Destinies - Chapter 07 Seven.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
Thomas Socknat

Jason Ho Canadian History Page 1 JWH100Y1 January 10, 2013 Destinies: Canadian History Since Confederation Textbook Notes Chapter Seven: The Impact of Urban and Industrial Growth The Impact on Rural Society  On the eve of the Industrial revolution, farming was a stable occupation, where the whole family had a purpose, and was a very family oriented lifestyle.  Industrialization changed everything with the introduction of farming machines, which allowed them to increase productivity dramatically. This allowed them to cut 10 acres a day, 40 times as much or producing bushels of wheat in one-hundredth of the time.  Dairy and fruit farming became agribusiness, large-scale farms became common and rail and steamship service with cold storage, and lower freight allowed for greater exports.  Mechanization also reduced the number of jobs family members had to take part in, so older children typically went away to find work in cities. Women were no longer needed to help out with producing cheese and butter or canning fruits as this now occurred in factories.  Rural depopulation became a growing concern with many people as they associate rural living with good moral values. The Impact on Native People  Page 154 Missing Life in the Industrial City  As industrialization swept across NA so did social division between the working class and the elite. With the arrival of the electric streetcar and automobile, the upper and middle class had to option to move out to suburbia and away from downtown congestion and pollution.  In Montreal and Toronto, most working class people rented rooms as high at $10-12, roughly 25% of an unskilled worker’s wages. Few families were able to own their own houses because of the high costs Jason Ho Canadian History Page 2 JWH100Y1 January 10, 2013 and housing shortage. Some had to live in shacks, tents or even on the street that led to unbearable filth and stenches from cesspools and outdoor privies.  In 1913, the Ontario government passed the Ontario Housing Act to provide municipal support for upgraded working-class districts.  Spousal and child abuse was rampant, and many of the cases were often associated with drinking, unemployment and destitution. Wives had little legal options because of high legal costs and male- dominated courts.  Children, especially those in the working class, had fewer rights than women. They also had to assume family responsibilities at an early age (age 11 or 12) and join the work force after their grade three education. There were 2.5 times more boys than girls working outside the home because girls tend to made half to two-thirds less than boys the same age.  Ontario and Quebec passed Factory Acts prohibiting the hiring of boys under 12 and girls under 14, but due to poor enforcement and court action against factory owners, this had little impact on the problem as children were more likely to be penalized. Working Conditions in Canada’s Cities  Industrialization created harsh working conditions where the average worker spent 10 to 12 hours a day 6 days a week at work. Factories were also poorly ventilated, noisy and dirty; workers were penalized for tardiness or talking and accidents were frequent.  Job security was non-existent. Victims to industrial accident had no compensation, layoffs occurred regularly and unemployment was commonplace.  Urban life still attracted many young people to arrive since even though the hours were long, they were shorter than working on a farm and wages were higher still. Cities also had a wealth of attractions such as taverns, sports events, music halls, and soon, cinemas. The Standard of Living  The cost of living in urban centres rose continually and outpaced urban wages. The estimated cost of living in 1901 was $13.38 but Jason Ho Canadian History Page 3 JWH100Y1 January 10, 2013 at best the average male worker made $25 a year, averaging $8.25 a week.  The federal Department of Labour issued “typical weekly expenditure” budgets listing items necessary for a family of five to enjoy a min. standard of living. (0.6 kg of fresh meat per week per person, less than a litre of milk a day for the family, no fresh fruits or vegetables.) Women in the Workplace  At the turn of the century, women made up about one-seventh of the paid work force. They usually worked outside the home between the age of 14 and 24. After marriage they performed routine housework, rearing children, cleaning, cooking, washing, mending and shopping.  The most economically pressed women had no choice but to work outside the home in female-related jobs in textile factories, waitresses, or domestic servants. Women without familial support or ones were widowed, deserted.  A segment of working women who were single, non-immigrant girls, popularly known as “working girls,” performed non-domestic waged work outside the home. Being single, independent and alone, they became the concern of moral reformers and saw them as a threat to ideal Canadian society.  Middle-class women depended on domestic help at the turn of the century. Families were larger, homes harder to clean and food preparations more time-consuming. In 1891, 40% of all women working outside the home were employed as domestics.  Women preferred factory work to domestic service because of the higher wages and shorter hours, however, in 1900, most women still worked up to 60 hours a week. Textile and shoe factories hired women because of lower wages (approx. half of men wages) and they were better for the type of work. They made up two-thirds of the work force in the textile industry in 1880 and almost half by 1900.  Women sought particular office jobs away from the noise and pressure of the factory. By the turn of the century, women were employed in most clerical jobs. Male clerks still held the senior managerial Jason Ho Canadian History Page 4 JWH100Y1 January 10, 2013 positions while women dominated as department-store clerks and telephone operators.  Public schools had greatly expanded in the late nineteenth century and women constituted three-quarters of the teaching profession. Although it was considered an acceptable occupation for women, it provided little financial security with its low wages.  A small number of women worked as nurses and thanks to Florence Nightingale’s campaign, it became a respectable occupation at the turn of the century. Only a handful of women entered Canadian medical schools, because of the small number of patients and little hospital privileges.  In all professions women entered in small numbers at the turn of the century and experienced lower pay, lack of control and pressures to quit once they were married. Health  Frequent illness complicated the normal daily problems of living and working. Montreal in particular remained one of the unhealthiest cities to live in. Women were expected to provide essential health care at home.  Approx. 1 in 4 infant died before the age of one due to impure water, unpasteurized milk and limited vaccines for smallpox, diphtheria, and tuberculosis.  Society denounced attempts to limit family size so much so that Canada deemed it illegal to teach or sell forms of contraception. Due to this a great number of women had self-induced abortions or went to the few doctors/hacks who performed it. Charitable and Social Institutions for the Working Class  At the turn of the century, 20 churches and 80(50 in Toronto, 30 in Montreal) private philanthropic organizations administered limited charitable help.  Between 1900 and 1911, these institutions provided relief for 2000- 3000 families in their respective cities each year --- usually with a meal of soup, bread, and tea, and a bath and a bed. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 5 JWH100Y1 January 10, 2013  With the exception of the handicapped and the aged, individuals alone remained responsible for their plights. Skilled workers looked to fraternal organizations for financial and emotional support
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