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Industrial Revolution In England And America History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Industrial revolution can be defined as a time when industrialization took place in a major way to leave impact to the society. This revolution began in England now known as the Great Britain around 1700s, and later made a great spread around the world. At this time, agriculture and textile became mechanical just as there was a revolution or change in power systems. The different changes in agriculture, textile and power hence lead to a great change in both social settings, economic settings and even cultural settings. (Mokyr 12)

From different sources, it is argued that industrial revolution made the factory systems to develop just as the modern cities around the globe today. At the time of industrial revolution, most people migrated to the large cities in pursuit of employment offered in the then new factories. Every individual at this time had the opportunity to be employed since the industrial systems lacked experienced workers. It was then followed by a massive positive change in technology and later increased production in industries. This paper seeks to show the industrial revolution in America around 1900s as well as the industrial revolution in England around 1700s.

Later the paper will compare and contrast the revolution under different time settings.

England was the first nation to experience industrial revolution, and hence it was named the industrialized nation. Before the revolution of industries, cottage industry was the main basis of the English economy. This means that merchants would sell raw materials to workers who would take it back to their cottages and make productions from home. (Berlanstein 45)

The industry usually was managed by one party or a group of people who were of a close relationship with the workers. This implies that the relationship between the worker and the boss of the industry was good until the rise of capitalism when this changed. This industry was quite efficient at that time even though it was associated with high costs due to low production. The products were of high prices due to the long time it took for workers to manufacture, hence deemed for only the rich.

The revolution began during the mid eighteenth century when the need for cotton in England rose. Workers tried to resist the change, but failed when they could not produce as much cotton as that required to sustain the economy in England. The inventions at this time were at first limited to cotton weaving but later the industry opened to other forms of inventions. At this time when machines were invented for producing cotton, capitalism also took on the rise. The wealthy bought machines that were used for cotton production and employed the poor people into their factories for processing. This change in production made the factory system to replace the cottage industry in England. (stearns 120)

The invention of factory systems later was followed by a change in the social set up, where government and social policies were changed. Culture was as well changed and its transformation took into different and unique styles that were new to the English. This means the English life with machinery had played a big role in the transformation of the English social life.

Technology was improved at this time when the English industrial revolution took to the use of electricity. Michael faraday helped the English to discover how electric current could be made and used. Electricity hence improved people’s lives, and it has been vital to the English people until the present times. Communication improved after the invention of electricity, thus information could be send from one location to another in the shortest time possible.

Beside electricity, science advanced in the sense that discoveries about different sources of power were made in the region. Medicine also took a new turn where all the infected patients could be cured. Darwin developed the evolution theory and also the social Darwinian Theory. In general, life in England changed during the industrial revolution and this gave life a different meaning.

Since industrial revolution began in England, it took quite some time before it got to America. This implies that the industrial revolution in America was brought about by most of the immigrants from England. The immigration occurred during the age of the great and massive immigration that took place around the early twentieth century. The immigrants together with their descendants were the main contributors to the industrial revolution in America. (200 Porter)

America was dominated by rural agrarian society which was transformed into and industrial economy, which was centered in its large metropolitan cities at the end of the late nineteenth century. Most Americans were brought up very large and isolated households as well as small towns that were connected to the outside world by horse wagons. This means that most towns and homes were self-sufficient in the production of food, clothing, and other essential necessities.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, this changed since there was a reduction in the costs of manufactured goods as well as their supply costs. This is due to the consumer revolution caused by consumer goods for both the households in the rural and those in the urban settings. Rail lines and highways made it easier for the goods that were not manufactured earlier to be transported to other places hence expanding the market for the producers. By the end of the year 1920, majority of the farms and households had access to telephones and automobiles.

The rapidly growing cities of America were more populated with immigrants and manufacturing enterprises at this time of industrialization. At the beginning of the twentieth century, most of the large cities were made up of immigrants and their children. This means that immigration and industrialization were correlated in the history of America. America’s industrialization took a fast growth rate because mineral resources were abundant followed by a lot of technological innovation and the evolution of the American system, Railroads and lowered transport costs.

From the American history, the twentieth century comprised of expansion of businesses as well as progressive reforms in the United States. Those who initiated progress focused on making American society a better and safe place to live in. the responsibility at this time included having the progressives clean up the corrupt governments so as to improve factory working conditions.

Industrial revolution in both America and England had similarities as well as differences. The main similarities between the two revolutions are that, Britain was the basis of both the American and English industrial revolutions. The American industrial revolution has its basis in England because it was started by the immigrants who came into America from the English continent.

