According to in Chapters 19 and 20 of , the Late Agrarian period of the world began to shift to an age of Industry. The previous model of an Agrarian pyramid morphed into a hierarchal model highlighted by industry. The three pillars of networks, hierarchies, and cultural frames were categorized as “low and slow” during the Late Agrarian time period, but as time progressed and the world changed we can see that idea fading away due to technological advancements and shifts in the way global networking handled those new advancements.
Morillo makes an interesting comparison to start Chapter 19 when he relates industrialization to the creation of the alphabet, the correlation being that both only happened once. The world saw industrialization begin in the British Empire, and it’s here where we can begin to explore this major shift in the world.
“Britain was highly networked.” (Morillo 584) Before the industrial age began, Britain was clearly the most poised to be the culture to shake things up. They had the world’s largest and most powerful navy, giving them the best trade routes and foundational networking necessary to set traction in the global economy. England was far and above the rest of the world in the sugar industry, and the income due to this commodity created an internal economy in the country that proved beneficial to a working capitalistic society.
In that day, Britain’s political sphere was one that, if you had wealth, you had a voice in government as well. This made for a lightly regulated, business friendly internal economy. Therefore, businesses weren’t as negatively affected by the government as they would have been under a different hierarchy. James Watt, in his application for a patent on his newly invented steam engine found on page 94 of Sources, states “This method.
Mechanism, or contrivance…the sole use and benefit of which was granted to me by an Act of Parliament passed in the fifteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty.” This gives us contextual evidence that government and it’s policies were pro-revolution in terms of new ideas regarding industry. Britain spearheaded the rising industrial revolution, and now we’re able to look at this from a global perspective and the ways in which the world changed thanks to this major change in how the world operated.
Chronologically, Dr. Morillo divides industrialization into four separate phases. The first phase was from 1770 to 1870, and in this time period the nations of Britain, Belgium, and The United States (or New England, for that matter) saw industry rise in the areas of textiles, steel, steam engines, and weapon production.
The second phase, from 1870 to 1914, added Germany, Japan, and France to the list. This phase saw much of the same industry as the first, but with more emphasis on scientific advancement such as the field of chemistry. Phase three ran from 1914 to 1970 and was largely influenced by World War II. Countries like Germany and Japan that were essentially demolished in terms of their infrastructure had to be re-industrialized after the War, largely due to the US stepping in and assisting them.
This time period is often referred to as the “Second Industrial Revolution” because mass production of consumer goods began to take off. Morillo also mentions “light industry” building economic influence, entertainment industries such as movies, sports, etc. Phase four encompasses 1970 to the present day, and is mainly characterized by consumer goods, digital media, tourism, and service industries.
Figure 19.9 on page 592 of Frameworks gives us graphical proof of arguably the largest impact that industrialization had on the world: mass population. “Mass population was accompanied by and made possible by industrialization’s basic economic effect: mass production and consumption in mass markets.” (Morillo 591) During the past 300 years, the world’s population has exponentially grown more than it had in the total previous 10,000 years combined.
Due to this new spike in population, the already emerging global network system became much larger and access to different cultures and screen images became much more available. In terms of the industrial economics, the previously ‘low and slow’ system was replaced by a new system that had new sources of energy, new and developing technologies, and new ways of organizing said industry. In this we see the emergence of a new, capitalistic society and we can delve into its cultural effects.
“We put too much faith in systems, and look too little to men…All nations have been made what they are by the thinking and the working of many generations of men.” (Sources 109) This quote comes from the writing of Samuel Smiles in his piece titled “Self-Help” and it points to one of the fundamental beliefs of capitalism: that private business and the working man are what keeps a society on its feet. The industrial revolution saw the creation of the working and middle class, and its negative side can be seen in Figure 20.4 of Frameworks.
The picture shows a pyramid in which money sits at the top, suggesting that money is the overall authority in society. The tier below the money shows a king and other politicians with the words “We rule you” next to them, suggesting that they control how the money above them is dispersed. The next tier shows priests with “We fool you” written next to them, in a way saying that religious leaders were corrupt politically and used their influence to make the lower tiers feel like things are run in an honorable fashion.
The tier below them shows men with guns that could either be military personnel or police officers with “We shoot at you” next to them, asserting the government’s power over citizens in an intimidating way. The second-to-last tier shows business owners and wealthy members of society saying “We eat for you,” suggesting that the people who employ the bottom tier working class reap the benefits of the workers’ efforts.
The last tier shows the working class citizens holding up the entire pyramid saying, “We work for all” and “We feed all.” Essentially, this means that, without the ‘little guy’ doing the dirty work of the capitalistic society, the idea of capitalism wouldn’t exist because there wouldn’t be the basic manufacturing in the first place.
The Industrial Revolution was a time period in which the world vastly changed. Had it not happened, imagine what the world would look like without the huge spike in global population and how global networking would lack relative to todays world. Other major contributions include the development of capitalism and the working class, two areas of the cultural sphere that are vital to our world working smoothly today.