Industrial Revolution There are many effects of the Industrial Revolution.  In your opinion, what were the 2 largest social consequences of the revolution? how and why?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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To add to the fine list of long range effects for the Industrial Revolution in the posts above, one other major effect would be environmental, and yet another would be massive population growth.

Environmentally, the Industrial Revolution polluted the air, waterways and soil, with little to no regulation to stop it.  It extracted resources from the ground, sometimes in the most harmful of ways.

Canada, founded at roughly the same time as the colonies in the present day US, has a population only 10% of the number in America.  Industry as well as farmland were magnets of opportunity for tens of millions of immigrants who brought with them not only their labor, but also their intelligence and spirit.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The two largest social effects of the Industrial Revolution were the creation of the working class and public schooling. Before the Industrial Revolution, America was an agrarian society. Then people moved to the cities and got jobs. Even in the country, every American child went to school.
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catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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What about the specialization of labor and the stratification of society? While these began as far back as the Neolithic revolution, it was truly the industrial revolution that created the stratified society we live in today. Changes in industry meant that workers needed to leave the fields and work in factories. People no longer worked sun up to sun down on their farms to survive. Wages and shopping replaced homemade goods. In this same vein, there became the employers and owners, and then there were the workers. Surplus money and leisure time were the realm of the factory owners. Long hours in tough conditions were the realm of the factory workers. Eventually industrialization would play a huge part in the rise of the middle class.

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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I would add consumerism to the list. After the start of the industrial revolution many things that were earlier reserved for a few rich people became easy to produce and was offered for everyone to consume at a very cheap rate. Also, consumerism itself was essential for the industrial revolution to progress. The two formed a circular loop of sorts, both of them were essential for the other.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I might echo the rise of socialism as one.  The loss of tradesmen and the idea of skilled trades groups acting as a counterweight to the interests of those holding most of the power and money was a very powerful change in the political and social landscape.  Once it became possible to build or produce without the help of these tradesmen, far more power and money could be concentrated in the hands of a few and so socialist ideas gained traction because people felt the loss of their power and influence and earning potential.

You also had massive changes in the educational system as it was designed to produce workers that were basically competent but also willing to accept arbitrary authority and not rebel against terrible conditions so the idea of free public compulsory education gained favor in many parts of the industrializing world.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You might want to add the impact of such technological innovations as machines that made the work of employers redundant and lost jobs. The rise of the Luddite movement was important and famous for the way that they destroyed machines and tried to oppose further advances.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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My 2 are urbanization and the rise of socialism.

Urbanization came about because of all the people moving to the cities to do factory work.  Socialism came about because of the way that the people were treated in their jobs.

Urbanization matters because it totally changed the way in which people live.  It made places with relatively massive populations the norm and rural places the exception.  Socialism changed the whole face of the 20th century.  No socialism, no Cold War.

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