The Industrial Revolution that took place throughout the 18th and the 19th centuries had major effects which influenced every aspect of society and life such as, urbanization, imperialism and nationalism. The industrial revolution had an unfathomable effect on shaping the modern world to what it is today. Before the revolution, society revolved around farming and agriculture. There were only two social classes, the nobility and the working class. Little did they know, that their lives were about to change dramatically and continue changing for the next generations to come.
Urbanization is the movement of people to city areas. There are many reasons why urbanization occurred on a large-scale during the industrial revolution. The first, and most obvious cause is the high demand for workers in the cities to run the newly emerging factories. People thought that they would make more money working in the factories than working on their farms. Also, the Enclosure Movement which happened in England, forced farmers to move to the cities. Landowners closed off their farms and so small farmers lost their jobs and were forced to move to the cities to find new jobs. Rapid population growth also led people to move out of the smaller rural areas and move into the big cities.
When people got to the cities and found work, they were in for a huge shock. The difference between the lives of the business owners, or the entrepreneurs, and the workers was enormous. Instead of being divided on the grounds of nobility and the working class, they were said to be the “Haves” vs. the “Have-Nots”. The people who started factories and businesses in the industrial revolution, like Rockefeller, became immensely wealthy, while the workers who did all of the work, were heart tormentingly poor. The businessmen triumphed over the nobility and the aristocrats with what was called,”new money” as opposed to “old money”.
On the other end of the society scale, the working poor were working and living in unbearable conditions. There were no irrigation systems, running water or any way of preserving hygiene in the homes or the factories. The working poor lived in slums and tenements which were breeding grounds for diseases. In the book, “The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844” by Friedrich Engels, he states, “...at the end of the covered passage, a privy without a door, so dirty that the inhabitants can pass into and out of the court only by passing through foul pools of stagnant urine and excrement.” (page 78)1. This gives us a peek into the horrible unsanitary conditions that the working class were forced to endure while the business owners were living in beautiful mansions and summer houses.
Mortality rates were decreasing rapidly. This was not only an effect of the poor living conditions, but also of the high pollution that was being created by the factories. Without the proper piping that is needed, the streets which were already filled with trash, also...