Assume you were a member of a working-class American family residing in a major industrial city during the late nineteenth century. Describe the conditions under which your family would probably...

Assume you were a member of a working-class American family residing in a major industrial city during the late nineteenth century. Describe the conditions under which your family would probably have lived.

Expert Answers
mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For this assignment, you will need to use historical facts to imagine yourself living in a different time and place.  The rise of industrialism led to major changes in U.S. cities, such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.  Before the rise of factories and large machinery, goods were made by hand.  Cloth was typically made from hand spun wool and cotton threads using looms.  Tools were made by blacksmiths.  The development of factories meant that these items and others could be produced on a large scale by low wage, low skill workers.  More and more people crowded into cities to take factory jobs in the late 19th century.  Many of these people were immigrants.

Though many people were employed by factories, their wages were low.  People often lived in crowded, dirty tenement houses in the city.  It was common for many family members to crowd into a one small apartment unit.  Communal bathrooms in the hall were sometimes shared by several units.  Tenement houses were not always built according to safety guidelines.

It was common for both parents to work in order to make ends meet.  Older children also worked instead of going to school to help support the family.  Sometimes older children skipped school to watch younger siblings.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question