Industrial Revolution: How Did the Industrial Revolution Transform Society?

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2. How did the Industrial Revolution transform society?
During the 1700's, manufacturing companies in Britain began producing goods in a completely new way that would soon spread across Europe and then across the world. Inventors built remarkable machines. New forms of power, such as steam, replaced the strength of human and animals. The factory system of making goods also came into use. All of these advances affected patterns of living as well as working. Because society was so transformed, this time of great change is known as the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought with it an increase in population and urbanization, as well as new social classes and an alternation in international balance of political and military power. The Industrial Revolution also helped ordinary people gain a higher standard of living as the widespread poverty of the pre-industrial world was gradually reduced.

Between 1760 and 1881 many cities in Britain exhibited spectacular growth (British Pop. Moves to the Cities). The Industrial Revolution created two new classes, the capitalist and the working classes. The capitalists were the masters of the industries, the managers of mills and of workshops, who collected great wealth, due to high profits made. The working class however was a mere tool in the factories to carry out the profits. As a result, the gap between the rich and the poor just kept on widening. England grew very wealthy on the financial credits of industrialization. It became a leading country, in the field of industry, trade, commerce and finance. The working class, which included the men, women, and children laboring in the textile mills, pottery works, and mines, were the ones who should have been credited England's success.

Before the Industrial Revolution, the spinning of yarn and the weaving of cloth occurred primarily in the home, with most of the work done by people working alone or with family members. This lasted for centuries until the...
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