Industrial Revolution is regarded as a very important period in human development which occurred in the period towards the end of the 18th century stretching to the 19th century. Industrial revolution is said to have begun in the United Kingdom and later spread to other parts of the world including the rest of Europe, North America amongst other parts of the world. During this period there were major transformations in the agricultural sector, transportation, and manufacturing among other spheres of life.
These changes were to have profound impacts on the social, economic, and cultural life of the people in Britain which was the cradle of the revolution. This paper shall examine the central ways in which the Industrial Revolution changed the western societies. Impacts of the Industrial Revolution The inception of the Revolution is regarded as a crucial turning point in the history of mankind as it led to alterations in virtually every aspect of life.
The Revolution started towards the end of the 18th century when there was mechanization of the textile industry, emergence of new iron making skills, and an increase in the utilization of polished coal. There were improvements in the transport network which facilitated exchange of goods and services. Generally, a growth in various industries was witnessed and manual labor was replaced by mechanization which led to increased production . The textile industry was among the first to feel the impacts of the industrial revolution. The invention of the cotton gin in 1794 brought efficiency in separating of cotton seeds from fiber.
The discovery of the sewing machine in 1846 further revolutionized the textile industry as the making of clothes moved from homes to industries. Apart from the impacts of the industrialization on the domestic industries, the revolution led to increased productivity in the farms due to mechanization of agriculture. With increased productivity in the farms, industries cropped up and individuals clustered in particular regions working in the industries or engaged in trade. This eventually led to the development of towns and cities .
Advancement in technology during this period led to the growth of capitalism as the owners of the means of production grew richer. There was an increase in the economic growth which was due to the new technologies of the industrial revolution as seen in the doubling of the UK’s purchasing power and a rise in the total national income during the 19th to 20th century . The revolution also brought about changes in the country’s political structures in Britain as capitalists begun replacing the land owners of the agrarian period to become influential in the country’s economic and power structure.
There were also alterations in the working conditions as factories provided the workers with poor working conditions. These included poor ventilations, overcrowding, child labor was on the rise, and individuals were poorly paid and worked under dangerous and unsafe environments . The laborers were paid less wages that led to development of slums since they could hardly afford decent housing. The workers were generally working under extreme conditions which forced the government of the day to pass legislations that would govern the interests of the workers.
The workers also initiated efforts that resulted in the creation of trade unions which agitated for their interests . The Industrial Revolution also led to developments in the transport and communication sector. Several inventions led to the efficiency in this sector as road networks were improved, water transport boosted through the invention of steam engines, and communication made easier especially with the discovery of telegraphic machines.
Railway transport was also developed and this eased the transport of bulk goods, products, and raw materials to the industries . Conclusion There is no doubt that industrial revolution was a defining moment in human history. There were great advancements and innovations that were aimed at making life more efficient at the same time increasing production. Though the revolution came up with its challenges, it remains to be a crucial part of human history as it totally revolutionized the world into a new order.
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