This is a collection of worksheets that focus on the growth of the American factories and production during this period in time.

The Industrial Revolution was period in time were the scale of production and manufacturing of goods basically exploded. Production moved out of small shops and into industrial factories. The Industrial Revolution is thought to have two waves to it. The first wave came in the late eighteenth and early ninetieth centuries. This push came from the invention of steam power and the cotton gin. The second wave carried from the end of the first wave to the mid-twentieth century. During the second wave factories were slowly, but surely able to use advances in technology to automate the production process.

The reading worksheets below examine advances in technology that helped this era thrive. We look at the steam engine, factories, and other major inventions that made it all possible. We look at the people involved including labor unions, the role of women in the period, and the conditions in which they worked.

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The Industrial Revolution Reading Passage

The Industrial Revolution in the United States began in New England.

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The Industrial Revolution - Multiple Choice Questions

Prior to this time farming was the most common way to earn a living.

In the United States

More textile mills soon appeared. A Massachusetts businessman named Frances Lowell opened the first integrated textile mill, meaning that his factory did everything that was required to turn raw cotton into finished cloth.

In the United States - Short Answer Questions

A desire to produce U.S. goods drove innovation, largely in the field of transportation.

The Steam Engine

In a steam engine, boiling water creates hot steam which drives one or more pistons back and forth.

QUESTIONS: The Steam Engine

Before it, factories and mills used water, wind, horse, or manpower.

The Factory System

A chief characteristic of the factory system was the centralized workplace.

QUESTIONS: The Factory System

What is division of labor and why was it an important change for manufacturers?

Labor Unions

Eventually workers in all industries began to come together into groups to demand changes.

QUESTIONS: Labor Unions

Labor unions used several tactics to achieve their goals. They would negotiate on behalf of the workers for better conditions or higher wages.

The Inventions that Drove It Reading Passage

Electricity, discovered by Thomas Edison, became important in the second phase of the Industrial Revolution during the late 19th century.

QUESTIONS: The Inventions that Drove It

Which invention allowed people to communicate quickly and cheaply across long distances?

The Role of Women

Factory employers liked to hire women because women at the time made about half the amount of money that a man did for doing the same job.

QUESTIONS: The Role of Women

With the majority of men away at war, or killed in battle, more and more women entered the work force.

Working Conditions Reading Worksheet

Today, most people work about eight hours a day, five days a week.

Working Conditions - Short Answer Questions

What happened to workers who were injured on the job?

Child Labor

Some worked on machines in factories. Some sold newspapers on street corners. Others worked in coal mines or as chimney sweeps.

Child Labor- Multiple Choice Questions

Eventually laws were passed that outlawed child labor.

Revolutionizing Transportation

During this time, much long-distance travel took place on the river.

Revolutionizing Transportation - Short Answer

What was the greatest improvement in ground transportation during the Industrial Revolution?