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Experiencing Industrialization

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Ethan O'Dell

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Experiencing Industrialization

Experiencing Industrialization Elizabeth Bentley Testimony 1831: Interview on the working conditions of factories and child labor.
Shifts ran from 5am to 9pm when "busy", 6am to 7pm when "slow."
Severe beatings were frequent. Both boys and girls were beaten. Factory worker
Began working in factories at the age of 6
At age 23 she testified in the 1831 British parliamentary committee investigation into the conditions in textile mills.
As a result of the laws passed after the completion of the investigation in 1833, new standards were put in place about limiting the hours of employment for both women and children. Samuel Smiles 1875
Industrialization brings resources to England
"Christian Nation" (England) acting in an unchristian manner
Compares factory workers to savages. Samuel Smiles Born 1812, died 1904
Wrote bestselling book titled Self-Help, which was a “guaranteed path to personal success.”
Used writing to try to highlight/explore paradox between immense industrial wealth and devastating poverty and human suffering. T-Hizzle, O'Dizzle, Fran-kizzle Weavers, in Coventry, 1895 Poem titled “Only A Weaver” written in 1860s about former weavers who were forced to sell their looms and do relief work in stone quarries
Industrialization At A Price
New jobs in factories but skilled artisans losing work
Many forced to take up relief work William Harter, a mill owner, tells his side of the story. Can unions and workers take it too far or is the worker always right in fighting for better conditions against those who pay for their labor? Are there some professions that should not be allowed to unionize? Samuel Smiles accuses the working class of improvidence stating, “…the skilled workman, unless trained in good habits, may exhibit no higher life than that of the mere animal; and the earning of increased wages will only furnish him with increased means for indulging in the gratification of his grosser appetites…” After reading Elizabeth Bentley’s brutal account of working conditions in flax-mills do you blame the workers that chose to waste their savings on vices such as alcohol? Compare and Contrast the views of Karl Marx and Samuel Smiles. Who does each think is to blame for the evils of society? What are their solutions for a better future? Samuel Smiles when writing about the greed and selfishness that causes many to seek a high profit no matter what the cost states “Money is our God.” Do you think that is more true today or back in the 19th century during the early stages of the industrial revolution? Questions More Questions Karl Marx Also Karl Marx Not Karl Marx Free Trade allows for exploitation, "veiled by religious and political illusions"
Constant need for expansion
Class struggles evolved between bourgeois and proletariat
Calls for revolution of the working class 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all distinction between towns and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. In the poem “Only A Weaver” the weaver is discontented with not only his small pay, but also the weaver does not feel connected to his work in the stone quarry. Strayer writes about how workers are increasingly separated from the finished product doing industrial work. Is this a legitimate grievance from workers? Do workers have more rights other than good conditions and fair pay? Do they have the right to feel good about the work they do? What do you make of the lines “For wickedness past he now atones, He’s only a weaver that no one owns.” What do you think is the wickedness that the weaver must atone for? What does it mean when the author says no one owns the weaver, and why does the phrase have a negative connotation? Take a look at the list of things that Marx and Engels envision for their ideal state that would arise after a proletariat revolution. What aspects of this list do you see in modern American society? Several communist states have risen and fallen with little success in the past century; do you think Marx and Engels would approve of the ways these “communist” states have been run? Has a legitimate Marxist society even been created?
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