Socoial Class Division During the Industrial Revolution

Topics: Working class, Social class, Sociology Pages: 3 (1234 words) Published: November 19, 2013
 Social Class Division during the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was a time throughout the 18th and 19th centuries in which primarily agriculture based societies in the countries of America and Europe began to implicate industrialized and urban practices. Many rituals that would usually be done at the home of landowners using animal or manpower, was now being moved into factories and being done with mechanically engineered machinery. While there were many radical social changes made during the revolution, it also led to a time of division amongst the social classes. Although all of the classes were affected by the revolution more was taken from the lower class than was gained by the middle and upper classes. The American Federation of Labor, the Communist Manifesto and the lack of representation for unskilled workers, women, blacks and immigrants all demonstrate the absence of social equality. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) rather than trying to abolish the wage-labor system, sought to use strikes to gain higher wages, lower working hours and better working conditions for its members. 1 Both the wage-labor system and the cut in wages are examples of the radical social changes made throughout the industrial revolution. One would consider however both to be very radical goals considering the lack of education. Although many would see this as the classes working together, in reality only the middle class is reaping the benefits of these protests. The middle class workers consisted of the white-collar workers who worked for a specific salary every week and not just for wages. Samuel Gompers, the leader of the AFL, allowed only these skilled workers to take part in the AFL. Looking from the view of the AFL however allows one to see that the reason that the skilled workers are rebelling is because of the unfair treatment by the upper class such as the owners of the factories. In this sense it was practically every class for themselves. The...
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