One positive aspect of the industrial revolution was that it paved the way for the inventors. A lot of inventors came to America during this time hence transforming the American society ( Kornblith and Gary 438)The inventors introduced new and speedy forms of production and transportation. In this essence, railways, transportation systems such as steam engines and roads were developed to aid in faster and effective transportation of goods and people. Additionally, advanced production machines such as cotton gin, sewing machines, and the loom were invented hence leading to a high and fast production of textiles in the textile industries. The production of more goods led to the rise of other requirements such as the need for communication, finance system and more labor. Therefore communications tools such as the telegraph were introduced through which people could pass messages quicker.
Another positive aspect of the industrial revolution is that it brought about the need for labor. More laborers were needed to operate the machines to produce the goods. This provided the society with different options for earning a living. Through working in the factories, the Americans were able to accumulate wealth and riches hence transforming their lives. (Lindstrom and Diane ). Additionally, the need for experienced laborers to operate the financial systems led to the establishment of schools. The government financed schools and passed laws mandating all children to attend school. Therefore, with no doubt, the industrial revolution led to a great enhancement and advancement of the American society through the introduction of jobs and education which enabled them to earn a living and refrain from their previous poverty states. Remarkable changes took place during the industrial revolution era which benefited mostly the middle class.
However, the industrial revolution was also associated with negative effects. For instance, the people who worked in the factories were exposed to adverse working conditions. Health and safety measures were not applied hence exposing the laborers to poor sanitation, unsafe and dirty working areas, long working hours and poor pay (Ashton and Thomas,).The unsanitary conditions led to deaths and the spread of diseases like cholera. The workers were mistreated and heavily punished by their masters, for example, women were raped while men were forced to work all day for small wages. The workers were also not compensated in case they were injured. Additionally, the factory system led to child labor (Tuttle and Carolyn). Children were recruited as laborers because they offered cheap labor.
Another negative aspect is that the Pollution from the waste and smoke from the industries was a big problem. The smoke from the coal led to environmental degradation. The open air vents polluted the air and led to low air quality. The people living in slums and nearby cities had to bear this all day which caused the lung disease and massive deaths. Their rivers were coal black due to the waste released from the factories to the water sources.
In conclusion, the industrial revolution and the current technological revolution have similar positive effects in that, communication between people has been made faster and easier. Additionally, many people have been employed to operate the newly invented machines and more advanced transport, and production mechanisms have been implemented for example electric trains for faster transport of good and people. Similarly, technology has also led to increased environmental pollution and degradation hence affecting people livelihood. It has exposed to diseases caused by radiation emitted from the newly developed machines.
Ashton, Thomas Southcliffe. “The industrial revolution 1760-1830.” OUP Catalogue (1997.
Kornblith, Gary J. “The industrial revolution in America.” American History 90 (2003): 437-461.
Lindstrom, Diane. “The industrial revolution in America.” Sidney Pollard (comp.), Region and industrialization. Studies of the role of the region in the economic history of the last two centuries, Gotinga (1980).
Tuttle, Carolyn. Hard at work in factories and mines: the economics of child labor during the British industrial revolution. Westview Press, 1999.