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Liberty's DawnA People's History of the Industrial Revolution$
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Emma Griffin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300151800

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300151800.001.0001

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Men at Work

Men at Work

(p.23) Chapter Two Men at Work
Liberty's Dawn

Emma Griffin

Yale University Press

The industrial revolution is believed to have destroyed older, more benign, working patterns in Britain. In his book Condition of the Working Class in England, Friedrich Engels offers an unflattering account of the factory system created by industrialization, citing the ill health, physical deformities, and accidents suffered by workers, combined with the oppressive discipline imposed on them. This chapter, which examines the labor conditions of working men in Britain during the industrial revolution by analyzing the autobiographies written by some of them, begins by looking at skilled labor that included carpenters, shoemakers, butchers, blacksmiths, and other artisans. It considers their wages and their material well-being, along with their employment patterns, and also discusses the expansion in unskilled labor, particularly in the cottage industry.

Keywords:   industrial revolution, Britain, Friedrich Engels, working men, skilled labor, unskilled labor, cottage industry, factory system, wages, autobiographies

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