Industrialization brought significant changes to various areas of the country’s life, which affected every Canadian citizen. The development of the industry shifted economic activity from personal agricultural activity to production and earning wages. During the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century, industrialization transformed Canada.
The process significantly affected families, roles, and activities at home and in society. Although previously families’ center of labor, as well as care and education, was home, industrialization contributed to the division of the public and private, changing traditional foundations.
Industrialization changed the way of life and how people earned food for themselves. Before the changes, families worked in agricultural households – their farms or those on which they worked helped provide food and everything they needed to live. Industrialization changed the old way – receiving wages in production, families had to purchase the goods necessary for life.
At the same time, the key labor force was mainly men – they worked at enterprises in metal, woodworking, and other industries. Labor and money-making belonged more to the male sphere, and women received domestic duties. As a result, such restrictions have only exacerbated the inaccessibility of politics, social activities, and obtaining a profession for women.
However, one person’s earnings often were not enough for working families to live, and women still sought employment. Their work was paid significantly less, and they were engaged in such areas as piecework, school education, nursing, and telephone exchanges, which developed at that time.
The development of the industry also led to high rates of urbanization, and families moved to cities from rural areas. The negative aspects of urban development led to social reforms. In family life, changes affected the duties of husbands to support their wives, which was mandatory by law.
The social changes were also aimed at controlling sexual practices. On the one hand, the dissemination of information on pregnancy prevention and abortion was punished. On the other hand, there were eugenic ideas in society, according to which it is possible to improve the community through the sterilization of its representatives.
Later, society’s views changed, continuing to transform family life, and economic conditions, including swings of growth and decline, restrained families. The number of children in families decreased, and improved medicine reduced the mortality of toddlers and mothers. Since the beginning of the industrialization process, families have changed significantly.
Thus, the industrialization that occurred at the turn of the century changed Canadian society significantly. While the critical impact of the process focuses on the economy, industrialization also affects every citizen, including their family life. After mainly agricultural activities, people were increasingly looking for work for wages in manufacturing.
Moreover, the industries required much labor and employed men, while women’s work was not so highly valued, and it was difficult for them to find a job. Such circumstances led to the distribution of areas of activity and roles in families – men were perceived as primary breadwinners, and women took care of the house and children.