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The Industrial Revolution brought about radical changes to all societies across the globe, changes that occurred gradually starting from Britain as it spread to other areas across major countries such as Belgium, United States of America and Germany. This was mainly a transformation for the agriculturally based economy to an industrialized based economy. This paper is with modest efforts analyzing the positive impacts of the Industrial Revolution that was positive impact and change the societies making them modernize and transform for the benefit hence benefitting individual citizens in that country. This comprehensive analysis greatly links various effects that happened after the revolution that still affect the societies today.
The Industrial Revelation was one of the key turning points in the history of many nations that mainly entailed a shift in the entire world from the handicraft and agrarian economy to a more advanced type of economy which was mainly constituted by the manufacturing and industry one (Allen, 40). This type of new economy brought about a wide variety of effects that affected both the societies and individuals who were divided into different social strata that governed numerous societies changing different elements in both the social, economic and political aspects. Various historians and economists have argued the effects of this particular revolution impacted differently on various people, societies and nations hence its disadvantages can be best described by different parties depending on how they were affected by its occurrence (De Vries, 250). Whereas this Industrial Revolution brought about various effects and impacts in the society, its positive effects that reshaped the various established systems and procedures were very integral basing of the current modern societies we live in today.
One of the benefits that different societies were able to receive or benefit from this revolution was the change in the factory system. This was one of the youngest sectors of the industrial revolution and developed as well as advanced in the period 18th to 19th century (Smelser, 45). The factory system grew up and replaced the cottage industry that was more known for individual's workers using simple tools as well as machinery to manufacture goods. With the invention of the water-powered frame by Arwright in the 1760s, this invention enabled the establishment of the first factory system in Britain. He later established small cottages which were generally offering employment from across and far in order to take advantage of the weavers who were having large families to provide labor to the company. This factory grew up and employed numerous individuals, a pattern that spread out to major parts of the world which copied the same technology to be used in the production (De Vries, 256). This totally replaced the cottage industry, producing better products and providing employment opportunities to various individuals in those particular countries.
Industrial Revolution led to the rise of capitalism as a system that was majorly based on the private ownership of methods of production as well as making business operations mainly for profit. Due to more political control that was placed over the colonies, Britain was one of the countries that greatly embraced capitalism (Cowan, 82). The owners of factories who initiated numerous controls on the means of production became so rich in that they spent most of their money on investments in the new technologies for their industries. This was a time when voting was only allowed for those who were rich. Therefore various policies regarding the agrarian industry were greatly turned down and more emphasis placed on industries such as the manufacturing industry. This greatly improved the entire economy of Britain since the manufacturing industries were greatly generating revenue (Smelser, 56). Britain's revolution was followed by that of Belgium, France, the United States, and Germany.
The Industrial Revolution that was happening in different parts of the world greatly led to urbanization that was booming currently as many countries strived to have better economies for both economic growth and development (De Vries, 263). The rise of cities was one of the significant features of the revolution whereby, initially most of the people lived in rural areas. The growth of population that was relative to that caused by the agrarian revolution and the rise of the industry declined most of the opportunities of individuals living in rural areas hence most of the people had to move to towns so as to access the new opportunities that were being created by the emergence of new industries. In the 18th century, the population of Britain had doubled whereby in 1771 almost 1 in 10 Britons had inhabited London. By the year 1850, most of the individuals were living in cities that had been there initially implying that the industrial revolution had greatly impacted the urbanization trends (Cowan, 86). With a growing number of cities, diversification in production, as well as other businesses, was increasing and revenues generated by various federal governments increased which were invested in other important and crucial projects.
The Industrial Revolution led to the emergence and increase in the standards of living of many people. Most of the historians have greatly disagreed about the increase in the number of wages that were received by the working class in the initial phase of this particular revolution (Greenwood, 66). However, they generally agreed that due to the high inflation rates, the wages were to stay steady in the period 1790 up to approximately 1840. In addition to that, there was a rise of approximately 50 percent wages in Britain from the period 1830 to almost 1875. The middle-class cities were seen rising gradually at the beginning of the 19th century. The society continued to be greatly divided into aristocrats and the low commoners. The new incoming industries that were adopting and implementing the new technology were creating massive jobs which included bank clerks, insurance agents, and accountants. This implied that with a majority of the individuals accessing high volumes of salaries, the purchasing power gradually increased hence the total income of the entire countries increased (Cowan, 88). Countries started establishing and initiating projects that were meant to improve the general living standards of individuals.
