Before the industrial revolution, humankind operated comfortably within the restrictive confines of human-driven innovation and capabilities. The industrial revolution brought along with it a thirst for effective solutions to problems that faced the economy and its commerce framework. The industrial revolution changed the entire outlook and perception of everyday life for humanity for the better through creativity and innovations. The Industrial Revolution primarily began in England around 1733 with the first cotton mill. Through that invention, a more modern world emerged being flanked by new inventions that ultimately led to factories following the meteoric rise soon after. The improved solution to common industrial challenges brought about significant changes in several facets of human life that include its agricultural capabilities, commercial production or manufacturing and technological advancements. These three aspects of the industrial revolution do not extensive cover the whole impact of the industrial revolution but they could serve as perfect examples of the impact of industrial revolution on human existence. Consequently, the industrial revolution warrants the need for a critical scrutiny looking to ascertain its importance or value to humanity in that period as well as the long term. The following essay is an explorative essay that discusses the influence of the industrial revolution on humanity and ultimately reaffirming its importance to the current state humanity.
Ways in which the industrial revolution merited being revolutionary
The industrial revolution was revolutionary because it essentially acted as the pioneer event for change in several facets of human existence. During this period in history, the population in the cities began to grow exponentially. The factories sprouted up everywhere each seeking to outdo the rest of the competition through innovation and creativity. A classic example of this is the general outlay of people working on farms, but it became hard to compete with big farms consequently, some of the people moved to the cities to work in the factories. That period of industrial revolution is marked by symbolic changes that ranged from the use of hand tools and handmade items to products exclusively and superbly produced by cutting-edge machines. Due to the presence of effective and efficient machines workers improved their levels of productivity ultimately leading the production of more items. The increasing number of goods produced by such innovations inherently led to price drops for certain goods and services. The Drop in prices o goods produced for commercial purposes made it exclusive and hard to produce and avail goods to the rich or elite society members but also the poor.
From an agricultural point of view, the industrial revolution was a blessing in disguise considering the amount of change brought forth by the changes and the subsequent advantages wrought upon farm owners. One of the most significant inventions which marked how revolutionary this period was to the history of humanity is the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 by Eli Whitney. Initially, the absence of such a machine considerably reduced production of cotton as farms overlooked the potential of the cash crop due to its seeming inability to draw out maximum profit from the target market. However, the invention of the machine brought unparalleled changes in the need for cotton based on the availability of the machine that could exponentially speed up the use of cotton and draw profits for cotton farmers all over England. The new demand for cotton led to higher demand for labor from cotton farms which innately led to a new urgent need for slaves to work in the cotton farms in order to satisfy the emerging needs of the cotton market.
By virtue of this example, the industrial revolution was a key moment in history that significantly changes the trajectory of history. The period was revolutionary courtesy of the changes in brought such as the improved use of cotton which subsequently led to the increasing demand for the cash crop. The financial rewards for such an endeavor brought massive wealth for the farm owners who decided to produce cotton commercially at all costs include the extensive use of slaves in the farms. In essence, the cotton farms and other similar farming institutions set the ball rolling for future disputes over worker’s pay or compensation. The unfair working conditions and incomparable pay acted as the precedence for the need for civil rights movements that sought to improve the compensation culminating in the minimum wages and improved working conditions. In this regard, the industrial revolution was revolutionary for the amount of change it brought in the agricultural industry as evidenced by the changes in the cotton production and processing industry.
Commerce and mass production
Mass production was a relatively foreign concept before the industrial revolution which oversaw a sensational switch from subsistence farming and manufacturing to improved capacity production wise. While the invention of the cotton gin was revolutionary, the invention of the cotton mills by Francis Cabot Lowell led to a considerable growth and expansion of the American textile industry directly connected to the industrial revolution that began in England. Such an invention made mass production a reality for numerous companies in the US which were severely lagging behind compared to those in England. Such inventions enabled the production of cotton products for a wider target market which amounted to mass production. Similar inventions and innovative approaches led to improved platforms for producing essential goods at cheaper prices but in large quantities to satisfy the demands of the market at the time. This in itself was a testament to the revolutionary aspect of the industrial revolution and its impact on human activity.
The industrial revolution is extensively riddled with instances of human brilliance and creativity which directly in the creation of certain machinery that changed the demographics at the time. Apart from the instances mentioned above in this essay, another significant technological innovation was brought to the fore by Robert Fulton who invented a revolutionary transportation approach that would improve the transportation industry forever. He invented the Steam Engine which at the time would prove to be the fastest and the most effective transportation means in comparison to other alternatives during that period. The steam engine, the cotton mills and the cotton gins are examples of the brilliance of this period in finding creative solutions to challenges at the time. Technology played an integral role in the revolutionary aspect of the industrial revolution by providing the platform upon which much success took place. The revolution was successful due to numerous other innovations that are not part of this essay but this does not in any way undermine their value to this important period in history. Retrospectively, the industrial revolution changed the economic landscape by altering the profit margins and effectiveness of several industries at the time. The industrial revolution made economic sense at the time despite several negative outcomes that it brought along with its advantages to the human race.
Gains from the industrial revolution
The industrial revolution period brought significant changes to humanity; one of the most significant gains made from the period entailed the improvement in the textile industry. The invention of the machines that would enable mass production of cloths was essential to humanity and its continued presence still benefits mankind until today. That specific industry reduced the price of proper clothing for many individuals regardless of the financial status in society thus improving access to such goods. From an infrastructural point of view, that particular period brought forth much-needed improvements in the transportation sector. The invention of the steam engine was a significant improvement of the transportation system during that time, ultimately it led to further improvements which currently appear as electric trains that reduce the time consumed by commuters to significantly fewer levels compared to that time. In essence, this period acted as the blueprint of what today’s society hinges most of its facets upon.
Losses from the industrial revolution
The industrial revolution period brought much positive impact on society in an economic sense; however, the biggest loser was society through the social problems emanating from such. The industrial revolution drew individuals from rural settings to the vicinities of such industries in search of a better life and better pay. Ultimately, this led to congestion in those cities; this problem is still a problem for modern day cities which have to contend with high populations and limited resources. Apart from that, this period also limited the amount of time an individual spent with their family due to the need and prioritization of productivity over employment terms. The springing up of numerous industries inherently leads to the destruction of the environment thus this period represented an assault on the environment all for the price of increased economic productivity. The biggest loser, once again, was society as intimated by the arguments presented in this paragraph this is despite the seemingly extensive advantages brought forth by human brilliance at the time.
Retrospectively, the industrial revolution was integral to the course taken by humanity in the long run leading up until this moment. The revolutionary changes that took place during that time laid the foundation for almost every improvement and the successful transition made by humankind in the modern era. That period was revolutionary because of the changes, both negative and positive; it guaranteed mankind regarding all aspects of life. The period marked several advantages for humanity which led to improved quality of life but on the other hand, it brought negative outcomes through several instances. Some of these instances make up the discussion presented above with a view to affirming that indeed the industrial revolution was essential to the advancements seen in the modern day era. Consequently, this particular period changed the progress of humanity entirely through some of the innovative systems invented during this period. The significance of this period and its main protagonist is further underlined by various industries that currently rely on improved modification of systems and approaches invented at the time.