Factories in Great Britain
The Industrial Revolution was a time between the years 1760 and about 1840 in which Great Britain, and later other nations, transformed from agriculture based to machine-oriented production of goods. Great Britain was the site of this revolution for two main reasons; a large percentage of their population were middle or lower class farmers who were losing their farmland and needed to find jobs in the city, leading them to factory work, and Britain had a vast collection of colonies who provided the resources necessary for mercantilism, thus promoted mass production of goods.
Working Conditions in Factories
Simply, the working conditions were terrible during the Industrial Revolution. As factories were being built, businesses were in need of workers. With a long line of people willing to work, employers could set wages as low as they wanted because people were willing to do work as long as they got paid. People worked fourteen to sixteen hours a day for six days a week. However, the majority were unskilled workers, who only received about $8-$10 dollars a week, working at approximately 10 cents an hour. Women received one-third or sometimes one-half the pay that men received. Children received even less.
Workers Riot for Better Factory Conditions and Higher Pay
Labor Unions formed because workers finally wanted to put a stop to long hours with little pay. They demanded more pay and fairer treatment. They did not want children to work in factories because of the danger involved. Labor unions organized strikes and protests. However, as more immigrants came to the United States, more workers became available. These workers were willing to work, even if others were not because of unfair treatment. This lessened the effect of the labor unions since businesses had no shortage of workers. This is why most labor unions were unsuccessful.
The Industrial Revolution was succeeded by the Second Industrial Revolution, or the Technology Revolution. This expanded magnifies the principles of the first Industrialization, while organizing and further advancing the business aspect of industry.