The Industrial Revolution is a major factor in why our nation is like it is today. We are a nation formed under capitalism, and the industrial revolution was the epitome of capitalism. It was the start of big business, big cities, and big pay checks for some. A lot of good things and some bad things came form the revolution. It seemed that a positive usually went hand in hand with a negative. For instance the use of mass production gave us products quicker and more efficient but it lead to unsafe working conditions and child labor. Also the revolution made some people very rich but the change to the city nearly wiped them out. Even though there are pros and cons to many aspects of the revolution I believe that over all the Industrial Revolution was a positive thing; with the improvements in technology, new inventions, and the growing idea if you worked hard enough you could succeed.
The revolution gave us inventions that, “…a century ago the boldest imagination could not have dreamed (George)”. Lead by the minds of Bell and Edison our nation began seeing invention that would let people live more comfortably, more efficient, and easier. Edison provided us with such luxuries as the telegraph, light bulb, storage batteries and the motion-picture camera and film. Bell was the first to come up with the telephone. These inventions, along with the sowing machine, are still used today with a few improvements.
There were other technological achievements as well. The Bessemer Process would strengthen our iron ore to steel. Other things such as, “…bottle and glassmaking, canning, four milling, match production and petroleum refining” were many examples of how the revolution was improving the old and showing was what we can do. All of these helped improve businesses, the way of life, and helped strengthen our nation.
With all of these new inventions and technologies factories and mills started to boom. Machines were improving so well that they only needed unskilled to keep them running. This use of unskilled labor provided many jobs for the farmer coming into the city and the new immigrants. But they were not the only ones working in the mills and factories many women and child were working on the same machinery. The new factories were great for pumping out products faster, more efficient, and of a better quality, but the dangers of the factories were becoming to harmful. Their days were long and hard mostly 12-hour workdays with low pay.
Many children were getting hurt because they were careless and inexperienced. Due to the long hours of the same work people started developing, “…round-shouldered, in other cases producing curvature of the spine and bowlegs”. Many of the people working in the textile mills would be inhaling the fabrics causing health problems. Unions began to demand safer working conditions for the employees. With the help of the unions conditions began to improve, working hours shortened, and the amount of child working began to lessen. The use of unions is still prevalent today protecting the everyday worker from abuse from their job.
Andrew Carnegie made a good point when he said, “We accept and welcome…the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of the few…as being not only beneficial but essential to the future progress of the race”. With stories like Andrew Carnegie’s starting as a telegrapher and becoming one of the richest men in history gave people that hope that it could happen to them. The thought of the American Dream, working hard, climbing the ladder, in hopes of making it big was key to the Industrial Revolution.
It spawned a group of entrepreneurs, they were people who worked hard, took chances, and tried new things in order to make it big. It was these people who took the chances to make the money and build the huge corporations. It was because of that group of people who saw that there were people out there that couldn’t make it on there owns so they donated large portions of there money to open libraries, schools, and organizations, that are still around today, to help those people.
A lot of things happened during the Industrial Revolution. Some people got rich and others almost lost everything, great things were invented, and cities began to grow. Even though there were such things like child labor, abusive working conditions, and unsanitary living conditions we worked together and improved them. We formed unions, collations, and organizations to help the people who needed and to improve how things were done. With out the Industrial Revolution I do not know were our country would be right now, but I know this I probably would want to be there.
Courtney from Study Moose
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