Working Conditions During The Industrial Revolution

Submitted By Attacksquirrel
Words: 721
Pages: 3

During the 19th century, many events occurred that changed the lifestyle of the lower classes. During the Industrial Revolution, the lower classes had a disastrous lifestyle that slowly evolved into something more beneficial. The lower classes used to have horrid working conditions in the factories and unsanitary living quarters that slowly improved through political reform in Britain and in France. The factory conditions were one of the most important contributors to the disastrous working class lifestyles.

In the 1800’s in Britain, the factory conditions were wretched, just as they were in France. In both Britain and France, the factory workers were in an unsafe environment because the owners had no concept of personal safety. For example, if someone was injured on a machine, there was no safety turn off switch and people thought that this was normal. When people were working in the mines, it was unsafe because not a lot of bracing or reinforcement was used causing cave-ins and many deaths. The factories and mines were also extremely hazardous for children, who had to work as many hours and do the same tasks as the adults. The children would oftentimes get punished, one common way was to be weighted, when they were off task or late for work. Being weighted consisted of having a weight tied around the children’s necks while they walked around and showed everyone. The households of the lower classes weren’t much better than the working environment.

In Britain, the living quarters were abysmal, just as they were in France. In Britain and in France, the lower classes lived in extreme poverty. This was because they weren’t paid nearly enough to maintain a stable household or even get enough food so that they weren’t malnourished. These lower classes also had rooms, not houses, that they lived in that were crowded because of the population growth and made from limited resources. These rooms were cramped and filthy, causing many communal diseases to spread, such as typhoid and cholera. The families had to live in damp and dark environments well into the 1850’s until there was any sort of noticeable improvement. The streets for the lower classes and for most were disgusting and covered in sewage. Children would play in it with bare feet spreading a lot more diseases as well. All of this changed when political reforms were put into action.

In Britain, many political factory acts were passed to improve factory conditions just as there were many acts in France that were passed to help the working class. The first one of these acts was the Factory act of 1819 that was passed by Parliament. This was passed because this abusive child labor in the factories and mines was brought to light. This act stated that children must be at