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Example research essay topic: Effect On Society Advances In Technology - 851 words

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Industrial Revolution fINAL The Industrial Revolution was a step forward for the world as shown by new advances in technology, new working conditions, and the revolution s profound effect on society. The Industrial Revolution during the 1700 s was a time of drastic change and transformation as Western Countries began using machines for mass production. The many advances during this time had mostly positive effects and the Industrial Revolution transformed government, industry, education and mans overall outlook on life. Many new discoveries, inventions and technology were a direct result of the Industrial Revolution.

In the early 1700 s, Britain s demand for cotton was high, but production was very low. In 1773, a British weaver named John Kay invented and perfected the flying shuttle, which speeded up the weaving of cloth. The invention of the flying shuttle paved the way for many more inventors. At first, many workers did not use machines for production, but soon factories discovered that these new inventions produced a quality product, faster, cheaper and more efficiently than the previous methods of production.

From new means of production came the development of the factory system and the iron industry. The new machines for production were far too expensive to be owned by the individual worker, so factories, run by waterpower, were established. Factories were built near rivers and brought large numbers of workers together under one roof. With the widespread use of machines in factories, more iron was needed to build them.

Impurities found in iron ore mined in Britain caused serious problems in the iron making industry. In the 1780 s, a man named Henry Cort invented the puddling furnace. With the puddling furnace, iron was reheated until all of the impurities were burned away. Cort s puddling furnace method produced better quality iron at a speed almost fifteen times faster than the previous system. The above, and many other, inventions led to mass production by means of factory labor (Perry, 492 - 493). Although the Industrial Revolution brought on more technology, wealth and power, workers lives took a turn for the worst.

Often times, children of factory workers would start factory work at a very early age. Factory owners and social reformers such as Samuel Courtland argued that No children among the poor are more healthy than those employed in factories (Spartacus). Children, much like their parents, worked unthinkable hours in very dangerous environments for very little pay (Perry, 495). Even today many child labor laws are violated as the widespread use of sweatshop factories in the apparel industry continues to expand. The risk was, and still is, death or injury on the job (Waren). In the time of the Industrial Revolution, most factory owners did not care enough for employees to be concerned with safety.

Workers often lost fingers or suffered more serious injuries due to a faulty machine. Since a factory worker s job was not very secure, injury would result in termination of employment (Perry, 495). With the growing disregard for factory workers came the formation of labor unions. Because the individual worker s needs were never heard, workers in many crafts came together to form unions so they could stand up against large companies. Worker s organizations were intended to represent the worker s interests and urge change by means of peaceful protest. Unions were often able to get factory managements to raise wages and improve working conditions for members (505).

Even though factory workers led difficult lives, the Industrial Revolution also had some positive results. The Industrial Revolution affected society in ways that are still visible in today s world. Europe experienced a large population explosion due to the Industrial Revolution. Some causes of the population boom were the availability of more food, a result of mass production and the factory system. New inventions and discoveries made during the Industrial Revolution resulted in improved farming and bigger harvests. The general level of education also rose.

By 1900, most European countries required children to attend school and in most of Europe, literacy had become rather common. With the Industrial Revolution also came a change in social structure. In Britain, large landowners were at the top of society prior to the Industrial Revolution, controlling most wealth and power. The distribution of wealth and power changed once industrialization had taken hold of most of Europe.

Successful businessmen, bankers and industrialists gained power and were soon at the top of the upper class not because of noble birth, but of their own hard work (Perry, 497). The Industrial Revolution was a step forward for the world as shown by new advances in technology, new economic theories, and the revolution s profound effect on society. The Industrial Revolution helped shape society into what we know today. The fabric of human behavior and social interaction was dramatically changed during the spread of industrialization. The negative effects of the Industrial Revolution were invisible to those in power yet all too obvious to those in the lower classes. Today, the effects of the Industrial Revolution, whether good or bad, are still evident in different societies of the world.


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Research essay sample on Effect On Society Advances In Technology

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