The Role of the Factory in the Early Industrial Revolution Essay

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What was the role of the factory in the early Industrial Revolution? What made the factory system possible?

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain is recognized as a period of great industrial capitalism, machine development, and emergence of the working class.1 The growth of factories began shortly after Richard Arkwright patented the spinning frame in 1769.2 Factories allowed for hundreds of unskilled workers to find jobs running machines and drastically changed their lifestyles as jobs moved away from rural areas. The putting-out system, where jobs were subcontracted, slowly came to an end because work became centralized in factories. 3 Few industries continued on with domestic manufacturing such as the iron industry. At the …show more content…

What impact did it have on the lives of workers, especially on women and children?

The cotton manufacture of Lancashire improved the mannerisms and habits of workers according to Richard Guest. The close proximity between workers sparked conversations on a variety of topics that previously were seemingly unimportant. Sunday schools were established to improve the literacy of lower workers and allowed men to think for themselves. For the working class, the industrial revolution gave a small improvement in the standards of living but also a loss of control. Working harder did not equal an increase in pay, but more often than not, wage cuts because the benefits were used as profit for the employer. 7

Women in factories were subjected to long hours, low wages, and heavy fines. Inexperienced workers were paid the lowest rates due to their inexperience and were also most likely to be fined because they could not finish their work properly due to insufficient training. 4 Joyce Burnette explains the pay difference between men and women in three ways; men were physically stronger, unions protected male jobs, and discrimination against women because of social norms. 5 Although men were thought to have more physical strength, it was not uncommon during the nineteenth century to have a job that was physically taxing.6 All workers generally faced the same physical working conditions but it was the social working conditions that were harsh on women. An unnamed

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