The New Industrial Society of the 19th Century: Factory Conditions and Beyond


The great industrialization of developed nations effected every crevicis of 19th century life.  Regardless of one’s status, a specific knowledge about the effects that this push forward in mechanical manifestation of motion.  Because of the people’s new found reliance on emerging technology, the demand for life-improving agents of industry were at an all-time high.  Machines, of course, did not exclusively operate on their own.  And, without proper supervision and even manipulation, the machines that powered the industrial revolution of the 1800s wouldn’t have amounted to the fruitful succession that technology has blessed much of the 20 and 21st centuries thus far.

Unfortunately, social castes were inevitably at play again in this new chapter of European civilization.  And, the first casualties of industrial Europe were the lower-class families.  In the earliest (and even many modern) factories of the industrial world, workloads were often unbearable and difficult to carry out, due to their strenuous demands, unsafe hours and dwindling wages.  Many families weren’t easily supported by the work of their fathers alone.  It was not uncommon that children would occupy a great number of jobs that would help to ensure the livelihood of their respective family.  It wouldn’t be until 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, officially addressing the exploitation of children labor (this time in the U.S.).

The standards of such working environments could be described as lowly.  The thick air the laborers breath is carbon-rich and dark from the industrial machinery they operate and oversee.  It also would not be for a great time that health was related to the emissions associated with such machinery.  In the development of commercial machinery, many regulations that the modern world has become accustom to respecting and enforcing were not existent.  This, in turn, allowed for allowed for an environmentally degradative process of testing, improving and making this equipment the best that it could be.  Because this process was a long one for a multitude of different industries, including manufacturing and textile industries, much of the earlier accounts of the industrial factory worker were quite unpleasant.

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