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The Darker Side of the Industrial Revolution in Europe

The Darker Side of the Industrial Revolution in Europe

The Industrial Revolution was a time of drastic change and transformations from hand made items to machine manufactured goods. These changes generally helped make life easier, but it also hindered it as well. During the Industrial Revolution, working conditions in factories declined and the number of women and children working increased. Women and children were used as a cheap source of labor (“The Industrial Revolution” http://members.aol.com/mhirotsu/essay.html). The Industrial Revolution was a terrible experience for women and children (as portrayed in “The Dark Side of the Industrial Revolution”). The painting’s colors reveals that women and children were working in unsanitary conditions. The painting also reveals how hard and tiring the work was.

During the times of the Industrial Revolution, the displaced working classes felt that a family would not be able to support itself if the children were not employed. As a result, the children of the poor were forced by these beliefs and economic conditions to work. Children started working as early as the age of six. In addition, since they worked at such a young age, there was no time for an education. Although the working families were making just enough money for the essentials of life, the factory owners or employers became very wealthy. The factory owners became wealthy at the expense of the laborer’s hard work. The laborers worked long days, which resulted in greater production. That in turn resulted to the owners becoming wealthy (Beck, 639).

During the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, women and children were forced to work under unsanitary conditions and long days. Since there were only minor factory regulations, working conditions were at the discretion of the factory owners. The factories in which the women and children worked in were extremely dangerous. In fact, there were even many mice around the factories. Furthermore, the factories were not well lit. Examples of these conditions were present in the factories of Manchester. Manchester is a major industrial center in Great Britain (Funk & Wagnalls, 391). Often, workers near machines would have been injured due to machine malfunctions or carelessness. For instance, a boiler may have exploded near a worker’s face, or one of the worker’s arms may have gotten caught in a drive belt. ...

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