Female mill workers in Japan and England had a lot of similarities during the Industrial Revolution, yet they also had many differences. In both English and Japanese mills, women went to work for extensive hours, each day of the week with little to no breaks at all. In both England and Japan, the wages of a female laborer compared to that of a male laborer was significantly less.
The same goes for children. Ultimately, English and Japanese mill workers had similar working conditions, the age of workers and the pay each laborer received. Britain led the way into Industrialization in the 18th century. England started before Japan because of the enclosure movement. British landlords had been able to push their peasants off the land. Those peasants then became a large supply of labor that could be used to work in the new factories that were springing up. All of these factors helped make Britain the first country to industrialize.
Although the Industrial Revolution was different because of the hours the women were paid in Japan and England’s factories, ultimately the working conditions, and the fact that women were paid less for the same jobs that men laborers were doing made it similar. It is important to place the Industrial Revolution in the appropriate historical context. The major causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution lie in agriculture. The Industrial Revolution increased agricultural productivity and found a way to use coal and steam as energy.
The Industrial Revolution also paved the way for new agricultural inventions to be made such as the Cotton Gin. The Cotton Gin allowed for the seeds to be removed from the cotton plant to be made into cloth. The revolution also had extreme long term effects, one of which being that labor unions and the middle class grew in size, which was great because more and more jobs were available. With the expansion of the middle class, there were more factory owners to supply more factory jobs and provide families with a stable income, even though it was little to nothing. There were various reasons how the Industrial Revolution differed in England and Japan, one being that women were paid much less for the same job that men were also doing. In a Hyde, England mill, “the adult males to women and children was about one to four.
” At that particular mill, a female loom operator was paid 26 pennies, while a male loom operator was paid 40 pennies. The low income families where those where the wife didn’t work and in which a high proportion of the children was still too young to contribute to the family income by working in a factory. Not only did the women get paid far less for similar jobs the men were paid for, the women made up almost all of the working class.
In England alone, 57% of women, 20 years of age or older and 48% of the working class in England was made up of women factory workers under the age of 20. With this said, in Japan the female working class was made up of 18% female laborers under the age of 14. The mills in both Japan and England had very harsh working conditions for the female workers. In a salvaged letter, one women wrote “we make 24 shillings as a family of workers. Out of this we have to pay house rent, fire, and clothes, and food, for six of us. We complain about nothing but short wages” A woman named Hannah Goode, an English factory worker writes “I think the youngest child is about seven.
” During a female workers day in the mill, the day would consist of 12-16 hour shifts, which is tiring and time consuming. Many women did it to support their families, as opposed to now, you do a job that interests you. Many of the mills were and dirty from all of the dust from the machines and a lot of them were dangerous, not only because of the heavy machinery, but because of the extreme heat for long periods of time.The working hours for both the English and Japanese workers was one reason they differed.
While still having poor working conditions in both countries, the work hours in Japan were much more extensive. While a woman worked a 14.5 hour shift, which makes 101.
5 hours in a week, a Japanese mill worker had an extensive 17.5 hour shift, which comes out to 122.5 hours in an entire week. Setting aside the fact that in Japan, female mill workers worked under harsh conditions, English mill workers had to spend less time in the heat and had more “weekend” time.
In conclusion, female mill workers in Japan and England had a lot of similarities during the Industrial Revolution, yet they also had a few things that set them apart. Although the Industrial Revolution was different because of the hours the women were paid in Japan and England’s factories, ultimately the working conditions, and the fact that women were paid less for the same jobs that men laborers were doing made it similar.