The Era Of Social Reform Essay

1570 words - 6 pages

The Industrial Revolution was a period of in which fundamental changes occurred in agriculture, factories, mining, transportation, machinery, economic policies, and in the social structure of England. Industrialization began in Great Britain and it was a major turning point in history. It changed the way countries produced its goods. England turned into an agricultural society to an industry and manufacturing society. During this era, there was a huge impact on the growth of cities, employment of skilled and unskilled workers, the role of women and families, and laws and national policies.
During this time, there was a great advancement with technology and along with it came the growth of cities. The growth of cities has been seen as a consequence in the Industrial Revolution. Before this era, many people lived in farms or small villages working in agriculture. They would do everything by hand. However, with the occurrence of the Revolution everything changed. The new enclosure laws, which allowed farmers and landlords to fence their fields at the owner’s expense, had left many poor farmers bankrupt and small farms disappeared into large estates. Charles “Turnip” Townshend introduced crop rotations that restored nutrients to the soil, allowing for greater yield and scientific breeding to improve the quality of herds. The result was an increase in productivity with fewer agricultural workers (Robert Edgar Pg.535). This caused more people to leave the farms to work in the factories. Also, the introduction of new machinery that produced greater amount of output made many workers redundant. As a result, many people that lived in farms journeyed to the city to look for work. This required them to move to towns and cities so that they could be close to their new jobs. There were four other primary factors for the growth of cities, a decline in death rates, better medical care, an increase in the availability of food, elimination of the dreaded plagues and better sanitary conditions. The population grew so rapidly, it increased 130 percent in 1800 to 1910 (Robert Edgar Pg. 667). This led to the observation of Thomas Robert Malthus to forecast a tragic future of massive famine on a global scale. In his “Essay on Population” he states “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man” (Malthus Ch.1). In other words, human reproduction would outrun the earth’s ability to produce food. He believed that population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio while food production increased only in arithmetic progression (Malthus Ch.1). This led him to conclude that the fate of humanity would be misery. But he did not conclude that Europe would keep up technological advancement and agricultural innovation, and therefore, the population growth would keep up with the supply of food.
Men worked in factories and coal mines for long hours making little pay. Living in urban...

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