“Social Classes Role in Bringing About Change During the Industrial Revolution"

Topics: Working class, Social class, Karl Marx Pages: 3 (1072 words) Published: November 15, 2011
The industrial revolution, a period of transition and innovation, inevitably brought with it changes. Life for both rich and poor was changed. The Industrial Revolution brought about the birth of two classes: The middle class and the working class. In the article “The Communist Manifesto” (1848) by Karl Marx, it states that “Marx saw the oppression of the worker by those who owned means of production.”(1) Did the Industrial Revolution benefit both, or yet cause grievance in one and be beneficial to the other. Where everyone truly aided by the great rise in standard of living? Those are the questions to be asked when contemplating if workers from all classes successfully united to bring about radical change.

In my opinion the change that was brought about was far from equal. Yes, everyone was included in the expansion but the lower class lost more than what was gained. Instead of trying to abolish the wage-labor system, it sought to use strikes to gain higher wages, lower working hours, and better working conditions for people. (3) This could be portrayed as classes working to together but in the end no one is benefitting but the middle class. Even though things were a little better, it was still a lot worse. Men, women and children who previously worked in farms and fields were now operating complicated machinery for a single owner or company. Women and children of the working class soon were able to work also. They were taking the jobs of men and doing the labor. Which gave to the men a choice to either take lower pay or join the many that was unemployed, this caused great problems also. Since workers, especially women and children, were laboring for up to eighteen hours each day, there was very little family contact, and the only time that one was at home was spent sleeping. People also had to share housing with other families, which further contributed to the breakdown of the family unit. As a result, children received very little education, had stunted...
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