As a result of the Industrial Revolution, economies transformed and affected all classes of people. First, the rich got richer. The rich who owned businesses became even richer. Middle class factory owners were able to move into the upper class. This allowed the rich to build huge mansions, collect fine art and erect museums and libraries. This privileged social group had always enjoyed prosperity, but now they achieved a new realm of luxury and extravagance.
Second, the middle class grew. The growth of the businesses and factories created more jobs. The middle class assumed the occupations of merchants, shopkeepers and accountants. They were able to take advantage of affordable amenities like furniture and fine clothing. They were also able to educate their children as a way of maintaining their social standing.
Third, the poor remained poor. Wages from the factories were low. Working conditions were harsh, filthy and dangerous. The cities were overcrowded as families seeking jobs swarmed into the cities. Diseases became common and the children couldn’t afford to go to school.
The industrial revolution had a lasting impact on all people but didn’t benefit all equally. Those able to take advantage of the better jobs or business owners were able to enjoy comfort, privilege and leisure in many ways. However, the uneducated with limited skills remained stuck at the bottom of the economic pile. Their working and living conditions lacked any comforts or safety, and their lives were often miserable, or at best, simply dreary.
Source: Differences Between Wealthy, Middle Class and Poor in the Industrial Revolution
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