The Industrial Revolution and the Deterioration of the Traditional Family

1216 Words5 Pages
In 1785, Thomas Jefferson said "Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God" (Jefferson 1). These words helped shape America for the next hundred years. American families worked hard on their agricultural properties reaping the rewards of the American dream. Then, in the late nineteenth century, the United States of America was hit by the worldwide phenomenon known as the Industrial Revolution, and the U.S. was transformed into an industrial colossus. The vast lands of America made abundant resources available to those who wished to utilize them. This opened up new jobs, and the once agricultural families were, for the first time, split up; mothers, fathers, and children left their homes to work in factories and railroads.…show more content…
Regardless, over time, unmarried and married women of the working class were forced into jobs to compensate for the low wages of their fathers and husbands (Bailey 584). Their small fingers were thought to be better suited for the machines in the textile factories. In addition, many moved to the city where they worked as servants for the middle class. Though some may say women workers sought after independence, it is apparent that the women that worked neither toiled for neither independence nor glamour (Bailey 584). Wages for women were not enough to sustain them without the aid of a partner’s salary (Smith 1). For the middle class woman, industrialization made her role as a background figure more apparent. Women were told her job was to make sure her husband and children were happy (Smith 1). Just as women today look to magazines for fashion advice, women such as Mrs. John Sandford would offer advice to women on how to keep their household up to par (Bentley 667). Overall, the immediate effects of industrialization included a later age of marriage for women, and because of the necessity of work, the number of children decreased (Bailey 584). The long term effects of industrialization for women included a more visible difference in women and men rights; this could be seen in job environments, salaries, and societal expectations. The next group that was severely impacted by the industrialization
Open Document