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Industrial Revolution Essay

1579 words - 6 pages

The two most significant social consequences to the First Industrial Revolution of 1780-1850, was the impact on urbanization and the working class. The Industrial Revolution began in England in the 18th century. It was a time of pronounced transformation to the manner in which people existed and functioned in the world. The inventions of machines provided the ability to have dramatic growths on mass manufacturing in textile and coal mining, iron and steel making. It led to large factories and mills that were built to house machines and employed workers, which lead to increased production and wealth for industrialists worldwide. However, it also had negative consequences, particularly farmers and smaller businesses, which was often slower manual labor that produced and supplied goods in smaller quantities. With the innovations and the building of factories, people moved into urban areas to find jobs. People were often subjected to cramp overcrowded housing, modest wages, and dangerous working conditions. The social distinctions became increasingly apparent as the rich thrived, the middle class increased, but larger population of poor mainly stayed poor. With the
Before the Industrial Revolution of 1780, the majority of people lived in rural areas, relying on their own labors of the land for the supply of food and shelter. Many people could profit from weaving, wool, cotton, and flax into cloth or linen with the use of the Spinning wheel. However, it was a slow and labor-intensive process. The invention of the Spinning Jenny by James Hargreaves in 1767 (Abhinav, 2012) and then the Water Frame Machine by R. Arkwright in 1769 (Jain, 8-1-2013) brought the ability to have a significant increase in textile production, by doing the work of multiple people in a much shorter space of time.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the late 1700s, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines. Industrialization marked a shift to iron and textile industries, along with the development of the steam engine, played central roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking. ("History," 2014, para. 1)
As the Industrial Revolution spread across Europe and America so too did jobs. People who had worked in rural areas were now leaving their homes to find some success with employment in the cities. Work was plentiful but workers were easily replaced and so had increased pressure to keep the job. Workers were required to work long monotonous hours, often beginning early morning and ending late evenings. Women and children were often used to work in these industries, leaving very little time for education or family life. The machines were often dangerous to operate and it was common for workers to sustain injuries or death. Ultimately, workers had little rights and in order to keep their jobs had to comply with all the...

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