Change Of Perspective Essay

1301 words - 6 pages

Human beings can always rely on one constant in the shifting and often dangerous world around them: the consistency of change. Over thousands of years our race has evolved, shifting from uneducated hunters and gathers into basic city dwellers and finally, in the last couple of centuries, into the first “modern” humans. This final step has been by far the most challenging as people were forced to persevere through the most challenging of circumstances as Europe and America underwent their Industrial Revolutions. During this time period the population of cities exponentially increased, and more and more workers poured into these urban centers in search of a better life. Trade increased, as did the efficiency and technology of industry as a whole. Yet despite this overall advance of society, this time period was one full of both hardship and suffering for many of the poor as the first of these major cities were corrupted with gluttony and hunger. Disease also became a major concern, as the vast increase in population brought to light the lack of housing and sanitation needed to support the amount of people that were now living inside of the city limits. Even with the constant struggle that came with living in such a dense urban center, the sense of pride that gave people the endurance to continue is perfectly illustrated in Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago.” That sense of community despite the negative influences of the world around them can also be seen in modern times with the shipbreakers in India, who live in similar circumstances as the factory workers in nineteenth and twentieth century America. As the same issues of health and safety are called into question, we must ask ourselves a simple question: do we have the right to step in and alter India’s Industrial Revolution? Or should they be allowed to advance themselves?
By 1700, Europe, for the first time in recorded history, had finally exceeded both Asia and the Middle East in terms of the amount of people that lived in urban center. All across the continent villages became towns, towns morphed into cities, and already established cities exponentially increased in both size and population. Even in Rome, which had been abandoned by the vast majority of it’s citizens centuries before, experienced a new wave of economy and population with more than 100,000 new people making Rome their home. Amsterdam and London were at the forefront of utilizing the expanding trade routes in order to build their cities into the first truly modern versions of what we have in modern times. Later, in the late 1700’s and the early 1800’s, London quickly rose to become the number one industrial city in the world on account of their extensive trade routes, large population, and natural resources. (Kotkin, Joel) The Industrial Revolution then spread throughout the rest of Europe and even into America, and the world would be forever changed. Gone were the days where the majority would simply farm to live. A new age of steel,...

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