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Workers Protest Against the Industrial Revolution

Updated on November 30, 2016
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Protests Against the Industrial Revolution
Protests Against the Industrial Revolution | Source

The Industrial Revolution brought with it the growth of a middle class who now had new demands that stood as symbols of a newly attained success, something which hitherto had been enjoyed solely by the upper class.

Décor and art became mass produced, and as the emerging 'status seekers' grew; the machines and industries were capable of meeting their rising demands.

Copying was unbridled, and designs of objects of the past art periods such as furniture pieces, textiles, objects of décor, ceramics, glassware, etc. were continuously replicated, resulting mostly in substandard machine manufactured imitations which flooded the creative art market.

At the time, around the 1830's, the demand for fine hand-crafted products was on the decline, and an object was only considered well made if the machine made object closely resembled its hand-crafted version. This standard measure of evaluating a good or bad product continued up until the 1950s.

Social and Aesthetic Objections

The beginnings of industrialization were fraught with problems and almost weighed down by protests which were frequently carried out against the social effects of industrialization, and the 'damages' made to design aesthetics of machine made objects.

The machine and the Industrial Revolution as a whole were generally unaccepted.

One school of thought likened industrialization to something evil. They claimed, "hand-crafted work is good and machine work is bad". To them, the Industrial Revolution brought woe to individuals, families, and households; there was the hard labour of long working hours, cruel child labour and appalling living conditions.

Working conditions were no better as the factories were dank, dark and unfit for long hours of work.

Church sermons were replete with messages about the "soullessness of machines", and they craved a return to the righteousness of the early art period of Gothic designs. Also, moralists felt the only way to stifle industry was to return to handwork and crafting. This they felt was the only way to "correct the evils of the machine".

There were also objections to the aesthetics and designs of machine made products. They were inferior, flimsy and barely durable.

There were no fine intricate details associated with finely crafted creative artworks, and values attached to the arts became virtually non-existent.

Objections Became Catalyst for New Ideas

Subsequently, these protests became a stimulus to change, and objections eventually proved to be the necessary channel that led to the creation of a new design philosophy and thinking, resulting in the creation of designs that were expressive of the machine and the finished product it has created.

© 2011 artsofthetimes


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      Nyvaeh 2 years ago

      It's a real plerause to find someone who can think like that

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      Armena 2 years ago

      Wonderful extlanapion of facts available here.

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      Jaelyn 2 years ago

      Is that really all there is to it because that'd be flgagerbastinb.