Neo-Confucianism Is a Philosophy Which Was Born TEST1 Essay

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Industrial Revolution: Impact in Middle Class And Working Class / Conditions of Middle Class And Working Class Under Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, was an advancement to new production processes in the period from 1760-1840. This advancement involved improving from the use of traditional hand production methods to the use of machines, modern chemical production and iron manufacturing processes, more efficient water supply, rising use of steam power, the advancement of machine tools and the growing popularity of the factory system. It equally involved the modification from the use of wood and all other bio-fuels to the use of coal. Textiles industry dominated the Industrial Revolution with regards to employment, the value of both the output and invested capital; the textile industry also became the first to make use of new manufacturing techniques. This Industrial Revolution symbolized a key turning point historically; almost all aspects of everyday life was in some way affected. Average income and population started exhibiting very unprecedented continuous growth. According to some economists, the main effect of Industrial revolution was the unprecedented consistent increase of the general population's standard of living, though according to some others, this did not have any meaningful improvement until the late 19th century and the 20s ( Stearns, 2-5). This paper will focus on describing the effect of the industrial revolution on the working class and the middle class.

Drastic changes were made by Industrial Revolution, on the lives of people. A middle class or middle sort gradually emerged in the industrial cities, mostly at the end of the 19th century. Before then, there were just two main classes in the society: aristocrats born into privileges and affluence, and commoners with low income born into the working class.

Nevertheless, modern urban industries gradually needed more of what is today known as white collar jobs, like business people, bank clerks, shopkeepers, merchants, insurance agents, managers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, and teachers. The middle class preferred monthly or annual payments to the hourly payments.

One evidence of this developing middle class was the proliferation of England retail shops that rose from 300 in 1875 to 600 in 1890 (Goloboy, 125-140). Another fact that distinguished the middle class was the fact that they were able to hire helpers to take care of house chores like cooking or sweeping occasionally. It is therefore not surprising that between 1851-1871 there was an increase in the number of domestic servants from 900,000-1.4 million. This is an obvious evidence, of a small, but fast-rising middle class that took pride in being responsible for both themselves and their families. The product of an individual's energy, perseverance and hard work was the standards on which they measured professional success. In this modern middle class, families became a sort of sanctuary from very stressful industrial life. They were able to separate work from home and took the role of providing emotional support, where the women in the home built a kind of moral and spiritual safe haven away from the bustle and hustle of the industrial world. Most of the middle class adult women were not encouraged to work in the home. They were able to train their children in school. As the children became economic burdens more or less, and infant mortality was reduced by improved healthcare, fewer children were born by the middle class women. Even though goods were affordable to many, the prices were reduced even more, to enable people who were unable to afford them enjoy the convenience and comfort offered by the new products (BCP, 7).

Additionally, the middle class was made up of businessmen and several other professionals. The more the Industrial Revolution rose, the stronger these individuals became. New libraries, schools and universities were formed by individuals and groups due to the abrupt need for education (Probably due to population increase). Better food and housing were available to the population, which led to the reduction of disease prevalence and increased lifespan among the groups. Since they treated these classes well, there was a visible growth in the population and there were little difficulties experienced at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Thousands of new job openings were created by the increase in the number of businesses and factories. There was also a significant growth in size within the middle class as merchants, shop owners and accountants, giving the working class room to lift themselves into higher strata in the society. The workers' increased earnings enabled them take advantage of the modern affordable infrastructures, such as furniture and good clothes, which gave them more comfortable lifestyles. They were equally able to give their children better education, enabling them maintain their social status or better still, grow more in the succeeding generations (More, 15-25).

The working class, in contrast to the middle class, was not all that well off. In terms of the working class, machines replaced most of them in factories. While, many gained new jobs in factories, they worked with machinery on the other hand. The typical adult worker worked very often: 5-7 days per week, above half of the day in every shift. 15-year-old kids worked for a minimal wage. The work led to the deformity of a number of the children, which happened most times.

Their inability to produce goods was the reason why most of the workers worked for a minimum wage (Goloboy, 109-120). The women and the kids did not get the pay the men got. The housing on its part was not in any way desirable-for instance, there were cases of incessant overcrowding. There were certain unsanitary features in the housing areas, which led to diseases. Desperate workers lived close to the factory. Another thing that made life a bit more difficult during the time of the Industrial Revolution were the limited privileges they had, such as the fact that only a few people voted, they were prohibited from improving any working conditions even through a legal means. There was also a two-fold increase in the amount of Carbon dioxide as people relocated near the factories, hoping to get employed. Resources began to diminish, and there was an increase in the use of pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. So it could consequently be stated that The Poor Remained Poor. This is due to the fact that for the poor and working-class, they experienced some changes in their lives, but there was no significant improvement in their standard of living. Centuries prior to the time of the Industrial Revolution, jobs in agriculture had given the lower classes a source of livelihood; now they were working in factories (BCP, 9). Both the women and the children joined the working class in their large numbers because factory jobs were considered a whole lot easier than field work. It was a bit difficult then to earn a very decent living even with an entire family working. This trend was due to the very low wages people received. Additionally, the conditions of the working class were always dirty, dangerous or sometimes both.

At least, the work was both repetitive and menial. As families who need jobs searched for jobs in factories, they trooped into the cities, and overcrowded the cities, which led to outbreak of diseases. Children who worked for long hours didn't go to school, and therefore, got no education or career advancement. Mainly, there was little the workers could do to improve their lives. For example, between 199-1800, the British Combination Acts banned workers from forming any labor unions. They could neither bargain with their employers nor write petitions for pay raise or more convenient working conditions. However, some of the laborers founded friendly societies with the hope of helping the injured or sick workers and unemployed people. Soon, these societies became labor unions that fought for better treatments, more favorable laws, and the right to vote. Regrettably, disenchantment soon followed suit when the workers were faced with obvious realization that the new life they have always yearned for was not the kind of life they imagined it would be (Mantoux, 420-440).

Due to these reasons, only few people feel that the Industrial Revolution had a lot of benefits. The Rising Tide Failed To Lift All Boats. The Industrial Revolution made a very lasting impression on everyone, but some classes did not benefit as much as others did. Those of them who were able to take advantage of the better professions or jobs, or those who were favored enough to own businesses, could enjoy comfort, leisure and privileges in several ways. Those who got no education and were only trained in unskilled labor could not rise above the bottom of the economic ladder. There was neither comfort nor safety in their living standard and working conditions. They lived a very miserable life, which was mostly boring and unpromising (Goloboy, 109-130).


BCP. Effects of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution. 2015. Web.

Goloboy, Jennifer. Industrial Revolution: People and Perspectives. California: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.

Mantoux, Paul. The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century: An…

Sources Used in Document:


BCP. Effects of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution. 2015. Web.

Goloboy, Jennifer. Industrial Revolution: People and Perspectives. California: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.

Mantoux, Paul. The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century: An outline of the beginnings of the modern factory system in England. Great Britain: Routledge, 2013. Print.

More, Charles. Understanding the Industrial Revolution. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

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