The industrial revolution took place during the early 1700’s to late 1800s, which had a huge impact and transformed societies in Europe and America into more urban and industrial societies. The industrial revolution first started in Britain in the 1700s. The industrial revolution brought the mass production of goods in factories, which lead to changes in machinery and tools. Many people found themselves jobless due to the replacement of job positions to new machinery.
The advancement and development of the steam engine played a major role in the industrial revolution; it brought progressions in the transportation systems including new processes for road and transportation methods. These changes helped as a major role in society, and raised the amount of money people gained. With the higher amount of money, people were making the better standards of living for the middle, and upper-class people raised. The lower classes, on the other hand, suffered as a result of the industrial revolution.
The industrial revolution took place right after the agricultural revolution and brought agricultural processes that changed due to the new machinery and new farming systems. A reduced workforce and an increased yield reflected from the industrial revolution. This increased the amount of people that could afford to buy food to survive. The impact of the industrial revolution was brought prosperity and wealth to much of society. With more advancements, society saw an increase in money which in return supplied improved housing, schools, and healthcare.
Higher amounts of people were becoming educated which allowed for progressions in job placing and upper income. Overall living standards were higher, from physical well-being to structured housing, every advancement improved and created a healthier lifestyle. As we see in today’s society, those who are skilled workers tend to succeed and prosper and can control their quality of life. Artisans during this era were manually skilled and quickly adapted to using the new machinery that was able to produce goods faster and easier. Workloads and schedules were altered due to the advance machinery during this time.
Lower class people started working 12-hour days five to seven days a week in local factories. Many people found it difficult to adjust to new working environments and as a result found it hard to maintain their jobs. They had been used to working outdoors on fields rather than indoors in the factories where they had to use the new technology. Factory work was not the best work environment to be in. It was dirty and extremely dangerous. Treatment was strict and harsh. The pay did not correlate with the amount of labor that was put in. Pay was extremely low and hard to live off of.
Workers were forced to work extended hours. The government did not provide any regulations for treatment, so employees were working maximum hours in horrible conditions. Political and economic changes were some of the significant alterations during the revolution. One key source of income for the economy was traded. Being that the government controlled colonial trade, they made it their objective to control the countries resources. The status of women was also another social issue that occurred as a result of the industrial revolution. Before the industrial revolution, women were considered equal to men.
However, after the revolution women were given less skilled and lower paying jobs along with maintaining their roles as housewives. They were still expected to handle all house work such as preparing meals, taking care of the children, and keeping the home clean. Women also had no political or social rights outside their home. Crime rates began to rapidly increase during the upswing of the industrial revolution. Poverty and unemployment were increasing which lead many people to become desperate for money for survival. With the low pay rates people were reaching points that they felt they needed to steal or rob for money or food.
Overcrowding due to large amounts of people moving to urban areas for work was another reason for high crime rates. The more people that came in, the fewer jobs were open. Factory workers were also faced with the lack of job security. If anything were to happen to them such as an illness or injury, they could easily be replaced or laid off. Job competition was at an all-time high. Child labor was another major social change that came about through the industrial revolution. Many young children were expected to work in the factory to help with the family income especially if their parents were unable to work or were not making enough money.
The children were given jobs that the men were unable to perform such nas uniamming textile machines that were tough to reach or easier for a smaller person to achieve. This situation was extremely dangerous due to the lack of experience for the children and often led to serious injuries. The industrial revolution changed the way people worked and improved wealth amongst the people due to the introduction of new machinery and technologies. This lead to expansion and growth in the economy and improved material wealth. The middle and upper classes benefitted greatly and their overall lives, and wellbeing improved as a result.
However, the working groups of people continued to work hard in new fields and did not see as many benefits as those in higher classes. During the Industrial Revolution, many economists rose, but one especially brought a new outlook on the economy. Karl Marx had an alternative viewpoint to capitalism and believed in an alternative economy. He found that the government exploited the working class, by taking away their independence and their freedom in their work. He also believed the working class operated vigorously for lesser pay, making the factory owners incredibly wealthy.
Marx is commonly well-known for his criticism of the industrial revolution. He believed the gap between the rich and the poor was far too great and it was a direct result of the industrial revolution. The disparity in wealth was because of the upper classes owning all the land and factories. They would hire the lower classes and pay them much less for their work than they were making by selling their products at higher sale rates. He labeled the middle and upper classes as the ‘haves’ and the lower classes the ‘have nots. ‘ The ‘have not’s were demoralized by the profit was driven factory owners.
As stated before, the industrial revolution was very beneficial for middle and upper classes, but the lower classes continued to supper with the change. The division of classes was a major factor throughout the revolution. People from the upper and middle class strived to continue moving up in social class whereas, the lower class citizens found themselves stagnate and unable to move up while the wealthy continued to prosper. This resulted in inequality and was a major issue during these times. Many people become tremendously rich while others stayed in the same class or declined during hard times.