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Change to Cities
Industrial Revolution impacts various social classes
New Rights Gained by the Working Class
With the growth of industry, the city-scape changed as well. Government buildings, offices, department stores, and theaters were added to European cities. City planners also rebuilt the poorer areas and the city and built wide boulevards and splendid public buildings. Also, architects created a system of sewer lines and made better sanitation methods. Many efforts were made to improve cities, but slums were still a problem. Cities attracted millions of people and entertainment began popping up everywhere.
Improvements in medicine, health, and nutrition
The Industrial Revolution created a new social class called the middle class. These were people who were merchants, inventors, or skilled artisans. These people lived in well-built, well-furnished homes. The working class lived in tenements with up to 30 or 40 people in one room. They battled long hours and bad conditions including disease, unsanitary conditions, and lack of heating and air.
The Rise of Big Business
The workers began to form unions which went on strike to demand better working conditions and higher wages. Governements began to give in and passed laws to regulate working. Laws prohibited child labor, others limited work hours and improved safety. Later, governments established old-age pensions and disability insurance.
Transportation, Communication, Science, and Technology
Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch identified bacterias as the source of diseases. Florence Nightingale improved the conditions of hospitals, they were previously a place people did not want to go. She insisted on better hygiene and introduced new sanitary measures. Joesph Lister discovered how antiseptics prevented infection.
Owners of companies sold stock in their companies to investors. These investors became part owners of the corporation and enabled the company to grow and expand. John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie were both American businessmen who controlled much of the oil and steel industries. There were people who opposed big business because they claimed it destroyed free enterprise.
Railroads became the preferred choice of transportation for passengers and goods. Samuel Morse developed the telegraph, which could send messages over wires by means of electricity. The radio and telephone also came about. Thomas Edison made the first electric light bulb, and electricity became the new means of power. Innovations in chemistry, steel, and production methods all contributed to big industry during this time.
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