Describe the dark side of industrialism as discussed in the book, Poor White.

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marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Industrialism, though beneficial in the long run towards the development of eventual mass production of products, is not without its dark side! 

One of the worst conditions that the Industrial revolution produced was pollution of the land, water, and skies.  Often near large industrial cities the earth was denuded of trees, the water was contaminated, and black, ugly smoke belched into the sky.  The fumes from these facilities killed the fish, trees, and animals and people as well.  Many people died from "Black Lung" disease in the coal mining regions.

Another depolorable condition was the poor housing.  Tight quarters, inadequate ventilation, and lack of sanitary conditions led to disease and death. 

The Industrial Revolution did not stamp out the child labor laws and many small children were forced to work long hours doing tasks they were not physically capable of doing or for which they had little or no training.  Consequently, accidents were common and deaths and permanent injuries rampant. 

Finally, the Industrial Revolution moved with such rapidity that there were few workers who were actually trained sufficiently on the new machinery to operate it properly or to keep it maintained.   Often the workers did not wear adequate protective equipment in and around the machinery.  It took many years for safety and prevention to catch on and be important enough to be implemented into a worker's environment. 

These are just some of the pitfalls and dark consequences of the Industrial revolution and will forever "taint" this chapter of the world's history.

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Poor White

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