The epochal changes that came about in the working environment of humans since the 1780s determined the flow and ebb of jobs as it is understood today. The First Industrial Revolution as it made its mark in Britain and then in rest of Europe, began to move manufacturing from people’s homes into factories.
It also marked the beginning of hierarchical organisation in these factories. Weavers, tanners, iron smiths, who had until then crafted an entire product going solo, were gradually replaced by workers, who did only parts of a job instead of producing a full product, going as a team. For the first time in human history, productivity of the workers began to shoot up within the same generation as each new machine introduced discontinuous changes, instead of rising imperceptibly across generations.
Fledgling urban centres began to emerge often away from the ports and began to dominate the countryside. The scale of change was so radical it became violent at times, as in the famous early-nineteenth-century Luddite riots in Britain.
It also changed the place where work was available, so people were forced to move from rural areas to industrial centres. Not surprisingly, this was also the period when nascent labour movements began to emerge. Read More
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