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The Industrial Revolution was a time of dramatic change and transformation, from hand tools and handmade items, to products that were mass-produced by machines. This change generally helped life, but also hindered it as well. Workers became more productive, and since more items were manufactured, prices dropped, making exclusive and hard to make items available to the poor and not only the rich and elite. Life generally improved, but the industrial revolution also proved harmful. Pollution increased, working conditions were harmful, and capitalists employed women and young children, making them work long and hard hours. The government, the arts, literature, music and architecture and mans way of looking at life all changed during the period.
Two revolutions took place, both resulting in productive but also dire consequences. The industrial revolution was a time for change for the better, or for the worse. Before the first industrial revolution, the workers productivity was low, making costs higher. The longer it took one person to manufacture a product, the higher the price. Subsequently, goods were high in price and exclusive only to the wealthy people. By the 1750 s, the Industrial Revolution had begun.
At first, inventions were strictly limited to cotton weaving. Inventions such as the spinning jenny and the water-powered frame, both of which provided spinning yarn faster, the spinning mule, the power loom and the cotton gin, all helped the manufacture of cotton goods by speeding up the process. Mass production had begun, along with capitalism. Capitalist, people who have their own materials, money and space, bought many machines and stored them in a factory, where hired people worked the whole day manufacturing goods.
The factory system had replaced the cottage industry. Mass production made usually expensive items, such as shoes, less expensive and easily affordable by lower class and less wealthy people. The quality of life had improved. In the 1800 s, inventions werent just limited to the cotton industry. Steam engines were invented, providing a faster mode of transportation, instead of the use of horses and carriages. With steam engines, cities were able to move farther away from rivers and sources of water, to start cities.
The second Industrial revolution proved more drastic, not only in inventions, but in social and government policies and reforms. Art and culture flourished and was transformed into many different and unique styles. The second industrial revolution utilized the power of electricity to help them develop their technology and help social and home life. Electricity improved life by supplying people with light, and electricity to power machines. Communications improved as a result of electricity. The telephone and telegraph were the first communicational devices that were for public use.
With the development of technology, radio waves were discovered. Now messages could be sent over long distances in virtually no time. Advances in Science were also made. The discovery of radioactivity by Marie Curie helped discover radioactivity as power source, but also led to the discovery of the nuclear bomb. Petroleum began to be widely used as an alternate energy source. Gasoline was also needed for transportation also changed from steam engines to the internal combustion engine.
The internal combustion engine made transportation faster and less public. A person could own a car instead of using public transportation. During this time, a new technology was born in the field of transportation. Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully completed the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk.
The air plane industry was born. Medicine before the 1750 s and in the 1750 s wasnt well developed. Once infection set in, nothing was possible to save the patient. Various diseases couldnt be stopped or controlled because of limited technology. In the 1850 s however, vaccinations were discovered and administered. X-rays were also discovered and provided doctors with a faster way of diagnosing medical problems.
Louis Pasteur discovered and fabricated a way to eliminate all germs in milk. Called pasteurization, this technique is now widely used on all milk. Life was drastically changed during the industrial revolution. People were living in germ infested, crowded and very unhealthy conditions, much like their place of work. Children and women labored in harsh conditions, working long hours with little pay. This sparked a rebellion.
People, especially wealthy capitalists, wanted the government to stay out of its issues, called the laissez-faire system. Many people opposed the laissez-faire system, saying the capitalists would gain too much power and people would be mistreated. The laissez-faire system was disregarded after a few years. This era introduced a rise of Socialists. Socialists were reformers who wanted to construct a better life for all people. Among them, Robert Owen, an owner of a textile mill, whose reforms reshaped the working class.
He raised pay, improved working conditions, and didnt allow children under 11 to work. Directly related to Owens reforms, crime and disease rates dropped and life improved. Marx, also a socialist, stated the class struggle, the conflict between the different classes of people, had an impact on the changes that occur in history. The Industrial revolution brought on more technology, wealth and power, but at what consequence? The people were living in filth, working unthinkable hours and being paid very little. The revolution shaped modern society to what it is today.
As Rousseau said, Civilization spoils people, but did people spoil civilization by implementing machines to do our work? In the last part of the 18 th century, a new revolution gripped the world that we were not ready for. This revolution was not a political one, but it would lead to many implications later in its existence. Neither was this a social or cultural revolution. This revolution was an economic one. The Industrial Revolution, as it knows called by historians, changed the ways by how the world produced its goods.
It also changed our societies from a mainly agricultural society to one that in which industry and manufacturing was in control. On the technology front, the biggest advancements were in steam power. New fuels such as coal and petroleum were incorporated into new steam engines. This revolutionized many industries including textiles and manufacturing. Also, a new communication medium was invented called the telegraph. This made communicating across the ocean much faster.
Along with this great leap in technology, there was an overall downfall in the socioeconomic and cultural situation of the people. Growths of cities were one of the major consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Many people were driven to the cities to look for work, in turn the ended living in the cities that could not support them. With the new industrial age, a new quantitative and materialistic view of the world took place. This caused the need for people to consume as much as they could.
The Industrial Revolution, was not a good revolution for the planet. From the time of its start, the factories and industry has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by two-folds. Also in our drive for consumerism, our planets natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. Pollution by nuclear waste, pesticides and other chemicals are also the result of the Industrial Revolution.
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