The Industrial Revolution was the transition into new manufacturing processes, which lasted from 1760 to the first half of the 1800s. Before the Industrial Revolution, most jobs had to be done by hand. Then, machines began to do many different jobs for people, including weaving textiles. Soon the Industrial Revolution spread from England to the rest of Europe and North America. The process of industrialization may be different for each country, but they had relatively similar social impacts, economic impacts, environmental impacts, and impacts on urbanization.
The Industrial Revolution had different processes and impacts between England and the United States. In Britain, the Industrial Revolution began because of the Agricultural Revolution. This revolution began because wealthy landowners were able to experiment with many different farming methods. This revolution led to more food supply, healthier food, and a growing population. The farmers who sold their land became factory workers.
The reason the Industrial Revolution began in Britain is because of the large population of factory workers and the country had an abundance of natural resources. The textile industry was the first to be transformed. In 1733, a mechanic named John Kay made a shuttle that went back and forth on wheels. This machine doubled the work the weaver could do in a day. Since spinners could not keep up with the weavers, there were cash prizes for people who could make a better spinning machine. Soon one invention led to another to the point where factories began being built. The progress from the textile improvements.
The first transportation development was the steam engine. The steam engine, which was primarily powered by coal, began the search for a cheap and convenient source of power and powered most forms of transportation including trains, steam boats, and cars. Soon the railroad was formed, which made transporting resources to factories and other locations faster and easier.
All of these inventions inspired the United States to go through an industrial revolution. The United States possessed the same resources as Britain. During the War of 1812, Britain blockaded the United States, which forced the United States to use their own resources to create their industries. The industrialization of the United States began in the textile industry just like Britain. After the war, the country went through a technological boom. The United States started using coal as a cheap source of fuel to power their machines. Each machine created inspired another. The steam engine was eventually added to their industry.
Railroads, boats and other forms of transportation began running on steam engines. Railroads played a major role in America's industrialization just like Britain. Railroads acted as a faster way to transfer resources across the country to factories and other places they needed to go. Corporations started forming like factories in Britain and started mass producing different goods. Compared to Britain, the United States went through a similar industrialization process.
The Industrial Revolution had many social and economic impacts. The Industrial Revolution led to a greater amount of materials wealth for more people. Because of this spread of wealth, food, clothing, shelter, and medicine became more widely available and affordable. It helped solve the problems of starvation and malnutrition in many parts of the world. The output and quality of the food increased drastically during the Agricultural Revolution.
This cause the population to increase due to the healthier food. Despite the rise in population, the chance of surviving childhood did not improve. Because of this, there were laws placed to keep children out of the workplace.
Woman began gaining rights due to events that occurred during the enlightenment. Before women's education was limited to domestic skills. They were not allowed to own land and had little to no power. During the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, woman because asking "Why can't we have the same rights as the guys?" The Industrial Revolution was when women began gaining their independence. Although women were now allowed to work in factories with men, their pay was considerably lower than a man's pay.
The husband controlled how much their wife earned. Working conditions were very dangerous during the Industrial Revolution because there were no rules forcing employers to keep a safe work environment. Factories were normally very hot due to the machinery and the machines weren't fenced off, which means the workers were exposed to the moving parts of the machines while they worked. Children were often hired to move between the machines because they were small enough to fit. The death rates in factories were very high. Later rules were made forcing employers to keep a safe workplace for the workers' health.
In addition, there were environmental impacts and urbanization. The factory system made cities possible. Factories and mass production led to a depletion of certain natural resources. This left the environment permanently damaged. One example of this is deforestation, which is the clearing of trees. The factories being built emit poisonous gases, which leads to global warming. The large numbers of farmers migrated to cities in search of employment. Many of these farmers became factory workers once they reached the cities.
The Industrial Revolution led to many advancements in technology. Although it had many positive affects on society, it had negative effects on the environment. The Industrial Revolution shaped the world as we know it. One could argue the world wouldn't be the same without the Industrial Revolution.
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