How Did the Industrial Revolution Change the Urban Environment in Industrializing Countries?

Topics: Industrial Revolution, City, Urbanization Pages: 2 (598 words) Published: November 7, 2012
How did the Industrial Revolution change the urban environment in industrializing countries?

The Industrial Revolution was a period of time from the 18th until 19th century when significant changes transpired, and these changes contributed to the economic, social, political, and environmental conditions of that time. A major turning point occurred in the history due to the Industrial Revolution, which positively changed lifestyle in various ways. Opposing that, these changes damaged the environment in industrializing countries, leading to major issues. This purpose of this essay is to describe the several environmental changes that occurred in industrializing countries during the Industrial Revolution.

Urbanization occurred, starting in the UK, and then spread to America and different parts of Europe. The majority of citizens from the countryside migrated to town and cities, where they could find jobs in factories to support themselves and their families. According to Bulliet et al. (2009), London's population grew from 500,000 to 959,000 in a century, and then to 2,363,000 in the next 50 years. Similarly, New York City's population increased sixfold in 35 years, reaching 600,000. According to Merriman, an increase of 506,000 people occurred in Paris between 1801 and 1851 (p.577). Smaller towns united, creating megalopolises, including "the English Midlands, central Belgium, and the Ruhr district of Germany" (p.560).

This rapid increase had consequences: firstly, cities and towns became overpopulated, which worsened the pollution. In urban cities, a number of families shared small, cheap houses that lacked hygienic expectations. As more people resided towns and cities, water cycles slowed down, and as a result sewage and rubbish were thrown out of the windows to be washed off by water (p.560). Chemicals from factories were also eventually dumped into rivers and bodies of water, making it impossible to prevent water pollution. Quite commonly people...
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