Industrial Revolution Roles of Women and Children

Essay by stubsbllHigh School, 11th grade May 2005

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Women and Children Industrial Revolution

For many English families in the 1800's, the main source of income was home business, or the cottage industry, in which people produced goods in their homes. Few products could be manufactured by this industry, and as a result, powerful, mass-producing machines were developed to assist in the need for faster production rates. These often massive machines could not be placed in homes, leading to the use of factories, which were ran by numerous laborers. The need for skilled workers resulted in the requirement of education for the children of the working class, and women also played a new role, working outside the home to feed their families, therefore gaining an equal role in society. The price and abundance of goods led to improvements in the lives of the working class, making it easier to clothe and support their children. The quality of life was improved for English citizens as a result of the Industrial Revolution.

Maintaining the home, raising children, and making clothes were the role of an average woman before the Industrial Revolution. Money in the hands of the upper-class because of industrialization provided opportunities for women to serve as servants in upper-class homes. A demand for laborers in factories also provided chances for women to work and help support their families. Since the women were needed to work they had a big new way of providing for their family, this helped women gained an equal part in the home with their husbands. The new, positive identity given to women also eventually led to their right to vote in the 1900's. Education for women also became common as a result of their new roles earned in the Industrial Revolution. This led to more educated women, who could take care of...