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Western Civilization The Industrial Revolution History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Now, people can wear different kinds of dresses, which were made of advanced materials; now people can talk to each other even though they are in different countries; now, people can spend the least time and bankroll to get the most efficiency; now, many things are changed, many people’s mind are progressed. As a whole, all these development cannot help but contributing to the industrial revolution. Under the development of the industrial revolution, the world is changed. This paper will introduce the readers how does the industrial revolution begin, how does the industrial revolution develop, and how does the industrial revolution influence the world. Please remember the past steps while people are amazing today’s technology.

If people want to learn and study the industrial revolution, he must know its occurring background first. Industrial revolution belongs to the Western civilization, so, people can see it started from Europe. There are some important reasons to explain why the industrial revolution occurred in Europe.

First of all, “The Age of Enlightenment not only meant a larger educated population but also more modern views on work.” [1] Because of the enlightenment, many people are free to get education; also, their thoughts are released. Therefore, more and more people learn to read and write. Later, people’s mind are changed, they began to look for a better life for themselves; they

began to build factories to earn more money. In short, the enlightenment released their thoughts and their thoughts led to the occurrence of industrial revolution. Second, Europe is a place, where they are very open to accept the new ideas, thoughts, and inventions. Different from the oriental nations, the countries in Europe have the faster speed to experience the old economic and political system. However, in the East, especially China and other Islamic countries, they are still keeping the centralized government. Moreover, during these Europe nations, England is the best conditional country to begin the industrial revolution. “The debate about the start of the Industrial Revolution also concerns the massive lead that Great Britain had over other countries.” [2] There are also some important reasons to explain that.

First, “England is the stable economic, social, and political stance of the country.” [3] As people know that, England experienced several royal wars and civil war, its political system is stable gradually. Especially, they get rid of the very old and laggard feudal system. Second, England already set the position of “the emperor of the sea” before; therefore, it has a good control and force a strong military on the ocean transportation and trade. For any countries, as soon as they have a convenient transportation; it is easy for them to go abroad and grow.

During seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the fist industrial revolution was occurred in England. And there are three major materials, which lead to important industries, which also becoming the shinning starts in the first industrial revolution: cotton, coal, and iron.

In terms of cotton, it leads to the textile industry. In the early 18th century, England’s textile manufacture depended on wool and cotton. Even they are good materials to be used, but according to the needs of the market, they were difficult and slow to process; therefore, there was not many output production. However, with the development of all kinds of spinning wheel and spinning machine, the production was improved effectively.

In terms of coal, it is the symbol of the industrial revolution. Because of the production of coal, the industry of steam power grew quickly. “The improved steam engine invented by James Watt and patented in 1775 was initially mainly used to power pumps for pumping water out of mines, but from the 1780s was applied to power other types of machines.” [4] 

Finally is the iron. It leads to the improvement and development of transportation. At the same time, the development of the textile and metallurgical industry also lead to the improvement of transportation. The railroad began to build; it was more convenient to transport the goods to each country. In addition, transportation aids in the contacts among countries. Country related to country, the world became small.

After the first industrial revolution, people began coming into the “period of steam power”, “period of iron”, and the “period of railroad”.

The industries after eighteenth century already grown stability and England always stays in the position of leadership. Later nineteenth to twentieth century, the second industrial revolution began, and America and Japan took the way of leadership. And in this revolution, “the newer innovations and technology appeared in the form of steel, electricity, chemicals, and internal combustion engine.” [5] 

After the year of 1870, most of the industries were affected by science. Iron was replaced by steel, because steel has harder characteristic; the development of the electricity changed people’s life. With the invention of telegraph, telephone, and radio, the communication between people and people became more and more convenient. Even they are in different countries, just press several buttons can solve the problem of contacting. ” [6] Electricity’s important use a source of power for generators, alternators, transformers that lighted cities and factories replacing dangerous webs of transmission belts.” Especially, the invention of telephone and the electric light, making an important milestone in human history.

In the field of chemical also has a great development during the second industrial revolution. “Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor of stabilized nitroglycerine, the first practical explosive, felt such remorse at the military uses of his product and the wealth he gained from it that he established the prize-ironically including one for peace-that bear his name.” [7] “In the field of engine, the usage and invention of internal combustion engine help to improve the efficiency a lot. Nicolaus Otta invented the first internal combustion engine, ran on coal gas and then change to gasoline to power later.” [8] 

The second industrial revolution brought more technology to people. Particular, these technology and invention have a close relationship to people’s life. It improved people’s life quality and level, had people contact with each other faster and faster. The world became smaller and smaller.

The industrial revolution brings many problems while it is benefiting people’s life.

On one hand, it improves the progress of people’s material life. Industrialization prompts the complete and maturation of the world. “The great development of the modern economy, the successful achievement of modern science, the spread and improvement of the modern education, and the constantly change of people’s living style, all of these providing the firm foundation for the prosperity of the modern culture.” [9] It prompts the development of Capitalism. In industrial revolution, factories replaced the traditional group working style; it results in the appearance of

two new group: bourgeoisie and proletariat. It prompts the urbanization. Industrial revolution had the limited ground can feed more people; it stimulates the increase of the population in Europe. There are more and more people moving to the city, therefore, the western society urbanized gradually.

On the other hand, the industrial revolution brings problems. There are more and more people moving to the city, under the pressure of competing, many workers face the problems of no job or losing jobs. Even people in urban get rid of the poor countryside life, they become the sacrificial lamb of capitalism, which they are living a poor life. In many cities, where there are many population there, result in clearness, housing, and committing problems.

Industrial revolution as a turning point in human history had a deep influence to the world. The world becomes smaller and smaller, and the relationship between country and people become closer and closer.


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