Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Society

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Jonathan Hoffman
9/19/2012
1101
Impact of the Industrial Revolution on American Society
The Industrial Revolution, simply described as a widespread replacement of manual labor by machines, began in Great Britain in the mid 18th century and quickly spread throughout Western Europe and to the United States. By changing where and how goods were produced, our society transformed from mainly agriculturally based to one in which more emphasis is now put on industries and manufacturing. Goods that were normally produced in the home or small workshops now began to be manufactured in factories. With increased production on a much grander scale, productivity and efficiency escalated dramatically, reducing the costs of commodities for consumers, allowing for items that were once considered luxuries to be attainable to a wide array of the population. With this came a rise to the American standard of living since certain amenities were now available for a relatively low cost. As the average consumer began to spend more and more the American economy began to experience beneficial spurts of growth. Some of the biggest advancements in technology were in steam power. New found fuels such as coal and petroleum were vastly consumed and incorporated in steam engines. This transformed the manufacturing process of many industries such as the production of textiles and the transportation of people and goods across the country through America’s extensive rail road system. With advancements in new technologies also came mechanized farming. Farmers began using machines and other tools that made farming easier and more efficient. However mechanized farming also meant fewer farm laborers, thus causing many farmers to face unemployment. In desperate need of employment many southerners moved to the industrial north where growing cities promised work. Many farmers found appeal in moving to manufacturing centers because it allowed for unskilled workers like themselves to work on...
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