Where did it start?

Throughout the industrial age, workers were treated badly while employers ruled courts and legislatures.

The Industrial Revolution was a time period where we learned a lot about manufacturing processes and how to improve them. The huge amount of raw material and the increasing workforce allowed for the industrial revolution to make such a prospering America. The increased development and manufacturing of new ideas also helped further the industrial revolution.

Many factors led to America surpassing all other industrializing countries by the 1900s. America possessed two main parts to rapid industrialization; one being that America had an abundance of raw materials; two being the abundance of cheap labor taking form in woman and children.

Employers had enough money to pay off politicians and in a way control how things were done concerning their business. Employers liked having control over their business; the type of control they used was almost comparable to leaders of the past using absolute power. Having this control over the politicians allowed them to do anything they wanted in their busness; pay women lower wages, place children in job they shouldn’t have, and underpay all workers.

Even though the industrial revolution gave us many machining techniques and different ideas, many people lost their jobs due to new machines and the growth of technology. This new workplace that the industrial revolution created was very dangerous that the book states 35,000 people died and 500,000 people injured. The cost of living was considerably higher then what the men were making on their own so the woman and children went and worked to help their family. The Chinese were also attacked for taking white peoples job’s and lowering wages. This got to the point where they banned all Chinese immigration and the Chinese exclusion act was passed. This act prevented all Chinese from immigrating to America.

The creation of unions was to organize workers and improve the conditions that the workers faced while in the factories. In 1866 the NLU was formed by William Sylvis. The NLU sought to unite all workers to secure demands such as an eight hour day. Employers didn’t like these unions because they liked the control that they had over their employees, the union would take some of that power from them. Many employers used spies to expose the unions and place them on the blacklist. The blacklist was a list of workers that employers in a town or industry would not hire because they were ‘troublemakers’. While workers were on strike, employers would hire replacement workers and liked the support from officials who would order officers to help arrest people outside the workplace.

Work Cited:

Keene, Jennifer, Cornell, Saul, and O’Donnell, Edward Revel Visions of America: A History of the United States, Volume 2, 3E.

6 thoughts on “Where did it start?

  1. I enjoyed reading this post and many points from the book were simplified well. The Industrial Revolution brought great things to America, but also many problems in the workforce. The issue with technology taking over some people’s jobs can still be seen today. Interchangeable parts, sewing machines, steam engines changed the workplace forever. Many items today like the computer and robots are taking over some jobs in the 21st century. It helps out a lot in the amount of hard labor occurring, but I think it is still important to provide safe jobs for people. It was such a shame women, children, and even men had to be put in such poor conditions just to please the employer. I understand why employers would like full control over there business, but not if they are going to use that power for the wrong reasons.

    1. You make a great point about technology in today’s workforce. It has both drastically improved the quality of life and the ease of work but it also continues to take jobs like it did during the Industrial Revolution. Most jobs today can easily be automated and done by a computer or a robot eliminating the need for human workers. I also agree with your point about how employers treated their workers. I believe labor unions have benefited workers and made the workplace safer.

  2. As you stated in your blog, the Industrial Revolution had many positive and negative effects on America. The growth of technology helped Americans to prosper in certain areas of the economy but left them struggling in other aspects. You’ve provided great information regarding the effects of the Industrial Revolution and I enjoyed reading your piece. You mentioned how technology eliminated the need for workers, leaving many without jobs. Availability to new and advanced technology was beneficial because it made jobs easier, faster and more efficient. However, it took away many jobs because there was no need for workers. In today’s workforce this is still and issue. As you mentioned, technology continues to take away jobs from qualified workers today. I agree that technology has improved the quality of life and ease of work in many areas of the workforce. I also agree that technology continues to take away jobs from qualified workers who deserve to be employed. You mentioned how the creation of labor unions was intended to organize workers and improve the conditions that the workers faced while in the factories. The fact that employers did not like the unions because they lost some control seems reasonable to me. However, I believe it was worth it because of the benefits provided to workers in the end.

    1. I also agree with the Industrial Revolution having positive and negative affects on America. It helped the growth of our economy, created many factories and assembly lines. It marked a shift in the technology advances we have today. It is a scary thought though when saying technology is taking away from peoples jobs today.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog about industrial revolution and you make a great point on how technology really effects the jobs that we may have been needed for in the 1980’s, but now are done by autonomous robots and computers. Although this technology was beneficial to the company I agree that it hurt the employees running the machines. I also agree at the fact that employers were putting employees at risk during the industrial revolution, leading to labor unions. I was very intrigued with your blog and also was very interested in the part about business owners paying off politicians!

  4. This post does a great job at simplifying the information about the industrial revolution. The part you put in about technology taking over is a great point as technology started taking over then and has continued to do so into today’s world. Also, it was well worded how employers wanted power over their employees. Employers thought that they could make their employees do whatever they wanted them too simply because people needed money, so they couldn’t talk back. That is why it was a great thing for people to form unions in order to keep employers in check. Lastly, I found the part about the “blacklist” interesting because that sort of gave the employers a way around the union as they just wouldn’t hire people that would force them to enforce everything they were supposed to and cause trouble.

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