New Slaves

Factory work during the Industrial Revolution was an extremely torturous job that gave too little benefits for the workers. Although workers in general were treated poorly, it’s hard to fathom how children were able to endure working everyday in these conditions. In Yorkshire Slavery, Richard Oastler emphasizes the struggles of child laborers and the effect it had on their families. Oastler argues that as a child it is important to travel and learn different trades, but child labor completely disrupts this process.… Read the rest here

Is it Ethical?

The readings for this week were quite upsetting. All of the reading focused on the abuse that people, children in particular experienced during the mid 1800s at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The first text, The Life of the Industrial Worker in the 19th Century-England exposed the harsh circumstances people were working under in factories. The workers are often described as pale and sickly looking due to the immense amount of hours they were working each day.Read the rest here

Fordism Before Fordism Was Cool

The Industrial Revolution was an important step for many countries during the late 18th century to 19th century, as it changed the way products were manufactured to what is now seen today.  In Adam Smith’s first chapter of, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, the division of labor is seen as a necessity for maximizing the efficiency of creating manufactured goods.  The way Smith describes the importance of the division of labor relates back to Hoffmann in, “European Modernity and Soviet Socialism”, as both emphasize the categorization of the branches of labor and making humans more efficient during their livelihood.  Read the rest here

Frederick W. Taylor

Author: Frederick W. Taylor was born in 1856 in Philadelphia, and died in 1915 in the same city. He was born into a lawyer’s family, and excelled in academics. He passed the entrance exam for Harvard, but unfortunately was unable to go due to failing eyesight. He later joined the Midvale Steel Company where he rose in the ranks from laborer to chief engineer. He could have become an engineer, but chose to focus more on work reforms in factories instead.… Read the rest here

Marx’s Manifesto

Author: Karl Marx was a German socialist whose theories about society laid the foundation for Communism. Marx believed that countries progress from a class divided society into a communist one through revolutions.

Context: Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, at which point the Industrial Revolution had exploded. Great Britain’s economy was booming, and other countries were starting to see similar advancements. However, the time period was mired by poor working conditions, and a lack of humanitarian care.… Read the rest here

Richard Oastler on the Industrial Revolution of England

Author: Richard Oastler was born in England in 1789. He became well known for his work to improve the working conditions of the lower class (especially children). Oastler struggled at different points in his life to keep his property, he found that he was not able to make enough money to pay his rent despite working.
Context: In 1830 Richard Oastler wrote a document known as “Yorkshire Slavery”, he was writing during the midst of the Industrial Revolution of England.… Read the rest here

Richard Oastler and Factory Labor

Author: Richard Oastler was an industrial reformer who was known as the “Factory King.” He conducted a campaign for shorter hours for factory workers, which helped lead to the creation of the Ten Hours Act of 1837. [1]

Context: His article was written during the the Industrial Revolution. The use of factory labor  was growing, which led to abuse of workers, especially for children.

Language: He wrote “Yorkshire Slavery” to educate the general public about the mistreatment of factory workers.… Read the rest here

Richard Oastler and “Yorkshire Slavery”

Author: Richard Oastler was a labor activist who set out to reform the terrible conditions seen in England’s factory system. He was born in 1789 and died 1861.[1] His activism helped shed light on the labor horrors of the factory system.

Context: As a labor activist, Oastler writes his piece “Yorkshire Slavery” in the heart of the Industrial Revolution. As increasing industrial practices swept through England, new knowledge on its societal effects were becoming known.… Read the rest here

Physical Deterioration of Textile Workers

Author:  there are multiple authors for this article, all writing about experiences in English textile factories and the workers there.

Context: All articles are written in the 1800s, some earlier in others. This is after the industrial revolution and the harm coming from all the work and production is coming to the surface.

Language: Though their are multiple authors, each used medical language as to describe the state of the bodies of the workers.

Audience: They were trying to talk with the owners of the factories.… Read the rest here

Yorkshire Slavery and Labor Conditions

Author: Richard Oastler. Oastler was born in 1789[i] to an English family and advocated for the abolishment of slavery and improved labor conditions, especially for children.

Context: His letter “Yorkshire Slavery” was written in 1830 during the time of significantly increased industry (at this point, right in the thick of the Industrial Revolution), and need for more labor in factories and mills.

Language: I would describe the language of the piece as assertive and defiant.… Read the rest here