The Industrial Revolution Essay

Submitted By hayleyweinberg
Words: 644
Pages: 3

In the nineteenth century, there was great urbanization through Europe. This was a result primarily of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was the switch from cottage industries to factories as the main production centers. This switch led many people to cities in search of better lives. This urbanization created many opportunities, as well as many problems. There was horrible overcrowding in the cities, as well as an appalling lack of sanitation. This congestion combined with poor hygiene affected the poor and led to the spread of disease. Yet, many people found they had much more stable incomes working in factories, as opposed to working on a farm.
Before the Revolution, many people lived in small villages, working either in agriculture or as skilled craftsmen. Many of these people lost their land to big businesses, and were forced to work at the new factories, which required them to move to cities to be close to their new jobs. They also ended up having to put in long hours, and were paid next to nothing. Factory owners were able to pay their workers very little, because with everyone looking for a job, a manager could always find someone to work even cheaper. It also meant that workers made less money for working longer hours. Add to this the higher living expenses due to urbanization, and many families' resources were stretched. As a result, women and children had to work, simply to keep their families afloat. The job opportunities for women and children, however, were dismal. They could only find work in the low-paying factories in unsafe conditions. Children, because they had smaller hands, were often used to reach inside the parts of machines. An extremely dangerous job, young kids often lost limbs to the dangerous machines.
There were few government regulations imposed upon factory policies in the early nineteenth century, and this allowed the wealthy, middle-class owners to pursue the most lucrative path, regardless of the safety and well being of their workers.
There were some positives that went along with the urbanization, however. With the Industrial Revolution came more food, supplies, and opportunities for work. Because of mass production, many prices for goods were decreased. For the poorest of people, this meant they could afford to feed themselves and their families on their low wages. For people with a bit more money, this meant that they had the opportunity to buy some luxury goods they would have previously not been able to afford.
Furthermore, in…