Industrial Revolution Research

Industrial Revolution - Classes of People

The Industrial Revolution made drastic changes on the lives of individuals. Two classes that benefited from it were the "middle" and “upper” classes. These two classes were composed of people that had wealth and success. Even though most could afford goods anyway, the prices lowered even more, so that those who could not afford them before could now enjoy the comfort and convenience of the new products being made.

The middle class was composed of businessmen and other professionals. The larger the Industrial Revolution grew, the more powerful these individuals became. Individuals and groups formed new libraries, schools, and universities because there was a sudden need for education (possibly due to the increase in population). The middle and upper classes had better food and housing, which led to fewer diseases and longer living among these groups. Since these classes were treated so well, their population grew and thus had minimal difficulty living during the Industrial Revolution.

In contrast with the middle and upper classes, the "working" class was not well off. In the working class, many were replaced in factories by machines. But on the other hand, many also gained new jobs in factories working with machinery. The average adult worker worked quite often: five to seven days of the week, for more than half the day per shift. Children as young as fifteen worked for minimal wages. Some of the children became deformed or crippled due to their work, which was often. Most workers worked for relatively low wages due to their incapability to produce goods. The women and children were not paid as much as the men were. The housing was not desirable either – for example there was frequent overcrowding. The housing had unsanitary features which led to diseases. Workers who were desperate lived near a factory. What also made life difficult during the Industrial Revolution was that there were limited privileges such as few people voted, nor were they allowed to do anything to improve their working condition that was legal. The amount of carbon dioxide increased two-fold as people moved closer to factories hoping to obtain employment. Resources started diminishing, and the use of pesticides and hazardous chemicals began to increase.

For these reasons, not everyone feels that the Industrial Revolution was fully beneficial.