World History Honors
19th Century Industrialization
Industrialization economically and socially transformed an obsolete society. It brought a new system of trade and commerce, allowed individuals to gain affluence through aptitude rather than birth, and altered the cultural perception of family.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the late 1800s and subsequently spread through Europe and the United States. Britain had recently undergone an agricultural transformation that had mechanized many farm processes formerly done by hand, greatly increasing the efficiency of agriculture and harvesting while also greatly diminishing the number of people needed to work a slice of farmland. This pushed many now superfluous family members to find jobs in the city, giving fertile breeding ground for the Industrial Revolution.
Textile manufacturing was the first industry to benefit in the Revolution, with old hand-woven methods of construction becoming replaced by automated procedures that were far more efficient. Britain wished to protect its new corner on the market, and so jealously guarded all designs, machines, and processes related to mechanized manufacture. It was only through corporate espionage that the Revolution spread across the Atlantic Ocean and throughout Europe, bringing success and power with it. At first, textile milling was the only great trade of the Revolution, but it was soon followed by steel production. As textiles were once the sign trade of the modern nations, steel manufacture soon came to be the most profitable commerce available to those with Revolution technology. Old products could be renovated, new ones invented, and formerly complex goods made simple through use of the technologies provided through the Industrial Revolution.
Families displaced by the new demands of the Industrial Revolution began to re-evaluate the relevance of the ties holding them to distant relatives....