The Industrial Revolution was a turning point in American history. What were the positive and negative effects of the revolution on society?  

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major positive effect of the Industrial Revolution was economic.  The Industrial Revolution allowed things to be produced more cheaply and in greater numbers.  This was originally true of clothing but other goods were to follow.  This improved the material standards of living for many people.

The major negative effect of the Industrial Revolution was that it disrupted society.  It took a society that had been rural and agricultural and made it much more urban and industrial.  This pulled apart the sorts of social ties that had been built up in small communities over the decades.  As people moved to cities and the social bonds eroded, there were negative impacts.  There was, for example, increased poverty and crime in some areas of cities.  People sometimes had difficulties dealing with the new ways of life, leading to social problems like crime and alcoholism.

In these ways, the Industrial Revolution brought both economic progress and social disruptions.


  • people moved from farming to working at a factory where they make more $$$$$
  • farmers had problems with droughts and could hurt their income so the city was better
  • helped the economy


  • MAJOR pollution
  • lots of working injuries/unsafe
  • works LOTS of hours
  • children working and getting hurt doing dangerous jobs