Show MoreSince the advent of man, the human race has gone through many changes throughout history. One of the greatest and most crucial changes was the Industrial Revolution of Great Britain. Although the Industrial Revolution did have a few drawbacks, the positive outcomes of the Revolution far outweighed the negative effects. It pushed Great Britain fifty years ahead of other European countries and morphed the country into one of the strongest nations of its time. The Revolution improved the overall state of Great Britain mainly through the innovation and invention of new technologies, improvement in communication and transportation, and enhancing the lifestyles of the British commoner.
During the time period of the Industrial Revolution,…show more content…
“Abraham Darby...figured out a way of smelting iron using coke, an extract of coal... [which] made the procedure of smelting [iron] much simpler and cheaper” . As a result “the country produced 25,000 tons of pig iron a year [and] by 1804, 10 times as much were made”. The large supply of coal and rapid production of iron made Britain “the world’s biggest iron exporter” and quickly boosted its economy since the demand of iron and coal was great all across Europe. Another great new machinery was the steam engine, invented by James Watt. The “Steam Engine was one of the essential mechanisms that drove the Industrial Revolution”. Many historians argue that the “world…would never have progressed so quickly without it” . It replaced traditional water pumps in coal mines, “producing far more power than traditional pumping; in two days it could do a week’s worth of work by 50 men and 20 horses”. The industries of coal, iron, and steam went hand in hand because the “more steam engines were built, the more iron was needed; the more iron smelted, the more coal was needed; the more coal mined, the more steam engines were needed to pump the water.” This relationship pressured each industry to increase its production thus leading the nation to benefit economically from more exports. Apart from multiplying the production rate of goods, steam engines also paved the path to many more inventions that helped Britain thrive above other European nations. One such
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