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How did the effects of the Industrial Revolution influence the ordinary lives of working people between 1750 and 1850?

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Introduction

How did the effects of the Industrial Revolution influence the ordinary lives of working people between 1750 and 1850? The typical view of social life within Industrial England between 1750 and 1850 is greatly demonstrated within Dickens's famous novel 'Hard Times' written to portray the urban struggles and changes taking place within society at that time (J. Stevenson, 1984). Infact most literature of the time agreed with the 'Condition of England' (1840's) statement that England had indeed witnessed great changes within the past 100 years or so. One thing is certain however and that is that a social revolution had not exactly taken place, rather more of a gradual transformation and turn from past ideals and social environments. Most historians now accept that the eighteenth century witnessed only the beginnings of processes, which were to take much of the next century to spread to the economy and society at large (Rule, 1986; Porter, 1982 et al). I will be examining the various effects that the Industrial Revolution had on the working class people within the years 1750 to 1850. This is so, because when changes and transformations of the social and work conditions take place, it is largely the working class people who experience this change at the greatest level. ...read more.

Middle

Many injuries also were evident within these times, and this often left the working class people facing death in the near future from damage to their bodies etc. In the year of 1833, another commission was initiated to look into the state of factories within this time period. This was proved to be equally awful and similarities such as children working for as long as 18 hours a day and many deaths/disabilities being suffered were also evident as much as they were in the mines. Altogether this proved that the very lifestyle of the working class people was very difficult and in many cases dehumanising. The higher classes, factory owners etc, simply recognised the working class people as a group that could be exploited for their own needs and ends. Some contemporary historians actually believed that the industry had a positive effect upon its workers. Richard Guest believed that industry 'Had their faculties sharpened and improved by constant communication' (in S.King, 2001). This demonstrated that fact that they were generally more concerned with the commerce and development of the nation, as opposed to the working classes, who actually made the country what it became. Population also was an important variable concerning the influence it had upon the every day life of the working-class. ...read more.

Conclusion

Moore, 2000). In conclusion, it is clear that the working classes suffered immensely within this time of Industrialisation. People clearly were oppressed to satiate the needs and aims of the country and it's government. Furthermore, it was the needs of the Industrial Revolution, which aided the working classes eventually. The dramatic increase in production and efficiency led to the accumulation of wealth within society and increased learning. Indeed, the whole process of revolution itself aims towards a more efficient, more developed and affluent society and once this materialised, the working classes once again began to benefit. It was however at great expense to the thousands who had been maltreated in the process over the years preceding the 1850's and beyond. Various concepts of increased consumption, emulative expenditure, greater educative involvements, and even the thought of leisure within the working classes in post 1850, demonstrated this new rise in everyday living and general way of life. Sources Cited: 1. D. Hay and N. Rogers, 'Eighteenth-Century English Society', Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997 2. S.King and G. Timmins, 'Making Sense of the Industrial Revolution', Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001 3. P. O'Brien and R. Quinault, 'The Industrial Revolution and British Society', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993 4. C. More, 'Understanding The Industrial Revolution', Routledge, London, 2000 5. ...read more.

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