Revolutionize the Industry Cameron Yanda, hour 4

In the 1900's, the US started to build factories across the nation. It may seem like it was a good thing, but was it really? Has the rapid industrial development been a blessing or a curse for Americans? Why are we asking this? Rapid industrial development has been a curse for Americans because child labor wasn't a rare sight, the work conditions were atrocious, and many workers were faced with discrimination.

Child Labor

Child labor was something that, in the mid-1800's, was not unfathomable nor impossible. During the Industrial Revolution, there were few government regulations on working conditions and hours. For some, they were treated no better than slaves. Other children were fed and kept from starving. Companies hired children because they were cheap, they worked hard, they could do some jobs that adults couldn't, and they worked for little or no pay. Children often worked for their room and board, but if they did earn wages, they often earned 10 to 20 percent of what an adult would be paid for working the same job.

This girl was 51 inches high and sometimes worked at a mill at night. She worked 4 sides, earning only 48 cents a day. In the source, it stated "When asked how old she was, she hesitated, then said, "I don't remember," then added confidentially, "I'm not old enough to work, but do just the same."

Work Conditions

Many factories had very poor work conditions, and some were far worse than others. There was usually no air conditioning, added with the heat given off by the machines, making the work place feel like what I can guess would be a sauna. Machines were usually not blocked off, leaving the workers exposed to the moving parts of the machines. Children were often employed as well because they could get between tightly packed machinery. With this in mind, death rates were quite high in factories. Workers usually worked 12 or more hours a day, meaning they were susceptible to being clumsy and dozing off on the job.


It was quite common to see workers being discriminated during the Industrial Revolution. The people most commonly discriminated against were women and immigrants. Men were given higher wages than women, even when working the same job for the same amount of hours. Women were expected to do both factory work and domestic chores and childcare. Education also suffered from the demand of work, and families became dependent on the wages of women and children.

Works Cited

"Child Labor in America." The History Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

"Industrial Revolution Child Labor." Ducksters. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

"Working Conditions in the Industrial Revolution." Schools History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

"The Plight of Women's Work in the Early Industrial Revolution." Women in Worl History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

"Industrial Revolution." Hrgc Human Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

"Working and Living Conditions." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

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