• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

During the 1800s the Industrial Revolution spread throughout Britain. The use of steam-powered machines, led to a massive increase in the number of factories - particularly in textile factories, this was the industry that was most associated w

Extracts from this document...


During the 1800s the Industrial Revolution spread throughout Britain. The use of steam-powered machines, led to a massive increase in the number of factories - particularly in textile factories, this was the industry that was most associated with the Industrial Revolution. The movement of people away from the agriculture and into industrial cities brought great stresses to many people in the labour force. As the number of factories grew people from countryside also began to move into the towns looking for better paid work. Women in households who had earned income from spinning found the new factories taking away their source of income. The wages of a farm worker were very low and there were less jobs working on farms because of the invention and use of new machines such as threshers. Also thousands of new workers were needed to work machines and the factory owners paid the minimum amount necessary for a work force, often recruiting women and children to tend the machines because they could be hired for very low wages. Cities filled to overflowing and at the start of the 19th century about 1/5 of Britain's population were living in cities. ...read more.


Streets were paved and lighting was put up. Over time houses were knocked down and new were built. However, these changes did not take place overnight. When houses were knocked down in 1875 the poor people had little choice but to move to another one. Few could afford new housing. The nature of work changed as a result of division of labour. Many factory workers were children. They worked long hours and were often treated badly by the supervisors. Sometimes the children started work as young as four or five years old. A young child could not earn much, but even a few pence would be enough to buy food. The coal mines were dangerous places where roofs sometimes caved in, explosions happened and workers got all sorts of injuries. There were very few safety rules. Cutting and moving coal, which machines do nowadays was done by men, women and children. The younger children often worked as "trappers" who worked trap doors. They had to sit in a hole hollowed out for them and hold a string which was fastened to the door. When they hear the coal wagons coming they had to open the door by pulling the string. ...read more.


They could work as crossing-sweepers, sweeping away through the mud and horse droppings of the main paths to make way for ladies and gentlemen. Others sold lace, flowers, matches or muffins etc out in the streets. Poor families who lived in the countryside were also forced to send their children out to work. Seven and eight year olds could work as bird scares, out in the fields from four in the morning until seven at night. Older ones worked in gangs as casual labourers. It took time for the government to decide that working children ought to be protected by laws as many people did not see anything wrong with the idea of children earning their keep. They also believed that people should be left alone to help themselves and not expect others to protect or keep them. By about the 1820s, income levels for most workers began to improve, and people adjusted to the different circumstances and conditions. By that time, Britain had changed. The economy was expanding at a rate that was more than twice the speed at which it had grown before the Industrial Revolution. Although vast differences existed between the rich and the poor, most of the population enjoyed some of the fruits of economic growth. The widespread poverty and constant threat of mass starvation that had troubled the pre-industrial age reduced in Industrial Britain ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Child Labour.

    Colonialism is when there is a political domination of a nation's territory by a foreign power; an example is when Great Britain established colonial interest in India because of their agricultural land in India and many other countries around the world.

  2. Children as young as six years old during the industrial revolution worked hard hours ...

    Many men were sacked when they reached adulthood and had to be supported by their wives and children. The source above describes an apprentice's first day in the mills. We can see from this source that the noise and smell was horrible.

  1. MIKE TYSON: A Fighting Force or Forced to Fight?

    Younger weaker children were the first targets Tyson chose to assault, but he quickly progressed to older children when he found he could beat them easily. His fighting ability, which was swift and vicious, resulted in him gaining respect throughout the neighbourhood and becoming an accepted member of the gangs.

  2. Child Labour & The Industrial Revolution

    Most of the new towns were dirty and unhealthy. The household rubbish was thrown out into the streets. Housing conditions like these were perfect breeding grounds for diseases. More than 31,000 people died during an outbreak of cholera in 1832 and lots more were killed by typhus, smallpox and dysentery.

  1. The idea for my coursework is the potential changing aspirations of teenage girls in ...

    selected, these include: * Simple random sampling- drawing names from a hat or computer at random. * Stratified random sampling- where the sample reflects the different groups within the population for example class and ethnicity. * Cluster sampling- where a cluster of- for example areas in England- are selected randomly and then a select sample from each of the areas.

  2. "Weavers and their families were better off before factories started." Discuss

    You might get sick of being around your family all day, day in day out, you need to socialize with different people. There was also a danger of the children being abused and pushed around by there parents. Also the children did not get any education either.

  1. Source related study - Workhouses at Styal Mill?

    Consequently, this substantiates that the children were well looked after and cared for. George and Elizabeth Shawcross also state that when the children first arrive, they do not look as healthy as they do when they have been there for some time.

  2. "Working conditions were terrible in 19th century Britain." Does the evidence support this view?

    Hansard took part in a Parliamentary Debate in 1879. "In 1838, being desirous to see the condition of the children--for I knew that they were employed at very early ages in the worsted business....I asked for a collection of cripples and deformities. In a short time more than 80 were gathered in a large courtyard."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work