what were the effects of the industrial revolution on the poor in britainmain effects on the poor

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The effects of the Industrial Revolution on the poor were mixed at best. On the positive side, the working poor ate better than before, and were better clothed. Foods such as potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products previously unavailable to them were now within reach of the poor. At the same time, their living conditions deteriorated considerably. Most lived in "mill villages" furnished by the factories in which the number of rooms was determined by the number of workers in the family. It was not unusual for one person to get up in the morning to go to work when another returned from the night shift and slept in the bed which had just been surrendered. In addition, their treatment on the job was harsh and brutal. Whereas workers had previously worked at their own pace, they now were forced to keep up with the machines which they operated. The conditions were often dangerous, the work monotonous, and the pay poor. Work in British factories was often compared to work in the old work houses where the poor worked for menial wages. Workers had one day off, Sunday. Often, their time off was devoted to binge drinking, resulting in many workers observing "Holy Monday," in which they failed to report to work on that day.  Pay was so poor that entire members of families, including small children were required to work to make ends meet, in fact many families insisted that their children be offered jobs as a condition of working themselves. Overall, the conditions of the poor was a mixed bag at best.

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