Specifically: rise of working class & Industrial RevolutionDiscuss the rise, or the development, of the working class as a result of the Industrial Revolution. This is a more specific directive to...

Specifically: rise of working class & Industrial Revolution

Discuss the rise, or the development, of the working class as a result of the Industrial Revolution.

This is a more specific directive to the previous post about the rise of the working class. 

Asked on by kerrierg

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Before the Industrial Revoluton, there was no middle class. There was the wealthy class and farmers. The Industrial Revolution changed things by creating a working class, a group of people that worked mostly in factories. They did not own land, and they worked for wages. They were not as poor as farmers, but they were not rich either.
brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Industrial Revolution created an entirely new class of workers in a country which had, up to that point, been overwhelmingly farmers.  This began a long and steady decline in the agricultural labor class and a long and steady rise in the factory working class. As there were virtually no labor laws in the early and mid-1800s, industrial workers formed a common bond across the country as those who worked long hours in poor conditions, for virtually no pay or job security.  This working class and the bond they shared formed the basis of what would later become labor unions, and set the stage for widespread unrest and class conflict.
mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In England with the development of railroads and machinery, rural life changed drastically.  Large dairy farms came into existence because trains could transport great quantities of milk to the city of London, for instance.  As farm machinery developed, workers found themselves without the traditional jobs they have been performing.  Consequently, many of them felt forced to move to cities such as London, where they obtained work.  As they earned money, they became consumers who needed places to live and items for their homes.  With this increase in consumption, many small businesses burgeoned, and small banking houses opened whereas before there was only the Bank of England in London.  The city became dirty as there was overcrowding and poor living conditions for many of the poor laboring classes.  With the crowding and other undesirable conditions, crime rose in the city, as well.

larrygates's profile pic

larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the "working class" did not exist. Work was done by skilled artisans, weavers, smiths, etc. With the development of machines which could do the work of scores of workers and the evolution of the factory system, a new class developed who worked in factories but had no particular skill. They tended to be little more than numbers who performed repetitive work over long hours. There was no pride of accomplishment, just a wage paid by the factory owner.

It was the factory owner whom Marx classified as the Bourgeoisie; the new upper class whose status was determined by money. The working class were those who supplied them with labor and were frequently exploited by them. This group was called the Proletariat by Marx.

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