Industrial Revolution Expanded Throughout Britain

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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“During the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution expanded throughout Britain rigorously. The use of steam-powered machines led to an enormous increase in the number of factories being built, primarily textile mills. However, child labor reached a whole new measure during this time period.

The Industrial Revolution was a major aspect involving children working long hours in dangerous factory conditions for very little wages. They were considered valuable laborers because their small stature allowed them to be restricted into smaller spaces and they could be paid less for their services. Children as young as six years old worked tremendously hard for little or even no pay. Many worked to help support their families and by doing so, they had to sacrifice their time, education, and health.

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Michael Sadler managed a governmental study into the condition of children working in textile mills. He had interviewed eighty-nine child witnesses in an effort to convince the British Parliament to approve new laws to defend the rights of child workers. The evidence specified in the Sadler Report has been presented as a reason for close government ruling of factory owners. Sadler sought the urge for better treatment for factory laborers.

Andrew Ure would visit mills and saw no shame in the factory workers. He argued that workers did not have to do much because the machines did most of the work. Ure stated, “I never saw a single instance of corporal punishment inflicted on a child, nor indeed did I ever see children in ill-humor. They seemed to be always cheerful and alert, taking pleasure in the light play of their muscles – enjoying the mobility natural to their age.” He thought that the factory system benefited workers and confirmed that he never saw children being abused (DR, p. 22).

Michael Sadler and Andrew Ure observed the same thing but saw very different views. I find Sadler’s thoughts on child labor and factory workers more persuasive than Ure’s. Sadler himself interviewed child witnesses and fought the need for them to get the rights they deserve. Ure on the other hand thought the factory system aided workers and improved their lives. Ure saw the Industrial Revolution as something that was beneficial to humans and improved the way people lived. Sadler saw the revolution as something that was so immorally corrupt and wanted to bring more attention and support towards that issue. The affect of industrialization on the economy differed from each of them even though they observed the same topic of concern.”

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Industrial Revolution Expanded Throughout Britain. (2021, Jun 26). Retrieved from