How did the Industrial Revolution affect the economy?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Industrial Revolution in the United States, as elsewhere, led to massive economic expansion, the development of new technologies, and the enormous growth in productive capacity. But it had several other effects that were more ambiguous in nature. It led, for instance, to the decline of artisans and small craftsmen, as new production technologies drove them out of business. This led the shift to wage labor. It also contributed to the rise of cities, as millions of workers flooded into major cities to take jobs for wages. Many workers found themselves toiling in the new factory system, with its emphasis on time-discipline and unskilled, repetitive work. The industrial revolution also led to increasing gaps between rich and poor, even as it increased standards of living over time. So in short, the economic effects of industrialization had social ramifications for millions of people.

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