Life before and after Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the late 1700s, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production. The iron and textile industries, along with the development of the steam engine, played central roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking.

While industrialization brought about an increased volume and variety of manufactured goods and an improved standard of living for some, it also resulted in often grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes. With the arrival of the Industrial revolution world experienced significant changes not only in textile industry, but in many other sections such as power system, farming system, transportation and communication system.

Prior to industrialization life was very hard everything was produced by hand, clothing was made from locally-found material such as animal hides and furs: nylon was not an option and cotton was not imported in large quantities. The main source of power was from wood which people used to warm their selves and cooked on fire. People lived in small towns and relied on the farms and had to use basic tool and their own strengthen to plow their farms or used animals to do the job.

That was hard for people to travel from one place to another the only transportation means were horses or simple ships, it took people days or even months to travel. The roads were small and rough. There were no cars or trains, communication was very difficult. News was spread by travelers and goods were only sold in their local areas. (“Why Industrial Revolution happened here BBC documentary.”)

In late 18th century for the first time the power of streams and rivers was used to mechanize the textile industry suddenly mills and factories were mass producing textiles and clothing and soon factories were not just making textiles, but furniture and other everyday items. The invention of the steam engine brought in a new source of power by using coal. The steam engine used fire to heat water and produce steam, which was used to drive. Eventually steam-driven machines were used to run factories which made work much easier.

By the end of 18th century greater number of people begin leaving their farms and moving to the cities to work in factories. England and America moved from being agrarian society to being industrial and urbanized society. Another big innovation was the assembly line production which enabled the factories to mass production and made production very fast and efficient. This enabled the prices to go down but, also made work dangerous and tiresome for labors.

The assembly line enabled factory owners to employ unskilled labors women, men and even children and easily fire and treated them miserably Besides all that negative impact of industrialization on poor working families good improvements were also made in other sections as transportation system improved, in 1820, a British engineer set up the world’s first rail road line it used steam-driven locomotive (“Britannica Encyclopedia.”) The new roads, helped people to travel easily to other parts of the country and also helped business owners to move their goods to markets more quickly.

The rail road building created thousands of jobs in several different industries; as result of that economy boosted and over all life improved for some people as many other discoveries and inventions came after each other transformed the world to better. The Industrial revolution came gradually and changed the way people lived by new techniques, new sources of energy, and new ways of farming and new methods of transportations. However, it happened in a short period of time compared to centuries before that when people worked completely by hand. Industrial revolution brought significant changes in the world. The basis of today’s technology was founded during this period of time.

It is almost impossible in today’s life to imagine how the world would be without all these advancements came with the industrial revolution. Life without machines, lights, cars, planes, phones would be unmoving and dull. But still some wish to live in the past, where people didn’t have too much stress. The more technology improved, the less people feel safe and have less peace of mind.

Work Cited

  • “Why industrial revolution happened here Prof Jeremy Black BBC Documentary.” YouTube, 2013.Web.23 March 2013. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiLwJpY4dFk>
  • "Industrial Revolution". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2013