Without the industrial revolution, our entire population would be living laborious, impoverished, pitiful lives. The industrial revolution was characterized by the agricultural revolution before it and the class tensions brought by it. Many have identified the industrial revolution as a mixed blessing, even though some of our simplest technology has come from the industrial revolution.
Even the communist Karl Marx affected the industrial revolutionAccording to Steve Kreis’s Lecture 17, “Man was going somewhere, his life had direction.” The agricultural revolution planted the seeds for the industrial revolution. The first “seed” is the enclosure movement. Wealthy landowners in Great Britain bought up all the land and rented it out to small farmers. Eventually, people began to experiment to find better farming methods. One of those methods was the seed drill invented by Jethro Tull.
The drill improved efficiency and decreased waste. Crop rotation is the second “seed”. One year a farmer would plant wheat on filed and the next year plant turnips or clover to restore the field. The field would also spend a year as a fallow, or empty, field. The third “seed” is improved livestock. Farmers started to allow only the best animals to procreate.
This caused the animals to double and sometimes triple in size. The key “seed” was the way all the “seeds” affected the population. The people had improved health because the food they were growing was healthier. The enclosure movement also forced small landowners off their land. They all crowded into to cities for the better-paying factory jobs.
Class tensions were a large part of how the revolution played out. Around the same time that farmer started moving to cities, Unions started to form. Unions are organizations that bargain for higher wages and better working conditions. If a factory owner refused to honor the demand union workers could go on strike.
The gap between employer and employee widened as Unions became more popular. By 1850, working conditions all over Europe were finally improving. Class tensions and factory abuse remained a significant problem for any country that experienced the industrial revolution.
Although many believe that the industrial revolution was a mixed blessing, I disagree. I understand that because of it children were sent to work and that animals’ habitats were destroyed, but I believe positive gains outnumber the negative. Without the industrial revolution we would not have any of the manufactured goods we have or modern architecture, or indoor plumbing.
Communism is “a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state” (Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006), or in Laymen’s terms everyone is equal.
At the time of the industrial revolution there are a lot of poor people and to those poor folks, being equal with the middle and upper class sounds amazing. Yet, to the upper class they do not want to be equal to the lower class. Karl Marx, through communism, would solve everyone’s problems.
One theory in particular is the dictatorship of the proletariat. The basic definition of the dictatorship of the proletariat is when the workers take state powers into their own hands and then they become the new ruling class and rule in their own interest. Karl Marx though forgot the details of how to implement them. Forgetting important details is called oversimplification.
The most significant result of the industrial revolution is the discovery of electricity. Almost all of the items we use daily use electricity or needed electricity to make it. Without electricity our hospitals would not be able to cure people. Before the industrial revolution we could not keep food without salting it heavily, but nowadays we can jut freeze it and eat it when we please. Without electricity our society would be primitive compared to our standards.
The industrial revolution had its roots in agriculture. It affected class tensions, as well. Also, while the industrial revolution is a mixed blessing I disagree. Karl Marx’s theory did not work because he oversimplified and forgot important details. The most significant contribution from the industrial revolution is the discovery of electricity. The industrial revolution will always be remembered because of its great effects on society and the economy.
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