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Unformatted text preview: (LAB-263704-01-08FA1) United States Labor History It is without a doubt that the Industrial Revolution changed America. In this essay I will focus on the technological and organizational works that altered the workers’ lives during the la te nineteenth and early twentieth century. Technological change was the first change that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. I relate technological change to mechanization. Mass production was first introduced by British textile manufacturers. This introduction revolutionized how things were produced, and changed the skill set needed. “In the century since such mechanization had begun, machines had replaced highly skilled craftspeople in one industry after another. By the 1870s, machines were knitting stockings and stitching shirts and dresses, cutting and stitching leather for shoes, and producing nails by the millions” ( http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/timeline/riseind/wo rk/work.html ). In essence, this devalued the craftsman’s skill and forced him to work in factories doing repetitive tasks. He would have probably been working on the same product he would have produced from beginning to end, but now only doing one part repetitively. “As onetime independent craftsmen were drawn into the factories, mills, and foundries where their special skills had little value, and where they were called upon to perform only single automatic steps in the complicated processes of mass production, they lost the bargaining powers they had previously enjoyed. Industry looked upon labor as a commodity, to be bought as cheaply as possible. “(Dubofsky Dulles 88) This technological change brought changed the workers life in the respect that it demoralized him. Imagine having a respected skill and being able to support a family with that skill, now forced to work on the same end product without the need for the skill. The worker may have worked his way up from being an apprentice to now owning a shop. The same worker, because of lower wages, was more than likely no longer able to support his family. Since the factories no longer needed skilled labor which was traditionally male, women and children were thus introduced into the workforce. This further changed the dynamics of were thus introduced into the workforce....
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This note was uploaded on 03/03/2010 for the course LAB 263704 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Empire State.
- Spring '08
- The Land