The Market Revolution, Industrialization, and New Technologies Questions and Answers

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What role did the women play in the Industrial Revolution?

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Women played a role in the Industrial Revolution. They mainly served as workers and often worked in the textile industries and in piecework shops. Some women also worked in the coal mines. At times, factory owners preferred to hire women. They could pay women less than men, and some jobs were viewed as jobs that women should do, such as sewing clothes. They were also less likely to argue and often didn’t object to doing unskilled work. By 1840, ten percent of women worked outside of the home. By 1850, that number increased to 15 percent of women working outside of the home.

While working did help some women improve their financial situation and way of life, for most women, working in the factories was a very difficult experience. They often worked twelve to eighteen hour days with only one hour for a break. They were harshly punished if they objected to these conditions. Sometimes, women faced sexual harassment. In some cases, women were permanently disabled by the work they did....

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