The effects of the Industrial Revolution were tremendous and felt in almost every aspect of life. Read about them in this article.
Effects of the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution took place in the 18th and 19th centuries and was the transition to new manufacturing methods where agrarian American and European societies became industrialized and urban. This transition brought about great impact in the world that s felt even today. The effects of the industrial revolution were experienced in both social, economic and political platforms.
The industrial revolution was characterized by major inventions and technological developments, creating a large scale factory system for large scale production. Besides, the period also saw the increased use of machines in industries and economic specialization towards the end of the 19th century. It also involved several changes to the labor structures, which many were not pleased with.
Although the revolution occurred in Europe, its effects were not limited to those nations. Considering the significance of industries during that time, there is no doubt that changes would impact a greater part of society. In fact, we can still feel and see the impacts of the Industrial revolution in various aspects of life today.
Considering the various impacts of the industrial revolution, it can be a bit challenging to make a clear distinction between them. In order to easily understand the effects, it is advisable to categorize them in terms of economic, political and social status of society. Besides, the revolution also impacted significant technological development.
Economic effects of the Industrial Revolution
The effects of the industrial revolution were mainly embedded in to the economy. The revolution led to a rapid increase and expansion of factories in various sectors. As a result of this, the growth in revenues was immense, leading to massive wealth and power to the industrialists. In fact, between 1800 and 1900, the purchasing power in Great Britain doubled with the national income levels growing tenfold.
The increased population and wealth accumulation necessitated the development of urban centers. By early 1850, several cities had developed across Europe and almost 50% of the population were either living in either towns or cities.
Although the industrial revolution ensured immense economic growth, the factory workers remained on the losing end. A greater portion of the proceeds only went to the wealthy who controlled the means of production. However, the revolution also phased out elements like starvation,
Social effects of the Industrial Revolution
Because of the boom in factories, many people from various walks of life moved into the cities in search of jobs. This not only led to population growth but also exchange of cultures between the masses. Women and children accounted for almost b75% of the total labor force during the revolution. This created very little time for family, causing the breakdown of the family unit.
Although the industries were doing quite well, the working conditions remained poor. The factories were overcrowded, work places were in bad state and even the safety measures were inadequate.
Due to the low incomes of factory workers during the revolution, living conditions hardly improved. The factories hired both men, women and children at very low wages such that many were unable to even afford the simplest housing facilities. Hence, slums rapidly developed across many urban centers.
The employment of children in factories prevented them from obtaining education. Besides, some also faced stunted growth and contracted infections. Due to the poor living conditions, sanitation was plagued and the infant mortality significantly shot up.
Art is another aspect of social life that also changed as a result of the industrial revolution. However, art was mainly used during those times to express how the people felt. In their works, many artists protested against practices like individualism, frustration of workers among others.
Political effects of the Industrial Revolution
During the industrial revolution, many structures including those of the governments were run on laissez-faire approach. As a result of this, there were little or no regulations on the policies of the factories. This implies the rich and middle class people took any path they considered most profitable even if it was at the cost of their workers.
Not willing to take the oppression any more, many workers began forming labor unions. Through these unions, workers were able to present their grievances and advocate for better working conditions. It is also through this period that many rights groups were formed. Owing to the large numbers of their members, these movements had significant impact on the political atmosphere across Europe.
Generally, the effects of the industrial revolution were partly beneficial and also destructive. However, it generally improved the living conditions for many people across Europe and other countries, which traded with European nations.
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