How did the Industrial Revolution lead to the development of socialism in the 19th century?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Industrial Revolution led to the development of socialism by making work harder and less independent for the average worker.

Before the Industrial Revolution, people tended to work independently.  They were their own boss, working when and how they wanted to.  They had to get the job done, of course, but it was up to them how they wanted to do it and when.  

After the Industrial Revolution started, the majority of workers lost this independence.  They started working in factories at set times and in set ways.  They had no control over their work lives.  In addition, they made very little money.  Instead, the wealth that the workers created through their labor went mostly to the owners of the factory.

In this context, it is easy to see how socialism arose.  Socialism was a reaction against these changes.  It argued that the new ways were wrong and it argued for a system in which workers would be their own bosses and would get the wealth that their labor created.  In this way, socialism came about because of the changes caused by the Industrial Revolution.