Reforming the Revolution(s)

As we have seen, the Industrial Revolution(s) have had an enormous effect on society– the way that people thought about gender and the family changed, as did their understanding of urban poverty and democratic representation.  But industrialization also ushered in an era of new problems, many of which we still struggle with today.  So for this task, we’ll be addressing some of the responses– or at least, the attempted responses– to the transformations created by the Industrial Revolution(s).

1.  Urbanization, Health, and Environment.

If there’s one thing that the Industrial Revolution(s) did above all else, it was the mass migration of people from rural to urban environments.  Let’s see how you manage the environmental problems and health threats of the Industrial Age: play a round of Muck and Brass and see how you do.

To get an idea of just how awful the environmental problems– especially sewage problems– were during the Industrial Age, read the article, The Great Stink.”  Use the information from this article– as well as information from the Muck and Brass game– to answer the associated questions in your packet.

 2.  Labor Movements, Unions, and Strikes.

Given that you’ve already watched (or at least you should have watched) the Crash Course video which introduces capitalism and socialism, you should have some idea of what both socialism and communism entail.  However, you also should understand the following terms:

  • Collective Bargaining
  • Strike
  • Trade Union
  • Picket Line

By this time, your Google-fu skills should be approaching mastery levels.  Use them to find definitions, and write those definitions in your packet, as well as how those terms relate to the Industrial Revolution(s).

Once you understand the above terms, please watch the following documentary on the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire.  This is an American Experience documentary, and the full documentary is an hour long.  It’s an amazing documentary, and if you have the time, I do suggest you watch the whole thing.  However!  I’m not foolish enough to think you have nothing else to do with your time, so– when the video starts playing, click on the fourth small white marker at the bottom of the screen.  (If you hover over it, there should be a title that reads “The Fire.”  It’s at about the 33 minute mark.) You really only need to watch the segment about the fire, and the first five minutes of the next segment on reform, which should be about twenty minutes in total.

WARNING: the content of this video is somewhat disturbing.  Not violent– just.  Depressing, and some of the photographs may upset you.

American Experience: The Triangle Fire

 Please use the content of the documentary to answer the related questions in your packet.

After responding to the questions in your packet, please listen to the podcast on a more modern industrial disaster: Bangladesh’s Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation.”  You will need to listen to the whole thing in order to complete the final requirement.

(One note: child labor is obviously a major part of any discussion of the Industrial Revolution(s), and we will be covering this topic extensively in the form of a debate in just a few days.)

3. Personal Response.

You’ve now done some extensive exploration of the innovations, causes, benefits, and consequences of the Industrial Revolution(s).  Please use what you have learned– including the recent podcast regarding Bangladesh’s garment industry– to respond to the following prompt.

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