How did the industrial revolution change the way American laborers worked?  

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mniebylski's profile pic

mniebylski | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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They had to work in close quarters with very low wages and working conditions were VERY unsafe. Hope this helped! Good luck. ( BY the way I learned this in 6th grade) :)

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jmstrande | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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The industrial revolution changed that way American workers labored in many different ways. Workers found new opportunities for work in the many factories and mechanized farms that were springing up, but these opportunities came at a heavy cost. Longer hours, sometimes numbering as high as twelve, were met with wages that were 20-40% less than what was needed to survive. Harsh, dangerous conditions were nothing new. Things like child labor and dirty conditions existed before the revolution, but the arrival of machines did nothing to improve the conditions of workers.

The Industrial Revolution also destroyed many skilled laborers. People who’s products could be fabricated in a mechanical factory lost their jobs to the cheaper, more quickly produced manufactured goods. Those who managed to survive this change in the economy became artisans and produced more ornate goods for limited consumptions.

American workers also found themselves in constant conflict with the new class of industrialist that rose out of this change in production. As competition and disagreements over hours, compensation, and conditions increased, workers formed collective unions to give them extra power to bargain.


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