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Positive and Negative Effects of Industrial Revolution

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Depending on the view of people during the period of the Industrial Revolution, positive and negative effects were seen that directly contrasted each other. The Industrial Revolution was the time from 1760 to around 1820, and it was technological developments that made it possible to produce goods by machines rather than by hand that harnessed inanimate sources of energy. As it is seen from the definition, there were many benefits from this, such as mass production (leading to cheaper, and better quality of products), technology improvements (such as transportation), but there were the costs from this, including harsh child labor, polarization, and others. Many of the people who were using new equipment produced, see the Industrial Revolution as a way for us to improve the equipment and technology that has come to what we have now. Andrew Ure describes the children in “The philosophy of Manufactures”, that “they seemed to be always cheerful and alert, taking pleasure in the light play of their muscles” (Doc 3). The author takes the revolution as a place where the workers were able to enjoy life and gain their necessities from their working.

HE also believes that factories provided a better environment to the home, which meant that their house wasn’t ill aired, damp, and cold. “The Working Man’s Companion”, published in 1831 shows that there were “an infinite number of comforts and conveniences which had no existence” (Doc 4) before the revolution. Profit that was made, raised the economic side of society, and as Bentely in T&E states, the economic development became better in lands that were colonized by Europe. The high wages encouraged laborsaving technologies, and due to this, many places in the World including Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand were industrialized. A pamphlet describes that there are more people that have jobs, and these people (including kids) were well fed, clothed, and educated. This shows that the economy went up, as well as people were healthier, as only fourteen died “out of the 3000 children employed in the mills” (Doc 5). In 1881, primary education became mandatory in England from 5-10 year olds. Leon Faucher writes his ideas he sees at factories that “everywhere is to be observed a cleanliness which indicates order and comfort” (Doc 6).

He viewed this time period as a place where people had a comfortable working area with good clothing. One of the main positive effects that came from the revolution and has a tremendous impact on the world today would be mass production. The table showing the British Iron Production over around 200 years shows greatly that the production of iron had gone up by the 1900’s. Bentely from T&E makes an emphasis that the availability of inexpensive, high quality iron and steel reinforced the move towards mechanization. Mass production led to new innovations, such as weapons for defense and raw material. However, this is also an idea that could be seen as a negative effect, along with others. The revolution brings the negative effects such as child labor, lack of education, and a bad environment. William Cooper testifies that they worked for 11 hours, and “had no time to go to day school” (Doc 1). They could read, but not write, showing that their knowledge wasn’t that strong.

Bentely also writes about this idea of child labor, and that the children were taken away from parents for long hours and few breaks, giving them a tough, strict society to live in. Joseph Hebergam testifies about the environment in general, as an area with “dust in the factories” (Doc 2), which led to illnesses or deaths. Health problems were huge because from the overwork stress, people had damaged lungs, non-functional leg muscles, and can’t support their own weight with their bones. Written from the perspective of someone who was working at a factory, it was seen as a bad environment that made people very sick. Leon Faucher also describes the negative sides in his excerpt, and writes, “the soil did not yield sufficient food for the inhabitants” (Doc 6). He is trying to say that with bad food, it can lead to economy damage with people needing to pay more for food. Friedrich Engels describes the city as the slum areas to be an area of struggle. He describes “the streets [were] usually unpaved, full of holes, filthy, and strewn with refuse” (Doc 7).

The garbage filled area of the minority show that there was a huge gap in the social classes and that the minority were in a very bad environment. However, there was the positive view to this as well, which was why it was hard to see which statement was true. There are both the negative and positive effects that have changed the world differently from this revolution. Mass production has been seen as a positive idea from these documents, but the production of weapons can be a negative aspect, as this is the reason war and terrorist attack occurs in the world today. From some places in England, and other industrialized places, the environment could be seen as good, where there were no more ill aired areas. From the other areas that have been industrialized, it can be seen as a bad environment, where there was a lot of dust and an area causing diseases and injuries. However, without the Industrial Revolution, we aren’t able to have many of the advancements in our life, such as the main idea of technology. Some of the things we have now in Japan come from the success in the Industrial Revolution.

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