inventions transformed the textile industry. Transportation was alsoreformed with inventions of the steam engine by James Watt(1765),the building of the 1st railroad track (1821-1825), and alocomotive called the Rocket built by George Stephenson and his son(1829).Besides the postive effects, the Industrial Revolution also had negativeeffects. Because of urbanization, many cities, whose infrastructuresystem could not keep up with the rapid population growth, wereovercrowded with people looking for jobs. England's cities lackeddecent housing, sanitary codes, education, and police protection. Manyworkers of the working class lived in small, dirty shelters wheresickness was widespread. With the introduction of steam, factoryconditons became worse. Machines injured workers. Many factoryowners wanted to get the cheapest labor possible. To do this, factoryowners hired workers, mostly women and children because the werethe cheapest labor, so they could work long hours for low wages. Asthe working class saw little improvements in living and workingconditions, the middle class, made up of skilled workers, professionals,factory owners, and other well do to people, saw improvements in theirlives. The middle class was now able to afford things that the wealthyonly had acess to, such as servants.In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution created a major gapbetween the rich and the poor. Many reformers felt that thegovernment needed to play an active role to improve the standard of living for the poor. Many ideas and philosophies were created as areaction to the Industrial Revolution. An economic system, calledsocialism, grew during the 1800s as a reaction to the IndustrialRevolution. It called for more state influence, equal rights, and an endto inhumanity, which stood strongly opposite to individualism andlaissez-fairepolitics. Laissez-fairephilosophy (capitalism), which wasfirst started by Adam Smith, suggested that owners of industry andbusiness set working conditons without the government intervening.Other social movements, including communism, a form of completesocialism where all means of production would be owned by the peopleleaving a small number of manufacturers to control wealth, which wasproposed by Karl Marx, and utilitarianism, which judged ideas,institutions, and actions based on their utility and beleived governmentactions should promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people, was introduced by Jeremy Bentham but led by John Stuart Mill. The Industrial Revolution, like the French Revolution, left a permanentmark on society. Life in the 18th century changed dramatically causingclasses to shift, wealth to increase, and nations to begin assuming
The Industrial Revolution was a time of great age throughout the world. It represented major change from 1760 to the period 1820-1840. The movement originated in Great Britain and affected everything from industrial manufacturing processes to the daily life of the average citizen. I will discuss the Industrial Revolution and the effects it had on the world as a whole.
The primary industry of the time was the textiles industry. It had the most employees, output value, and invested capital. It was the first to take on new modern production methods. The transition to machine power drastically increased productivity and efficiency. This extended to iron production and chemical production.
It started in Great Britain and soon expanded into Western Europe and to the United States. The actual effects of the revolution on different sections of society differed. They manifested themselves at different times. The ‘trickle down’ effect whereby the benefits of the revolution helped the lower classes didn’t happen until towards the 1830s and 1840s. Initially, machines like the Watt Steam Engine and the Spinning Jenny only benefited the rich industrialists.
The effects on the general population, when they did come, were major. Prior to the revolution, most cotton spinning was done with a wheel in the home. These advances allowed families to increase their productivity and output. It gave them more disposable income and enabled them to facilitate the growth of a larger consumer goods market. The lower classes were able to spend. For the first time in history, the masses had a sustained growth in living standards.
Social historians noted the change in where people lived. Industrialists wanted more workers and the new technology largely confined itself to large factories in the cities. Thousands of people who lived in the countryside migrated to the cities permanently. It led to the growth of cities across the world, including London, Manchester, and Boston. The permanent shift from rural living to city living has endured to the present day.
Trade between nations increased as they often had massive surpluses of consumer goods they couldn’t sell in the domestic market. The rate of trade increased and made nations like Great Britain and the United States richer than ever before. Naturally, this translated to military power and the ability to sustain worldwide trade networks and colonies.
On the other hand, the Industrial Revolution and migration led to the mass exploitation of workers and slums. To counter this, workers formed trade unions. They fought back against employers to win rights for themselves and their families. The formation of trade unions and the collective unity of workers across industries are still existent today. It was the first time workers could make demands of their employers. It enfranchised them and gave them rights to upset the status quo and force employers to view their workers as human beings like them.
Overall, the Industrial Revolution was one of the single biggest events in human history. It launched the modern age and drove industrial technology forward at a faster rate than ever before. Even contemporary economics experts failed to predict the extent of the revolution and its effects on world history. It shows why the Industrial Revolution played such a vital role in the building of the United States of today.