What was the factory system and why did it develop? What were its effects?
The factory system was a method of manufacturing which had first started in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s. Furthermore, each worker performed a separate operation on the work, thus increasing the efficiency of production. Workers and machines were brought together in a central factory building or buildings specially designed to handle the machinery and flow of materials. Although all work was usually done under one roof in the earliest factories, eventually different processes were often performed in different buildings. In addition,workers were paid wages that could be in the form of money or a combination of money, housing, meals or goods from a company store. However, the rise of the factory came somewhat later when cotton spinning was mechanized. Much manufacturing in the 18th century was carried out in homes under the domestic or putting-out system, especially the weaving of cloth and spinning of thread and yarn, often with just a single loom or spinning wheel. As these devices were mechanised, they replaced the cottagers, who were forced to work in a central factory. Other products such as nails had long been produced in factory workshops, increasingly diversified using the division of labour to increase the efficiency of the system.
The Family and Class Structure in mid-19th Century Europe
After a period of approximately a century (1750-1850) of instability in families, due to the transition of industry, a new stable pattern emerged. The Middle Class, although still a minority, was beginning to have a profound impact on values, even beyond the members of its own class. The new industrial age had separated the home from the workplace. This encouraged a more precise definition of the roles of women and men. While men were supposed…