabeth Cohen. The American Pageant: A History of the American People. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Smith, Nicole. "The Impacts of the Industrial Revolution on Families in New England & America." Article Myriad. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

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