The Role Of Industrialization In Great Britain

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Prior to the start of industrialization in Great Britain, most European and American societies were agrarian. Whatever manufacturing was done was done in the houses of people with basic tools. Industrialization marked a shift to powered machines and mass production. The iron and steel, textiles industries and the steam engines could be said as the three major game changers. But along with this there are ancillary developments as well that changed the economic map of the world. Both production and consumption levels increased with the shift to an industrialized society, but it also resulted in grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes. Around 1764, an Englishman called James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny,…show more content…
But all of it came at a cost. The social and economic lives of the people that made this evolutionary process happen. The toll or the burden of industrialization was to be bore by the people at the bottom most part of the industrial pyramid. By then industrialization had created the wealthy class of capitalists who promoted industries and the poor working class that was dependent on the industries for their livelihood. They were the ones to suffer the blow. Wages for those who labored in factories were low and working conditions could be dangerous and monotonous. Unskilled workers had little job security and were easily replaceable. Children were part of the labor force and often worked long hours and were used for such highly hazardous tasks as cleaning the machinery. In the early 1860s, an estimated one-fifth of the workers in Britain’s textile industry were younger than 15. Industrialization also meant that artisans and craftsmen were no longer required for producing goods of their expertise. Moreover, people from the rural areas flocked to the small urban centers of industrialization and soon there was not enough space and food to accommodate them all. This resulted in improper housing, malnourishment and unhealthiness in the small towns and cities. Diseases were rampant. Though the standards of living had increased for some in terms of the goods they used and had access to, for many it was back to the dark ages where the oppressors were the machines. But conditions for Britain’s working-class began to gradually improve by the later part of the 19th century, as the government instituted various labor reforms and workers gained the right to form trade
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