Industrial Revolution Assignment

By , November 2, 2012 8:00 am

Industrial Revolution Assignment


CHY4U_Industrial_Revolution_Websites_2017_18 (take notes from these sources)

  • use these websites as your research sources
  • don’t forget to take notes on paper! You will have to hand them in on Wed. April 24.


Library: Wed. April 17, Thurs. April 18, Tues. April 23

Negotiations” – profile and notes due: Wed. April 24

– if you are using an additional website, please make sure it is reliable – Be very careful – do NOT use sources about American mills and mines

Additional sites:

Revealed: Industrial Revolution was powered by child slaves (The Independent)

Industrial Revolution Videos (

“Patriarchy stabilized: The construction of the male breadwinner wage norm in nineteenth‐century Britain” in Social History

Coal mining (Making Sense of Mining)

Walking Through History – Derbyshire, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (video on TVO’s site)

The Dawn of Modern Industry – Derwent Valley Mills (UNESCO)

The Factory Act – 1833 (you have the PSD in your handout package for unit 3) Factory_Act_1833_PSD



Format for Citations: (because I will collect your notes, which will have full citations on them, I will accept these short forms)

Websites (name of website, section)

  • Example: (Victorian Web, social history)

Book: (title of  book, page number)

  • Example: (West and the World, 112)


Tips for Roles: (all roles – cite all sources) 

Addressing curriculum expectations (your Application mark, as well as part of your Communication mark):

Your job is to weave information about the context into your personal profiles. Don’t make it sound like you’re a history student shoving information into an otherwise well-written in-role profile. Find ways to connect the contextual information to what you’re saying in your profile.


You are members of parliament (MPs) who have been sent out to various regions of Britain to investigate the practices and current conditions  (in 1842) in factories and mines.

Over the years, the British government has initiated a series of reforms to legislate (make laws) and regulate work in factories and mines. These laws pertain to age of workers, both male and female, and hours of work. Therefore, over time, the MPs, at least the reform-minded ones such as yourselves, have come to see that government does have a role to play in regulation of private businesses (mines and factories).

As a commissioner you would be familiar with all laws pertaining to workers. No laws have yet (as of 1842) been passed as a result of the Ashley Mines Commission. The Factory Act of 1833 exists – you have a copy.

Commissioners’ Profile:

In it you will identify the main work trends you have witnessed in travelling to your given region of Britain. You will comment on the current wages, hours and working conditions of the three types of workers in the mines/mills you have visited. The last part of your profile can be about improvements you’d like to see made in the hours, wages and conditions of the workers.

The tone of your profile should be in line with reform-minded members of parliament who have an interest in the government protecting the workers. Your persona is definitely reform-minded, but that doesn’t mean that you’re willing to hand over the factories/mines to the workers. Even though you may sympathize with them, you are not a worker. You do have some consideration for the owners’ positions as well.

Commissioners – Conducting the Inquiry:

You will choose the order of witnesses, you will ask them to present their testimony, and you may ask them questions to clarify their statements.

Commissioners – Mediating Between Owners and Workers:

This part is largely fictional, however, it does give you an opportunity to speak in role and apply what has been learned from the research. After the testimony of each witness has been presented, including the owner, you will try to engage the owner and the workers in a “discussion” pertaining to improvements in hours, wages and working conditions. As the mediator of this discussion, you must use your power of questioning and negotiating to help both sides see each others’ points of view. In the end, it is up to you if you decide to side with the owner or workers, or if you wish to compromise. Please record all results on the “Note-taking Sheet for Employment Discussion.”

Tips for Owners:

You have to create a persona for yourself. Which kind of owner do you want to be? Benevolent or cruel, or somewhere in between? It’s up to you, based on the evidence you’ve seen. Obviously your motives are largely based on profit. But how far will you go to push your workers? They could leave and go to another mine or mill. Think strategically. Does your class (you’re probably a member of the new middle class) affect your viewpoint? Do you look down on the workers, or do you regard them as essential to Britain’s future? Do you have moral concerns about your workers’ behaviour?

Owners’ Profile:

Your profile will have an overview of the current wages, hours and working conditions of each type of worker in your mine/mill. Your tone should reflect your persona. Are you happy with these hours, wages and conditions? How do you justify them? At the end, you may suggest any changes you would like to see, whether lowering or raising of hours/wages, and any changes to working conditions. You too have to weave contextual information into your profile.

Tips for Workers – Profile:

Who are you: name, age, specific job in the mine/mill.

This is your opportunity not just to convey information but to deliver it in a tone that is appropriate to your situation. If you’re complaining, should you do so in a demanding way, or in a more diplomatic tone? Remember, the owner of your mine/mill will be at the inquiry testimony. Perhaps you’re scared of the commissioners themselves; will they be friendly or hostile – after all, they are gentlemen law-makers.  Do you think they will be supportive of the working class?

In your profile, be descriptive rather than just informative. Create a persona for yourself. Perhaps you work with your family in the mine/mill; this would definitely affect your argument. Perhaps you’re willing to sacrifice lower hours for yourself in exchange for your son getting home earlier. Will the owner of your mill/mine be willing to make such a compromise?

Your language should be in keeping with your age and situation in life. Chances are that you are not educated. Your hopes and your dreams, whatever they are, may inform your profile. Express yourself. Don’t forget to weave in information about context without losing your worker’s voice.

Be concise: sharp, descriptive and informative without telling your entire life story. Most of all, be persuasive. This is testimony that could affect your future and the future of all workers in Britain.

All roles: Cite all sources as shown above.




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