The Social Issues of the Industrial Revolution Rise of Big Business Large amounts of money were needed to invest in the new industries. Business owners sold stock or shares in the company to raise money. Most of the money (capital) went back to the business man. Laissez-Faire Economics The idea that businesses should operate with little of no government interference. This was a change from the Mercantilism system and the favorable balance of trade in which government regulated trade and industries. Adam Smith Believed in free market and free economy. Wrote the book Wealth of Nations. Economic liberty guarantees economic progress. Believed the natural laws governed business and the economy. Laissez-Faire Capitalism The idea that money is spent or invested so that the investor can make a profit. More money spent more money made. The private investor controls the economy not the government. Malthus and Ricardo Thomas Malthus David Ricardo Believed the population Believed the poor would increased faster then the always be poor. food supply. The more workers the Without war and disease more wages would be the population would not dropped down. die off. The lower wages the less Need war and disease to the poor made. kill off the poor. Captialism Smith, Malthus and Ricardo all believed that the government should not interfere with the economy. Also that the government should not help the poor. Problems with this Method While prices fell and wages rose not all people especially the poor and working class got rich Business Cycles controlled the economy Hard times to recovery and growth and then back to hard times Workers found themselves employed and then unemployed The government did little to help the unemployed Workers had little money saved for hard times The Standard of Living The rich lived in nice neighborhoods at the edge of cities. The poor lived in slums or near factories. Over time the poor would make some gains however it was still the investors who became rich. The Growth of the Middle Class The middle class grew out of people who had small sums of money to invest These people were able to turn small sums of money into a larger profit These new wealthy people were able to buy their way into high society Changing Social Roles Prior to the Revolution both men and women might have worked similar jobs on the farm or village. After the Revolution Middle Class Men worked in public world of business or government. Women worked at home. Women were responsible for keeping the house clean and rising the children. Changing Social Roles Working Class or Proletariat This class of people worked mainly in the Factories, mines or other industries This was the class of people who moved from the rural farms to the cities looking for work Children and all family members had to work long hours in factories. Working class women were paid less money. Working class women would work 10 to 12 hours in the factory and then still have to clean the home. Changing Social Roles Working Class or Proletariat If not for the labor of the working class there would have not been and Industrial Revolution New Class Structure The Industrial Revolution created a new class structure. The upper class Very rich industrial or business people. The upper middle class Business people and professionals, doctors, lawyers. Their standard of living was high. This was a new social class in society. New Class Structure The lower middle class Teachers, office workers, shop owners and clerks. These were the second part of the now large middle class. Both upper and lower middle classes enjoyed a comfortable standard of living. The lower class Factory workers and peasants. They had harsh working conditions and lived in overcrowded slums. Structure of the Cities Cities were extremely crowded Poor or working class sections continued to expand with little regard to improving these areas Pollution was common because of the burning of coal, wood The City The Rich New Middle Class Slums Poor Working class Women Women before the Industrial Revolution Middle and lower class women often worked in the fields or family businesses with the men Women were not homemakers After the Revolution The husband became the wage earner Middle class women could keep the home or raise the children Higher wages for men allowed women to stay home Poor/Single Women Often had to work long hours Were paid less then men Often had to work and raise the family Women Women as Consumers Women who were at home began to become societies consumers They bought sewing machine, clocks, stoves, and items that made housework easier Women fueled the growth of the Industrial Revolution The English novelist and essayist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the most acerbic critics of the conditions wrought by the Industrial Revolution on the lives of the working masses. Among his critiques of 19th century urban British life was the novel Hard Times (1854). The excerpt here is a representative Dickensian description of the transformation of a Victorian city into a pit of appalling desperation, inequity and monotony. The factory system forced workers into overcrowded, unsanitary tenements within close proximity to their work - the "dark, satanic mills" of Blake's verse - all in the interest of efficiency, the driving force of the Industrial Revolution. From Book 1, Chapter 5: “The Keynote” Coketown, to which Messrs. Bounderby and Gradgrind now walked, was a triumph of fact; it had no greater taint of fancy in it than Mrs. Gradgrind herself. Let us strike the key-note, Coketown, before pursuing our tune. It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. It contained several large streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and to-morrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next.
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