Industrial Revolution in America.

Essay by danceonskisJunior High, 8th gradeA+, May 2003

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The Industrial Revolution describes the transformation of society by "industrialization of the economy."


A main defining feature of the Industrial Revolution was a dramatic increase in production in factories that was made possible by the mechanization of processes that were once done by hand. Much of this work was done in factories by women and children in particular. Below is a statement about child laborers:

"Children were employed for four simple reasons:

*there were plenty of them in orphanages and they could be replaced easily if accidents did occur

*they were much cheaper than adults as a factory owner did not have to pay them as much

*they were small enough to crawl under machinery to tie up broken threads

*they were young enough to be bullied by 'strappers' (work enforcers) - adults would not have stood for this"

The factories were built purely for profit and the employers generally didn't care to put in safety guards on the machinery because they cost money.

Similarly, there were no regulations for machinery-safe clothing, and many people wore their everyday clothes to work. In those times clothes were generally very loose which poses an obvious safety hazard. Specific industries such as the cotton trade were particularly hard for workers to endure because the nature of the work being done meant that the factory had to be very hot, with steam engines adding to the heat. Machinery wasn't always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts of the machines when they worked. This is an example where children were small enough to fit between the tightly packed machinery, this led to them being placed into high-risk situations often, and death rates were quite high in factories. Additionally, it was common for workers to work 12+ hours a day,