During and after the Industrial Revolution, the technological upheaval led to a necessarily difficult transition into the concept of labor as a Unions started to form during and after the Industrial Revolution, to protect the rights of an average worker, after people were forced to go through the horrors of working in squeezed mines and factories day and night. Britain and France were among many countries that feared that workers would rise against the government and revolt due to Unions, and they were banned shortly in the 1820s, but seeing that banning did nothing to stop groups from organizing, in the 1870s, most European countries made worker unions officially legal. In fact, in 1868, the Trade Union Congress was an actual direct attempt by the British government to encourage and aid working groups.
Marxism also spread after the Industrial Revolution, since Karl Marx's ideas in Russia about equality for all workers seemed very appealing to the normal exhausted laborer. Laissez-faire also did not seem as appealing to people as it did in the beginning of the industrial period. The idea of the government “leaving alone” businesses was expectedly scary, since conditions in the industrial workplace, already strained by competition to eliminate all excess, could only worsen without a checking power. The first government-conducted sanitary conditions examinations for factories were done by Edwin Chadwick of England soon after the revolution in the year 1842 as well, inspiring more regular inspections of mines as well.
Though the Factory Act and Mines Act had tried to limit child labor, they couldd not completely abolish it. Mine work was especially dangerous for women and children, and as a result, in 1843, a law was passed to close it to women and children altogether, to protect the less able. It was, in a sense, the beginning of governmental humanitarianism, since few people cared for the lower class before the shocking effects of industrialization were understood. However, banning women from certain jobs also had a negative effect on their jobs and social status, since knitting, sewing, and making thread in factories comprised a large portion of the options available to them. These restrictions, while contributing to safety, also made it more difficult for women to make financial gains because of the small amount of pay they rendered.
In general, after the reasonably well-off middle class had absorbed the realization of the uncontrolled and outrageous working conditions that drove the industrial machine, they went to some length to improve them. Reform in the late industrial and post-industrial age was driven by these socially-minded people. Though it was not as effective as the much later lower-class reform movement, which occurred in our era, this conservative reform did help place limitations on the ills of the early industrial workplace.
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