Humanity And Nature: The Period Of The Industrial Revolution

2252 words - 9 pages

HUMANITY AND NATURE: THE PERIOD OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Human beings and their reaction and response to world events has changed and evolved throughout history. The time period of the Industrial Revolution was no exception. Humans´ responses to the consequences of the Industrial Revolution accurately depicted humanity and the stage of its evolution at that particular point in history. Humanity spoke out against the injustices they encountered as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Eventually, social theories emerged, that clearly depicted the power of the people to lead the world in the direction they desired. The Industrial Revolution was also a time of evolution in regards to the relationship of humanity with nature. Humanity proved that it no longer needed to depend on nature for its survival.

Before the first Industrial Revolution, Englands economy was based on its cottage industry. The cottage industry consisted of workers purchasing raw materials from merchants and using these materials to produce goods at their own home. The problem with this system was that productivity was extremely low, which made costs higher. This caused an increase in the productsí prices, so goods became exclusive to wealthy citizens.

By the 1750ís the Industrial Revolution had begun. The Industrial Revolution was directly related to the rise of the factory system.(1) The incentive to invest in factories came from the fact that they were extremely efficient, so there was a great potential for increased profit. Men, women, and children were employed to keep the machines running and the factory system was established to provide the greatest efficiency of material and labor, at the lest expensive cost.(2) Factories provided the opportunity to implement new technology and inventions into the work force. Mass production due to machines made usually expensive items easily affordable to less wealthy people.

The debate of whether or not the Industrial Revolution had a positive or negative effect on humanity has gone on throughout most of history. Both sides are easily arguable. The Industrial Revolution solved certain problems, but at the same time it created new ones.

"To many, industrialization became synonymous with progress."(3) Humanitys relationship with nature changed drastically. This new relationship was a reflection of humanityís evolution from a people who saw the world as a place of limited good to a people who viewed the world as a place of opportunity. No longer would humans be completely dependent on the land. Dependency on nature was not a necessity for survival. It is important to note though, that this in no way meant that humanity was moving toward economic independence. Humans became followers of a new master: the machine.

The Industrial Revolution provided opportunity for the growing population. Industrialization created a greater variety at a cheaper price. The increased production that resulted from the Industrial...

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