Explain the economic, political, and social consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution.

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Economically, the Second Industrial Revolution made the West into a major producer of the world's goods. Mass production allowed goods to be sold cheaply. People became employees rather than craftsmen—these employees were often treated as interchangeable parts of the machine. Business owners became very rich and they raised money by issuing stocks. People learned that they could increase their own personal wealth by buying and selling stocks.

Socially, the Second Industrial Revolution created two classes of people in the US and Western Europe. The rich had access to the best schools and the finest living conditions; the poor were largely uneducated and had to get by as best they could. Some people criticized this wealth gap. Electricity helped to power the Second Industrial Revolution; it was also important in driving the early film industry. Women and children also entered the work force in higher numbers than ever before.

Politically, the Second Industrial Revolution had many...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 16, 2020