Another important element that was a benefit from the occurrence of the Industrial Revolution was the emergence of new technological advancements in both the industries and other sectors, hence better living standards for the people (Greenwood, 75). The Industrial Revolution was primarily controlled and facilitated by the rise in technology, which had been one of the integral factors that changed the face of the world experienced today. The external steam combustion engine that was used to power various railways made factories be supplied with raw materials, motivate engine combustion, and the automotive industry. With the increasing energy demands, electricity was invented so as to help in the production of other products that did not require more energy and were of urgency (De Vries, 266). The Telegraph was another invention that led to the invention of telephones and then the internet, which is a crucial element today supplementing most of the operations of companies. These are alongside other technological advancements that were invented as a result of the Industrial Revolution, implying the Industrial Revolution greatly impacted positively on the current society across the globe.
The Industrial Revolution was the cause of the rise and development of other sectors and infrastructures that existed and still exist. With the provision of more employment opportunities to various individuals, individuals were able to expound on their demands with regards to other services (De Vries, 267). The rise of specialist professions is one of the integral factors that the Industrial Revolution caused in the societies. Industries demanded experts in various fields, a factor that triggered government involvement in programs such as educational, security, and health programs, which in turn led to the emergence of specialists that worked in these sectors indicating that the Industrial Revolution was the cause of the existing specialists and professions. Another cause was the increasing demand by those who were employed to get secondary and luxury needs hence creating the industries that were indirectly related to this Industrial Revolution (Matsuyama 330). As more developments were increased and made, it was evident that the emergence of substitute industries also emerged increasing competition in the industries.
The Industrial Revolution was the factor behind improved quality products that are easily available and in large quantities today. Before the Industrial Revolution that emerged specifically from Britain, the local industries were enjoying monopolies alongside providing products that were of poor quality and in a limited scope (Greenwood, 88). After the Industrial Revolution that triggered the emergence of new technologies, industries strived to manufacture products that were of high quality and produced these products in large volumes that were able to be sold at low prices. Factories were allowed for groups of people so as to be more productive than owned single persons who were on their own. This allowed massive production of products that were manufactured and processed as well as services that were of high quality offered to people (Matsuyama, 332). This not only improved the production aspect of the entire manufacturing and processing industries but also improved the living standards of individuals through affordability of products in high volumes as well as at lower prices. This greatly improved the lives of various citizens in countries that this revolution was taking place.
Finally, the Industrial Revolution is the cause of influenced open borders referred to as globalization whereby it encouraged more international trade. With high levels of production in industries, there was a more and excess surplus which was economically disposed of by exportation. Therefore, countries were forced to lessen some of their border restrictions especially mercantilists countries such as Britain (Allen, 89). As the borders were opened countries were forced to establish strong ties with individual countries that they traded with. In addition to that from the open border, countries were able to benefit from acquisition and exchange of information that was not only economically important but also for other benefits both politically and economically. Furthermore, this led to improving living standards of individual citizens of the two countries that mutually entered into treaties for economic benefits due to the easy accessibility to new products that were cheaper than those made from their countries. Therefore Industrial Revolution is one of the historical revolutions that greatly impacted positively to the ancient societies, effects that are still being felt today and impacting positively on the modern societies (Smelser, 76). The shift from agricultural-based industry to the modern industries such as manufacturing and processing industries was a shift that triggered this revolution hence the formation of the current modern society today.
The occurrence of the Industrial Revolution positively impacted all societies across the globe due to its effects that completely changed the societal formations that had existed earlier. Even though there existed negative effects that some groups and parts of countries faced, its positive effects out-number these negative effects. Some of these positive effects that societies are still benefiting from the occurrence of this revolution are improved living standards, the emergence of new technological advancements, increased border relations, and improved quality products that generally lead to improved living standards of individuals and people. Another explanation for the continued improvement of living standards of individuals was the demand for more production, which led to more inventions and innovations. Therefore, our societies would not have been where they are today due to revolution because of the technologies that were able to be invented and continued to be upheld by different wealthy manufacturers from the ancient societies.
Allen, Robert C. The British industrial revolution in global perspective. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Smelser, Neil J. Social change in the industrial revolution: An application of theory to the British cotton industry. Routledge, 2013.
De Vries, Jan. "The industrial revolution and the industrious revolution." The Journal of Economic History 54.2 (1994): 249-270.
Matsuyama, Kiminori. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth." Journal of economic theory 58.2 (1992): 317-334.
Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. "The “industrial revolution” in the home: household technology and social change in the twentieth century." The Routledge Companion to Modernity, Space and Gender. Routledge, 2018. 81-97.
Greenwood, Jeremy. The third industrial revolution: technology, productivity, and income inequality. No. 435. American Enterprise Institute, 1997.
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