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Women In The Industrial Revolution

Powerful Essays
Women in the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in approximately 1760 and ended roughly when the first world war commenced. This time period brought many hardships and injustices for the women living in a patriarchal society, even those of middle to upper class. It was believed that a woman was lesser than a man in almost every way. Eventually, certain events led to a change for good, and women have come to be appreciated for their strengths just as much as men. Although great advancements have been made, women of today’s society in developing countries still face many of the problems that were prevalent 200 years ago. Women were and still are in some countries treated extremely unfairly and were constrained from making
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This was because items could be made cheaper and easier than ever before, and did not require a lot of skill, so mass production, made possible by new inventions such as the spinning jenny, allowed more people to afford things like decorations and fancy clothing. Other inventions such as the combustion engine and steam train allowed for quicker and easier transport than ever before, making a 12-day journey by horse and cart just 3 days (Textbook). These new creations opened up lots of jobs, and shut many farms and family businesses down, causing a mass population movement, from 80% living in rural areas to 80% living in cities. Although this benefitted the people of the middle and upper class, working class women suffered short, but hard lives, with life expectancy dropping as low as 26 years. Due to the population explosion in these small areas, finding a place to live was next to impossible. The government supplied townhouses for the people to live in, but purposefully made them as uncomfortable as possible, to deter people from living there. Because the cities were overcrowded with many large families, these townhouses turned into slums that the working class lived in. Working class women would have been put to work in areas of factories where a woman’s small slim hands were needed to work the machinery and even get in between parts, which was very dangerous.…show more content…
The middle and upper-class women were much better off, with the new-found cheaper products produced by the working class, more people could afford nicer things. The upper and middle class looked down on the working class, and often treated their workers as if they were not humans because of their huge numbers and dwindling wealth. Despite the differences between the classes, they shared one struggle: women were not allowed to vote. This was a hard battle to be fought because women were always treated as a lesser gender, but a group called the suffragettes rose up, and in February 1918, women over 30 were given the right to have their say in political decisions. It was not until 10 years later, in 1928, when rights were equalized. Unions were also becoming increasingly popular for women to join, and they advocated for better working conditions and higher pay (Working in Towns and Cities, 2017). The men had a group, called the chartists, and they were the first to take a firm stand against their poor conditions. Unfortunately, women were not welcome in this group as men feared they would bring wages down again. This did not stop women creating their own unions, though, and by the early 1900’s more than a million women had joined a union. They eventually got the better pay and working
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