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The Factory System Workers and Factory Life. Cottage Industries Before the Industrial Revolution began, people produced goods in their homes Individuals.

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Presentation on theme: "The Factory System Workers and Factory Life. Cottage Industries Before the Industrial Revolution began, people produced goods in their homes Individuals."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Factory System Workers and Factory Life

2 Cottage Industries Before the Industrial Revolution began, people produced goods in their homes Individuals dealt directly with suppliers of raw materials and merchants who sold their finished products One person would perform all tasks associated with creating a product, from start to finish Upside – people could control their work schedules and easily address family needs Downside – only adults could handle the hard manual labor, a house fire or flood could ruin a family’s livelihood, the quality of products varied widely

3 Jobs in Factories People left their homes to work in a place built for industry They were trained to perform just one task in creating a product Children could be trained to work in factories Most factory workers were men Workers received orders from managers and factory owners They were paid a wage for their work

4 Factory Conditions Factories were very dangerous and there were few regulations owners had to follow Machine parts were left exposed so they could be fixed easily People often suffered severe injuries when accidentally getting too close to the gears People worked long shifts (12 hours or more) for six days out of the week; they were usually given one meal break a day Factories were loud, hot, poorly ventilated, and very dirty

5 Factory Towns Towns grew up around factories and coal mines so workers could live close to their jobs Families would arrive in factory towns from the countryside with almost nothing – they often had to share a small apartment with other families The air was very dirty and soot from burning coal covered everything Sanitation was very bad, sometimes there was only one toilet for over 100 people to share

6 The Plight of the Workers There were far more workers than positions in the factory –They had to compete with one another for a job –Factory owners could charge lower wages to people desperate for a job Since workers only performed one easily-learned task, they were easy to replace –Any worker who complained or who didn’t meet performance standards was fired –Many workers would hide injuries or illnesses from their managers because they wanted to keep their job

7 Reforming the Factories

8 Factory Act of 1833 Required inspections of factories Inspectors found numerous incidents of torture and imprisonment –People didn’t have access to bathrooms –People were chained to machines –People were not allowed to take breaks Shifts could last for 14 hours Pay was about $5 a week for men $3 for women, $2 for children

9 Early Reforms Mostly came in the form of laws No children under 9 allowed to work in the factories Children could not work more than 8 hours/day, 6 days per week Women could not work more than 12 hours a day Laws were poorly enforced

10 The Workers Take a Stand When the government did not enforce factory laws, the workers decided to take matters into their own hands They began organizing and forming Labor Unions Unions represented the concerns and interests of the workers If the factories did not improve wages or working conditions, the workers would go on strike –Complete stoppage of work –Effective at promoting change, but hurt relationship between workers and factory owners Eventually factory conditions began to improve

11 The Luddites People still running cottage industries were threatened by the growth of factories Factories made goods faster and could sell them for less The Luddites were a group of cottage industry workers who united with the goal of stopping the use of machines They burned factories and destroyed machines Many Luddites were caught as the movement spread, and they were hanged as punishment Movement ended quickly

12 Effects of the Factory System

13 Mass Production Factories began producing large numbers of identical items Consumers could buy the same products as their friends and neighbors Interchangeable parts made it easier to fix broken products Before mass production, if part of a machine broke, you had to have a customized part to fix it Production increased greatly

14 Henry Ford and the Assembly Line Workers only produced a small portion of a product The product then moved to the next worker, making the assembly process much faster Assembly line increased productivity Ford also paid workers more than competitors to motivate them and make them loyal to his factory

15 The Rise of the Middle Class Middle class refers to the group of people with an income better than that of the factory workers, but less than that of the factory owners Includes accountants, factory managers, engineers, and other people with special skills As more factories were built, more people entered the middle class These people had disposable income and a higher standard of living They lived in houses built in the suburbs outside the city, away from factory pollution

16 Changes in Society Women began to stay at home, caring for the children and managing the household Middle class women were expected to provide moral guidance to their children Industrialized countries became incredibly wealthy and the standard of living increased Middle class people had leisure time to take vacations, attend sporting events, and go to concerts

17 Famous Industrialists Some people became really rich because of industrialization and they still influence us today Andrew Carnegie – got rich in the steel industry, was a huge philanthropist and gave millions to schools John D. Rockefeller – first billionaire, got rich from oil, donate money to education, science, and medicine Many workers did not like these industrialists and called them “Robber Barons”

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