What were some the difficulties and challenges presented by industrialization?What were some the difficulties and challenges presented by industrialization?
One of the major problems that popped up as the giant factories were being built was a lack of semi-skilled labor, one of the forces that drove the creation of and implementation of the compulsory public school system in the U.S. Factory owners needed workers with basic skills who were docile and willing to work for very little and schools helped to provide this labor.
Another obstacle that faced the titans of industry was resistance from guilds and skilled tradespeople who saw the mass produced products coming out as grave threats to their livelihood and even the nature of skilled crafts and production. Given an inability to band together and an even greater inability to compete on price with the mass produced goods, this obstacle was relatively quickly overcome.
Of the challenges presented by industrialization, chief among them might be the plight of the workers and the plight of the workers after the factories have left or shut down. The massive populations of semi-skilled labor divorced from the land have created many of the problems we see today in large cities with big unemployment problems.
There was a thrivinng industrial base developed in the colonies. Colonial legistlatures encouragred industry, particualrly textile, leather, and iron. The Revolutionary War was fought because England attempted to strangle industries that competed with English products. This had been the case in Ireland. Thousands of Irish wool, flax, and linen workers emmigrated to America and founded the textile industry in New England. The early industrial establishments tended to be small shops and thousands of home tailors sewing patterns of clothing and shoes. The guild system proved unable to meet the growing demands for goods. Factories were created and thousands semi-skilled workers entered the factories. Industrializations contributed to overcrowding in the cities and strained the public school systems, which proved in adequate to meet the growing population of children as a result of industrialization. Overcrowding contributed to rising mortality rates in the cities.
The major difficulties presented by industrialization were social ones. As industrialization changed the way that people worked, society changed as well. That kind of huge and sudden change can put a strain on any society.
For example, in the times before industrialization, people generally worked for themselves. They were able to be their own bosses -- to decide when they would work and how hard they would work. The work was often done at home, with their families. That was how things had been done for a long time.
Now industrialization comes along and that all changes. All of a sudden, people are working outside their homes and are having to work when someone else tells them to. This makes people feel very upset and unhappy because they feel like they are less important and less independent than they used to be. When feelings like that are very widespread, they can lead to significant political and social unrest in a society.