The development of new class structures, new family dynamics and gender roles, and urbanization and city life in industrialized societies. By: Megan Kerrigan

The development of new class structures, new family dynamics and gender roles, and urbanization and city life was a result of industrialized societies. The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 til around 1840. This meant that hand production methods would changes to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system. Through industrialization new class structures were formed, as well as family dynamic and gender roles.


In Russia, industrialization was a booming success for the economy but left the work force and people with many doubts. One dramatic change that Russia experienced was the change in urbanization and city life in industrialized societies. In an letter from Fredrick II talking about industrialization, he writes "By 1867, the urban population of Russia had risen to about 6.7 million people, making up about 10% of the entire population. By 1897, the urban population had doubled to 12.5 million, and by 1916, it had doubled again to 25.8 million, making up almost 21% of the entire population" (Frederick). With this Frederick was conveying to the audience how drastically of an impact industrialization. Urbanization is the process by which rural communities grow to form cities. Therefore when a country urban population increases by 6.7 million people, it shows how important and vital it truly is. Some would even say that "Russia's experience with urbanization was a crucial component of the revolutionary events that determined its course for the 20th century" (Hackney). Ryan Hackney was suggesting through this that without Russia drastic change into urbanization, the powerful country that it is today wouldn't be around. This is because with out cities rapidly forming to create great economic wealth for Russia, then Russia would have no power what so ever. overall through industrialization Russia changed dramatically due to the urbanization, making the economy boom.

Child Labor

However these changes weren't just happening in Russia. Similar changes were happening all over the place as industrialization was becoming more and more popular. All over the globe "people who immigrated to urban areas were part of what became a new working class. Factories called for a large number of workers to run machinery. In many cases, the factory owners tended to consider their employees as little more than commodities. The men, women, and children who filled those roles were generally subjected to long hours, low wages, and poor working conditions"(Curth). Therefore the change in urban areas was not only specified to one general area. What the author was portraying in this was that if you were in a place where industrialization was happening, the change in urbanization was also occurring. Also how people were treated int eh work force was similar throughout the places where industrialization was happening too. No one could hide from the cruelties that were done in the factory. Not even children could escape the cruelties. In recognition to child labor "In 1835, there were more than 56,000 children under the age of 13 working in the textile factories in the United Kingdom alone. That was 16% of the British workforce. Furthermore, if 13 and 14 year olds were included in those statistics, children made up 20% of the British work force that year. By 1874, that number increased substantially. In just England and Wales, 122,000 children between the ages of 10 and 13 worked in textile factories" (Child).


Another drastic change during industrialization would be the change in gender roles and the change of class structure. In an piece called Loom and Spindle written by Harriet Robinson, she explains through a women workers eyes how class structures and gender roles experienced dramatic change. "Familial connections, land ownership, education, crafts and trades, religion, and other traditional means of social organization, although certain tendencies remained consistent, such as the higher status of men and American-born people over women and immigrants" (Harriet). In the same exert, Harriet describe the working class of the people due to industrialization. She said "The Agents usually lived in large houses, not too near the boarding-houses, surrounded by beautiful garden. The second class were the overseers, a sort of gentry, ambitious mill-hands who had worked up from the lowest grade of factory labor. The third class were the operatives, and were all spoken of as "girls" or "men;" and the "girls,"…The working hours of all the girls extended from five o'clock in the morning until seven in the evening, with one-half hour for breakfast and dinner. The fourth class, lords of the spade and the shovel, by whose constant labor the building of the great factories" (Harriet). Harriet was describing the dramatic differences of the new social classes that were now formed. Between living in what seems like paradise at the high end of the spectrum to being forced to working outside to build big factories and the opposite end of the spectrum. Even between the first and second class there was a dramatic difference. She was trying to convey to the audience that if you weren't considered and Agent then you basically had a hard time living and even if you were in the second class, you still were going to suffer. However in some cases Organized labor or trade unionism got together to "improve working conditions and pay for all workers in the group" (Blackwell). Therefore people who lived in the second class or below had the chance for a better life and a better work environment.

(Other information on industrialization is seen above)

What was happening with industrialization is very similar to when America got out of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was between 1929 and 1939 and is the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. The Great Depression started when nine thousand banks failed during the months following the stock market crash of 1929. With an unhealthy economy on top of that, the USA fell into a deep hole. This was until 1932, when the country elected Franklin D. Roosevelt as president. He promised to create federal government programs to end the Great Depression. He said during his inauguration speech "Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now" (Franklin). Within 100 days, he signed the New Deal into law that created 42 new agencies that created jobs, allowed unionization and provide unemployment insurance. These programs help safeguard the economy and prevent another depression. This is similar to industrialization because when America was in trouble, they decided to tune up their economy and take necessary measures in order to succeed.

  • Bibliography
  • Hackney, Ryan. "Urbanization of Russia." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  • "Harriet Robinson: Excerpt from Loom and Spindle (1898)." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  • Blackwell, Amy. "Organized Labor." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017
  • Crashcourse. YouTube. YouTube, 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
  • Curth, Louise. "Industrial Revolution." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  • "Child Labor." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  • "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Inaugural Address (1933)." World History: The Modern Era, ABC-CLIO, 2017, Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.


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