DBQ: Was the Industrial Revolution a blessing or a curse to the working man?
Agricultural work is the hardest form of manual labor in the world. Work on a farm never ends and it involves long hours lifting, standing, and working. When the industrial Revolution came around the working man slowly changed from working in agriculture to working in a factory. The first industrial revolution started in Great Britain with the invention of textiles and steam engines. The revolution subsequently spread around the world. The most dramatic increase started by the industrial revolution was the average income and population. People moved from rural areas into urbanized cities. The Industrial Revolution was a blessing to the working man.
Work is hard to come by in the world and the only way people can live is by making enough money to buy simple necessities such as food, shelter, and air. Even when men, such as John Fielden did in his The Curse of the Factory System in 1836, argue against the factory system it is unreasonable and misleading. When Fielden wrote,
“But the overworking does not apply to children only; the adults are also overworked. The increased speed given to machinery within the last thirty years, has, in very many instances, doubled the labour of both.”(Fielden 3)
Since when has working too many hours been bad? Would they rather be starving on the streets than working in a factory? Factory life was in no way easy but the work was less strenuous than that of agriculture and it was indeed a job were money was made and usually in bigger quantities than before. Fielden uses words like ‘overworked’ and ‘doubled the labour’ to try and make a point but it goes in the opposite direction. Working twice as many hours is better than working none.
In examining the factory conditions Andrew Ure wrote, “all the hard work is performed by the steam-engine, which leaves for the attendant no hard labor at all, and literally nothing to do in general”(Ure 8) Like...