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The demands made by industrialization upon the worker were often severe, whether in England or France, Russia or the United States. He had to give up the somewhat desultory habits of work which had usually sufficed him and his ancestors from the beginnings of time. Significantly enough, one of Arkwright's first steps after establishing his factory was to draw up a code of discipline designed to keep his employees steadily on the job. The worker also gave up the ownership of his tools, if he had not already done so under the domestic system, and was thus left a proletarian, with nothing to bring the employer but his labor. This was an asset which afforded him little in the way of bargaining power, especially as the employers began using women and children, the latter in England often recruited from nearby orphanages as an alternative source of cheap labor. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XIV: The Industrial Revolution, Classical Economics, and Economic Liberalism. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.