Industrial Revolutions vs. Political Revolutions in History
In considering whether industrial revolutions or political revolutions
have had the greater impact upon history, one must understand the true
nature of the question. Does it refer to instantaneous impact upon
society? Does it refer to one's perceptions of historical importance?
Does it mean to uncover which has made the most drastic change for
humanity as a whole? Surely each of these options is viable in
answering the question posed. However, neither "industrial revolution"
nor "political revolution" is the best of all possible answers for
these questions. Thus, one must consider the matter to a greater
In reference to the first question-the instantaneous results of a
revolution-political revolutions are more important to history. As a
certain history teacher at Delran High School pointed out, the
newspaper headlines of 1794 may be used as an example of this. What
did they read? The newest developments during the Reign of Terror, a
title assigned to a period during the French Revolution. No one sat
down to their breakfast and read about Eli Whitney patenting the
cotton gin, nor did intellectuals discuss it in their social clubs,
nor did monarchs and legislatures consider its ramifications.
Additionally, Britain, Russia, Prussia, and other major nations
watched the American Civil War with great interest, yet one doubts any
of them gave nearly as much attention to Cyrus McCormick's steel plow.
By these means, one must determine political revolutions more
important to history.
The second question posed asks of one's perception of historical
importance. This is a tricky way to assess something, by way of one's
perception, in most cases, however, with regards to history; one may
determine this by way of sheer gross of information. Which has more
time devoted to it in a non-specialized study of history (i.e. by
geography and chronology, rather than subject matter), industrial
revolution or political revolution? This again, is political
revolution. In studying history, one will repeatedly come across
seemingly endless sequential pages dealing with a single political
revolution. Any random person could name several such revolutions. Yet
this writer has been trying nearly in vain for quite a length of time
to recall great epochs in technology,...