The American industrial revolution was something that paved the way we think, act and work. Before this our time was focused on the war. Now that that’s done and over with what do we do? Work work work. The start of the revolution created many jobs and started a whole new way of life. There were new jobs, ideas, inventions and more. With all the new jobs came the unsafe work environments and Factories needed workers. Women were cheap labor so why not have them. Heck, kids were even cheaper and small so let’s see what dangerous factory job they would be good at. Employers ruled and workers were often treated poorly.
“ Between 1870 and 1900, the number of children younger than 16 working for wages– usually a fraction of those paid adults– skyrocketed from 700,000 to 1.7 million.” ( 486) That number is shocking considering all of those kids were under sixteen.
Industrialism ran the country. Workers often got the short end of the stick because of this. Not only was there unfair pay, hours, benefits etc. Employers had no liability for accidents that happened there. When workers first started moving to cities, builders could not make housing fast enough. Often times there was crowding and a lack of quality and durability to the working person house. When looking inside a factory the conditions were not well. Division of labor is when each worker has to perform one task over and over again. This took a toll on them not only physically but mentally as well. Workers often were not treated well but one thing that did give them some sort of hope was unions.
Unions began to rise as a result of industrialism. Employers often saw them as a threat to running their business and their profits. In some cases spies were hired to find people who organized them. They would be put on a “blacklist” where they never got hired. On one hand you have employers not liking unions and employees needing them. Most workers were quick to jump in joining a union. Unions made sure “ big businesses” did not have too much power. They gave the workers a chance to make changes in their pay and work conditions.
All that being said there was many things that came from the industrial revolution that has shaped The United States. For example, there were many great inventions that came about, the ferris wheel is one. George ferris was a engineer who invented the wheel for the 400th anniversary of christopher columbus discovering america. It was showed in the 1893 chicago world’s fair. That’s just one example of the many great things that came from the American revolution.
Alchin, Linda. “1893 Chicago World’s Fair.” American Historama: United States History for Kids ***, Siteseen Limited, 9 Jan. 2018, www.american-historama.org/inventors-timeline.htm
Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: a History of the United States. Pearson, 2015.
Nardo, Don. The Industrial Revolution in the United States. Lucent Books, 2009.