What were some of the important changes in working-class family life in the nineteenth-century?

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the major changes in family life was that increasingly the father/husband was seen as the family bread-winner and therefore head of the household. Married women seldom worked outside the home. If they did, they were expected to leave the workplace when the first child was born and devote herself to raising the children and keeping her husband's hearth and home. Sadly, there were instances in which wages were so low that entire families were required to work in factories, including the children. Children often worked long hours involving dangerous machinery. Such schooling as was available to them was normally only held on Sunday, hence "Sunday School."  Over time, child labor was declared illegal in most areas, and as wages increased, the husband/father was the only person employed outside the home. In those rare instances in which a married woman did work, there was substantial negative opinion in response, as the husband was considered too lazy to provide for his family.