Positive and Negative Effects of The Industrial Revolution Essay Example 2


The Industrial Revolution in Britain during the 18th century was considered to be great but at the same time, faulty. To explain, the industrial revolution brought about numerous inventions that shaped the future of the world, such as the steam engine and telegraphs. But as these revolutionary ideas were starting to emerge, so were the manufacturing factories that came along with them. The factories were run by numerous workers and were located at the heart of cities, making the already packed cities even more packed. This rapid industrialization also caused the demand of plentiful workers for businesses. This demand separated the social order to newer classes, such as the new working class that emerged. The emergence of the working class during the rapid industrial revolution of Britain lead to the degradation of the working and living conditions retained by the workers, leading to the eventual transformation of the capitalist system by communist ideals.

How it led to the rise of the initial communist ideals

The rapid industrialization of Britain brought about the poor living and working conditions of the workers, leading to the search for a new social order, conclusively leading to the rise of the initial communist ideals. “In the last decade, the gradualist perspective has appeared to triumph. In economic history, it has done so largely because of a preoccupation with growth accounting at the expense of more broadly-based conceptualizations of economic change” (Burg).  Over the last decade, people started to believe that change came gradually and couldn't happen instantly. This is because people were concerned about growth while compromising the rapid economic change needed.

People were not used to the rapid change caused by the industrial revolution. People believed that change was gradual, but the urbanization brought about the bad living and working conditions as well as the factory lifestyle fairly rapidly. “The concept of class became a central organizing myth of nineteenth-century Europe. A narrative was constructed telling of the rise of the bourgeoisie and the working class's challenges to its hegemony” (Heller). The invention of this terminology in approximately 1830 cannot be explained simply by the structural social changes generated by industrialization. Eighteenth-century Britain already had wage laborers in artisanal trades, proto-industry, agriculture, and new factories.” (Magraw). The concept of "class" was brought about during the industrial revolution in Britain during the 19th century but the idea of classes lingered throughout history, for example, hunters and gatherers, kings, etc. During the Class formation in Britain, there was a significant rise of the bourgeoisie as the lower, working classes were forced into terrible living and working conditions along with autonomous schedules. 

Furthermore, “Commoners, for examples, had a high degree of autonomy in their daily lives. They had little political say in the affairs of their country, were exploited by the powerful, deluded by the Church and often lived in poverty.” (Pelz).  Commoners, aka the lower classes, led lives that were almost autonomous, and they had very little purpose in life as they had no say in government and lived in poverty. These conditions are perfect for creating a type of rebellion. The lower classes had no say and no representation, and all the while lived in poverty and hunger.

This sense of unequality brings about just the opposite as people start wanting equality, the main principle of communism. “Cheap special-excursion train trips were created, and the working class rode trains to the beach and resort towns for weekend and summer vacations. Affronted by the invasion of “their” towns by the lower classes, wealthy residents and vacationers complained fruitlessly about their lack of manners, poor clothing, excessive drinking, and generally indecorous behavior” (Farr). Many people were able to identify what class they were in compared to everyone else. They were conscious about where they were in society and only valued education for the benefit of social- promotion.

There was also no room to self-educate because doing so isolates themselves from their workmates and other people in their class. This created very little movement in between classes. People were stuck in the classes they are put in during the industrial revolution. They were also treated very badly based on the class they were put in. This coupled with the little to no movement between classes caused people to look for a different class organization, funding the ideals of communism. 

“In their wake, workers who had been classified as skilled artisans and legally empowered to regulate their own trade collectively now became individual wage earners, whose labor was a commodity to be negotiated and sold freely to individual employers in labor markets” (Sweeney). The economy and the occupations during the dawn of the industrial revolution saw a numerous working classes people struggle to transition into the factory working lifestyle. It offered many changes and people found it hard to adapt in to the system. The economy and the occupations during the dawn of the industrial revolution saw a numerous working classes people struggle to transition into the factory working lifestyle. It offered many changes and people found it hard to adapt in to the system. The bourgeoisie class oversaw the proletariat class during the occupation times. This served as a division between people, which brought about class formation.

The emergence of communist ideals

The endurance of the lower classes with the tolerance of the horrible conditions they were put in eventually ran out and led to the bad PR of capitalism, leading to the emergence of communist ideals. “the radical contention that the production and exchange of things necessary to the support of human life, the process through which wealth was created and distributed, was the root cause of social change and the political revolutions of the eighteenth century—stood much of the interpretation of the European past, embedded in Hegelian idealism, on its head. (Palmer). Marxism, the primary ideals of communism, was initially born through the political economy of Britain during the industrial revolution.

People valued materialism and there were numerous unfair working and living conditions within the lower classes, ultimately bringing about Marxism/ communism. “For Marx and Engels the mode of production was the motor of historical process. Its movement was impossible to understand outside of the necessary frictions and periodic clashes of a society divided into irreconcilable classes, primarily the new social strata, the bourgeois and the proletarian.” (Palmer). For Karl Marx, the mode of production, or the way of manufacturing at the time, was the train that chugged along history itself. It brought about the classes that we know to this day and created a demand for new social orders such as communism and socialism. From the time of its birth Marxism was inexplicable outside of the transformations associated with the rise of capitalism, a social formation defined by an accumulative regime driven forward by the extraction of surplus associated with the wage system and production for profit (Broadberry). Marxism and the ideals introduced by Karl Marx are mainly the product of Capitalism in its whole. The reason for this is due to the classes that form in a Capitalist economy. Private corporations require workers and they are always either lower or middle class. This class formation that surfaced ultimately lead to the search for new social order, where people discovered communism.

During the British Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the workers were pressurized to work in poorly habituated factories and poorly compensated jobs. The classes that were formed during this industrialization was the root cause of this. As the workers started to get more and more fed up, the search for a new social came in to play. The search for a new social order where everyone had equal rights and pay. The capitalist system founded by the industrial revolution only caused the emergence of new communist ideals.

Works Cited

Broadberry, Stephen. "British Industrial Capitalism since the Industrial Revolution." The Journal of Economic History, vol. 58, no. 4, 1998, pp. 1136-1137. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.kcls.org/docview/216455781?accountid=46.

Burg, Maxine, and Pat Hudson. "Rehabilitating the Industrial Revolution." The Economic History Review, vol. 45, pp. 24-50. JSTOR. Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

Farr, James R. "Industry: Economic Transformations." World Eras, vol. 9: Industrial Revolution 

in Europe, 1750-1914, Gale, 2003, pp. 145-148. Gale Virtual Reference Library, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3035400072/GVRL?u=kcls_main&sid=GVRL&xid=1d5498bb. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019.

Heller, Henry. The Birth of Capitalism: A 21st Century Perspective. Pluto Press, 2011. The Future of World Capitalism. JSTOR. Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

Magraw, Roger. Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire. Detroit, MI, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

Palmer, Bryan D. Marxism and Radical History. Detroit, MI, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. Encyclopedia of European Social History 1. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Accessed 11 Mar. 2019.

Pelz, William A. A People's History of Modern Europe. Pluto Press, 2016. JSTOR. Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

Sweeney, Dennis. "Labor Movements." Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire, edited by John Merriman and Jay Winter, vol. 3, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006, pp. 1283-1295. Gale Virtual Reference Library, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3446900451/GVRL?u=kcls_main&sid=GVRL&xid=f93aa688. Accessed 25 Mar. 2019.

 

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