Both English and American industrial revolutions had significance changes on the communication systems as well as banking systems around the world. The development of communication through telegraphs made it very easy for people to communicate and hence significant change in the system. The revolution within the industry led to the rise of banks and many financial institutions just as it led to factory systems that were dependent on the owners of the factory and managers. It is also at this time that economic policies were altered and the rise of capitalism within the economy took place. Governments were not allowed to interfere in private property, which is the modern day capitalism. In general, industrial revolutions led to the development of capitalism in the economy.

The living standards for many people were raised by industrial revolution since; there was increased production of factory processed goods in larger volumes. This change in production was of high and great significance to the middle class population as well as the upper class population. (porter and Teich, 340)

This also led to poor and challenging lifestyles for the people who belonged to the low financial class. The working conditions for industrialists deteriorated and became more monotonous while the wages became lower with time since most of the work was done by machines.

Laborers who were unskilled during the industrial revolution were easily replaceable, hence making their jobs insecure. Industrial revolution in both England and America brought about child labor, where, children were used to perform heavy tasks like cleaning machinery at very low wage rates.

Urban industrialized places were difficult to keep pace with since there were new arrivals on each day in pursuit of employment and skills for employment. In such cases, the urban places that housed factories and most firms were overpopulated. The rises in population hence, lead to increase in corruption and unwanted behavior among the residents like theft as means of survival.

Both industrial revolutions hold one very significant characteristic in common, which is that, the revolutionists ensured that the industry did not stop in the continent, instead, there was distribution to other places around the world. This is the reason as to why; industrialization is a major activity among all countries around the globe. All countries from the developed world to the developing world take industrialization as a very important activity towards its economic and financial stability. (Ferrante, 156)

The main difference between the industrial revolution in the United States and the industrial revolution in the Great Britain is the time difference. This is based on the fact that the industrial revolution in Britain took place in the late eighteenth century which is after mid 1700s, while the industrial revolution in America took place in the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, which is between 1850 and 1920.

Industrial revolution had some impacts that were very conspicuous to the society for instance it affected culture and the values that people held onto for a long time. Before the industrial revolution, people had the least possible interaction and communication with each other. This is because, agriculture was the main source of income, and farms were so much scattered in large areas hence making it difficult for interaction. After the rise of industries, the barriers between people were broken down when people started coming into large cities from the country and allowing room for interaction.

Time observation became a very important norm in people’s lives. This is because the days to work were no longer regulated by the sun, hence the invention of clocks at the place of work. The entertainment industry was also developed since people needed something refreshing when they left work, and this created room for further interaction. Family life took to a different turn where men and women had separate places of work, even though they both had to work. People had to cut family ties since they no longer worked in a family farm but in an industry that had room to employ people from different families and backgrounds.

Health conditions were worsened during the industrial revolution, since people began to live close to each other than earlier and no health measures were taken. The spread of diseases form one person to another was easy depending on how close the two parties involved stayed.

The industrial revolution had more impacts on the economic and social life of people. This is shown by the fact that, earlier before the revolution, men were the sole providers for their families which became different after the evolution of industries. Women also had room to work and the industries provided jobs that were well and best handled by women. This means that even women learnt to provide for their families besides men. In this context, women had been given the opportunity to have power as well as have an identity for themselves.

On the same basis, the increase in communication channels gave way to local identities and hence cohesion was realized between the people of one nation, which led to a national culture. This also happened in economic standards and the way for large corporations was easily paved for growth.

Before the industrial revolution, there were no classes accepted in America, but after the revolution took place the classes became more pronounced in society. The rich became richer and only associated with the rich, while the poor became poorer and associated with people from their financial class. In this sense, the gap between the rich and the poor people widened with time clearly showing the difference in levels of economic stability.

In conclusion, industrial revolution basically means the change of traditional industries from farming, and weaving to industries where factories were used for higher levels of production. It also means that human labor was highly replaced by machinery hence the chances of people losing their jobs to machines were high. This change in the industry took time between the late eighteenth century in the years 1700s and the early twentieth century in the years 1900s.

The industrial revolutions began in Great Britain and later went to the United States before it spread around the globe. This change in industry had different impacts in different countries, even though most of the activities and changes that took place at this time were similar from country to the other. From the essay, it can be concluded that the impacts left behind by the industrial revolution were diverse and wide spread. There were both positive and negative impacts on the culture of people as well as the economical status of the country. In general, the industrial revolutions in America and England had a major difference which is, they occurred at different time periods.


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