Capitalism and Changes
Questions to ask yourself:
How did economic growth accelerate the growth of Canada?
Did the lives of people in the 19th Century get better or worse?
What you will be able to do:
Indicate facts about pre-industrial society and industrial development.
Explain the characteristics of capitalism and how it contributed to industrialization.
Indicate factors that contributed to industrialization. (i.e. the causes)
Identify and describe the differences (i.e. the changes) that occurred during and after the industrial revolution.
The Industrial Revolution began in England and France in the late 18th century and reached Canada in the 1840s. It profoundly transformed the methods, pace and location of the production of goods, the type of labour used, and the working conditions of labourers.
Video overview: Montreal 1850-1896: The Industrial City
"Around 1850, Montreal has a little over 50 000 people. In a mere half-century its population increases six times, surpassing the 300 000 marks. Growth in manufacturing industries is the main cause. Starting in the mid-19th century, factories spring up all over the city, and especially along the Lachine Canal. Their products are sold on the Canadian market, which is growing by leaps and bounds. Industrialization leads to growth in transportation, trade and the service industries."
Source: Montreal 1850-1896: The Industrial City. Paul-André Linteau, Université du Québec à Montréal
Craftsmen systems before the industrial revolution
"The guild system was characterized by the creation among craftsmen of a hierarchy comprising apprentices, journeymen and masters. The masters headed the guilds and elected juries responsible for drawing up and implementing regulations. Among these regulations were those governing apprenticeship and access to mastership: a long training period and an often rigorous entry procedure were imposed on apprentices; journeymen wishing to become masters had to pay a large fee and produce an original work of superior quality, ie, a masterpiece.
Craftsmen generally worked in small workshops (often attached to their homes) and owned all their tools. Work was usually done to order and division of labour was almost nonexistent. The major sources of energy were still muscle power and water; raw materials were processed mainly by hand tools. [...]
The apprentice must obey the master, work on his behalf and strive to learn his trade. In return, the master agreed to reveal all the secrets of his craft and provide accommodation, food, clothing and a small annual salary, paid either in cash or in kind. The apprentice worked 6 days a week [...] from 12-14 hours a day.”
Activity: Craft vs. Industrial Production
Explore key documents and the provided tables in this activity document to "describe craft and industrial production" according to working methods, pace of work, sites of production, type of labour force, working conditions, and types and use of energy.
Of energy and steam
Prior to industrialization, wind, water and wood were primary sources of energy. Windmills and water wheels were used to process and move goods (ex. grind rains). Manufactured goods were also mostly produced by hand, making quantities related to skill and number of workers involved.
One of the main causes of Industrialization was the change in technologies, and especially those involved in manufacturing. A key example was the steam engine, like this one by James Watt. The steam engine and other new machines and techniques help to transform industries like textiles, iron making and others. Products that were once slowly crafted could be repeatedly created in large quantities by machines and in much larger.
Watt improved upon the earliest steam engine designs by “adding a separate water condenser that made it far more efficient. Watt later collaborated with Matthew Boulton to invent a steam engine with a rotary motion, a key innovation that would allow steam power to spread across British industries, including flour, paper, and cotton mills, iron works, distilleries, waterworks and canals.”
The source of power for steam engines was coal, which was burnt to heat water to produce high pressure steam to turn the engines and the machinery attached to those engines. “Just as steam engines needed coal, steam power allowed miners to go deeper and extract more of this relatively cheap energy source. The demand for coal skyrocketed throughout the Industrial Revolution and beyond, as it would be needed to run not only the factories used to produce manufactured goods, but also the railroads and steamships used for transporting them.” Thus, this new energy source and the ways it was used powered a more efficient system that allowed not only larger amounts of goods to be produced but which also helped to extend markets for those goods to larger regions.
Video break: Coal, Steam & The Industrial Revolution on Crash Course
This comical take on the period might be a lot to take in, but try to grasp some other contexts as John Green "wraps up revolutions month with what is arguably the most revolutionary of modern revolutions, the Industrial Revolution."
Of migrations, cheap labour, and urbanization.
Related to this influx of people, and to the disparities between the classes, was also an expansion of industries required to cater to them. And so, more and more stores of various kinds were opened, where businesses provided both the services and goods for the people who lived there. Transportation systems were built, with streetcars to take people to and from work, and as cities became more segregated, from one neighbourhood to another.
Urbanization then implied the growth of so-called working class neighbourhoods, where the people who worked in the factories or in the other types of industries lived. These areas were visibly less well-off, where the streets wouldn’t have been paved and sanitation was sadly lacking. “Overcrowding was widespread. Health conditions were often poor. Sewage systems were deplorable and only began to improve in the 1890s in most Canadian cities and towns. Water supplies were regularly tainted. Immigrant, Aboriginal, and African-Canadian neighbourhoods generally endured worse conditions than those occupied by Anglo- and Franco-Canadians. Housing in some industrial areas was more like dormitories than apartments because of the extensive occupancy of single men and single women.” (Source)
Activity: How did industrialization transform Montreal?
Explore key documents and use the provided tables in this activity document to establish the links between the changing territory of Montreal with the following concepts: factories; transportation network; urbanization.
More coming soon!
This section will be expanded much further soon, with more texts, curated images, and activities.
Document Collection (#4) Industrialization - Facts, Capitalism, Factors/changes
Tracing Project: Black Histories within Quebec History
Example document pages in our larger document collection above:
Also browse these examples of Black histories and others in our QEP program overview document for these specific knowledge elements: here in this slide. ➦