Assignment 3: Environmental Issues and the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, which took place in the 18th to the 19th centuries, was an era during which essentially uncultivated, rural societies in America and other countries became industrial and urban. Before the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain during the late 1700s, construction was mostly done by using hand tools or basic machines. Mechanization marked a shifted to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production.

The iron and textile industries, onward with flowering of the steam engine, played important roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking. While industrialization helped boost volume and many of manufactured goods and a better way of living for some people, it also resulted in much terrible employment and living conditions for the poor and working class. Modernized agriculture, textile, coal and iron production changed the course of history throughout the world.

Despite the fact that the benefits of the industrial revolution are numberless, it also created its own contribution of environmental issues. From pollution of air and water to the reduction of the ozone layer, after centuries later, we are still finding out the full weight and damage that the industrial revolution has caused. As our knowledge of our impact on the planet and the growth of our environment, we are still continuing to take steps to back track the damage. Beginning in the 1970s several laws were enacted.

Out of the movement came the “Clean Air Act” of 1970 and the “Clean Water Act” of 1972. The Clean Air Act is the law that most significantly regulates air quality in the United States (Clean Air Act, United States, 2012). This act has been an active effort abaft changes in emission standards in the auto, airline and utility industries (Clean Air Act, United States, 2012)o. Since those laws were in acted, more legislation has been enacted in the United States with the goal of continuing to protect our environment.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the water of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters (Summary of the Clean Water Act, 2014). The

Clean water Act made it wrongful to release any pollutant from a point source into open waters, without permission to do so. Even though the laws have been set up, enforcement of said laws has been lax. Although the Industrial Revolution precisely assembled the world we live in today, if we correct the mistakes in the past, we won’t have a world tomorrow. These Acts are still in effect in my state but not everyone follows. More people are dying from second hand smoke, which come from smoking of tobacco products. Some places need to be smoke free such as public parks and family areas. Most hospitals in my city are smoke free areas and that’s great.

As far as water pollution in my state, everything isn’t all that perfect since Hurricane Katrina. While the industrial Revolution brought businesses to life and many people were able to get jobs, the cities became crammed with waste. Coal overwhelmed cities in so much some that harmed the lungs so thousands of people and ravaged the ozone layer the ozone layer.

With all chemicals that come from plants being ran into the water caused water pollution and in the 20th century it was discovered that those pollutions lead to disease like cholera and typhoid. Not only was our air and water destroyed during the Industrial Revolution but the landscape of cities were reshaped.

Each of these pollutants not only killed thousands of people but they also made the world comprehend what destruction can be done by using natural resources could do to our environment. Coal was a cheap energy source and was generally used in homes for cooking and heating but since the Industrial Revolution it became a very cheap fuel source for trains and other things.

By the 1890s, the coal industry stretched from the Appalachian Mountains, across the Midwestern prairies, to the Cascades and Rockies, making the United States the largest coal producer (teachinghistory.org, 2014). Coal’s impact was typically powerful in the industrial sector.

Poor people were forced to buy dirtier and cheaper coal, while wealthier people regularly enjoyed the perks of coals-derived assembled electricity and gas. The iron industry began in areas where there were lots of forests since it was cheaper to use wood to make fuel such as charcoal. The textile industry played a major role during the Industrial Revolution as well. The demand for cloth expanded and many merchants were in competition with one another for supplies to make their living.

By everyone in the textile industry being in competition, it was hard for consumers because the products were sold at a higher price. The solution to fix this problem was to start using machines, which was cheaper than items made by hand, which took more time to than it would by a machine. Francis Cabot Lowell set up the first American textile factory in 1813.

References Clean Air Act, United States. (2012). Retrieved from The Encyclopedia of Earth: http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151129/ Summary of the Clean Water Act. (2014, July 23). Retrieved from United States Environmental Protection Agency: http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act teachinghistory.org. (2014). Retrieved from Coal and the Industrial Revolution: http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/beyond-the-textbook/23923