The farmlands were enclosed off and people from the countryside flocked to the towns and new factories to get work

The farmlands were enclosed off and people from the countryside flocked to the towns and new factories to get work. The population was increasing and 80% was working class in Great Britain, and the working-class people had no bargaining power with their boss. Before they were their own boss. The unemployment rate was high in the first sections of the industrial revolution. There was only enough full-time work for a third of the population of the poor and another third is part time employed the last third has no work at all (Henry Mayhew, 1823). This enable factory owners to set standards of work because of the large number of unskilled workers without a job than the need for workers. The textile industry was new in the 1700’s so there were no laws to regulate. The unemployed had no bargaining power for higher pay rate, farer hours and better work conditions. This mixed with the rule of only wealthy could vote. Many unemployed working-class people were skilled workers, but machines had taken over their jobs and were more efficient. So, the skilled workers like hand weavers saw a change in pay rate as 30-20 shillings per week became 5 or less shillings. Labourers worked form 10-14 hours per day 6 days per week no vacation or holidays and tasks were repetitive unlike farms. Hazards in the workplace, serious accidents kept on happening. Injured became unemployed and could not buy health care. The pace was a lot faster in the urban towns and cities compared to the country. No helping families with harvest because stuck at work. In countryside people could not wander over to other family members to chat. Only a few workers were able to improve work conditions by being promoted or making own business. Not much social mobility unlike before. Festivals could not be attended in the countryside for factory workers as they got fined because decrease in efficiency.
Child Labour was a major part of the first factories, mines and mills in England during the Industrial Revolution. Unskilled labour and child labour decreased costs of production. Children could be taught to do repetitive tasks on a machine and barely any cost was involved. Children have the advantage for bosses in many ways as they are paid less, don’t go on strikes and can do simple maintenance tasks easier for them than adults like squeezing into little places. In Richard Arkwright’s spinning factory, 1789, 2 thirds were Child labour. Children were paid about 10-20% of adults wages for the same task which was already low and some children did not get paid. The work in factories made the children sick and unhealthy. The children from the cotton mills in Manchester were illustrated as: “almost universally ill-looking, small, sickly, barefoot and ill-clad. Many appeared to be no older than seven. The men, generally from sixteen to twenty-four, and none aged, were almost as pallid and thin as the children” by Doctor Turner Thackrah, a person observing the leaving children.
The whole working lifestyle changes during the industrial revolution due to factories and the enclosing of farmlands. Families used to work together either in the fields or in production. Women had the role of parenting and producing food or goods needed for the household. Work and play was more flexible and interwoven. Work and home became separated and women became less related to earning money. Women would work until married and then stop and men earnt all of the money. Working class families did not work together and the children worked more to earn money for the family. Mothers sometimes struggles to make ends meet by working.

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