Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
From the invention of the steam engine to growing industrial cities. Industrialization started in the mid-1700 and continues through today. Industrialization was a major significant change in shaping the world as we know it.
When you think about the various products we have today that are made in factories all around the world from cars to furniture it’s hard to believe it all started with coal and iron. Improved transportation, communication, industrial efficiency, better chemical manufacturing, it always comes back to coal. (John Green)
Industrialization started in Britain but eventually spread around the world. In the 18th century, it was discovered that coal could be used instead of wood for fueling purposes. Together with improved metal and a richer fuel came the invention by Thomas Newcomen of the New Steam Engine. This was a turning point in history. The steam engine was not the only effect that came from coal and iron but, in turn, the Steam Engine used them. Both coal and iron accelerated production which increased its demand.
With the new steam engines came Railroads and this would change the way things were moved especially coal and at much lower cost. Industries would start to build near these railways with a more efficient way to move their product to faraway places. In 1809 the first steamship set sail. These new ways of travel were a huge improvement from a horse and buggy.
Farming is one of the biggest changes, before the industrial revolution most people farmed just to keep people from starving, now today in the united states less than 1% of people farm. With the Industrial revolution it caused the product to be made more quickly and in turn created a bigger demand for these products. (John Green)
With the new demand for product the industrial cities were going up, so people started to leave their farm lives. People started to move to the industrial cities for work and this caused a huge growth in population. With this growing population, it led to unemployment for several and the living conditions were terrible, very dirty and was hard on the poor. The fear felt from these growing cities caused several revolutionary outbreaks from resentment and a hatred towards the industrial rulers. The Industrial Revolution did bring a much better economy for most people but the poor and the working class suffered the most.
One of the most dreadful things to come from the Industrial revolution was child labor. There were no laws in place for these businesses, so they would ultimately hire children. These children were from poor families and were sent to work the coal mines and factories as early as the age of 5 or 6. By 1850 the laws of England already begun to intervene to protect these children and women. (Roberts, J. M., and Odd Arne Westad, The Penguin History of the World, 6th ed. London: Penguin Books, 2014 Page 719-720)
The industrialization also had an impact on more than just material life. For the first time this new era of Industrial civilization there is not a formal structure of religious beliefs. Religion was the central belief of the people lives before. With new technology, new thoughts formed, and religious beliefs started to diminish. The building of new churches went up in the industrial cities and missionaries were sent to preach the word and try to appeal to this new kind of population. This was known as the Salvation Army. This non-religious era was something not seen before. (Roberts, J. M., and Odd Arne Westad, The Penguin History of the World, 6th ed. London: Penguin Books, 2014 Page 718)
The bad sides and effects of the Industrialization came poverty, pollution, waste and eventually with the new technology to make bigger and better guns lead to imperialism, nationalism, and eventually the Great War. There was also a lot of good that came from the Industrial Revolution. It made the production of products faster and more economical, improved agriculture, medicine, and science evolved. This allowed the people to become more educated. Women would become more independent with being able to work outside the home making their own money and providing a living for themselves and the family structure started to change. The technology was defiantly one of greatest things that happen for women. (Roberts, J. M., and Odd Arne Westad, The Penguin History of the World, 6th ed. London: Penguin Books, 2014 Page 869-870)
The industrial revolution was a time of change, growth, invention, and progress. It was also a time for hardship, poverty, poor living conditions and a high unemployment rate. There is no question that the Industrial Revolution paved the way for many of the things we use today but at a great price for many.