I need help coming up with a thesis for the Industrial Revolution. It has to be an argument and my professor wants us to talk about how it was in the past and bring it to today. I can think of topics but I can't think of arguments that can connect from then to now. Please help!
If you need to have something to write about that connects the Industrial Revolution to the present day and which can be made into an argument, here are some possible topics:
- Whether workers were better off during the Industrial Revolution or today. History books tend to emphasize how workers were abused by their employers during the Industrial Revolution. We tend to think that we no longer have such problems because of worker protection laws and such. However, workers are under severe pressure today because of globalization. Unions have lost their power and workers’ jobs are very insecure. You could compare and contrast the pressures faced by workers in these two eras.
- Comparison of the US in the Industrial Revolution and China today. Today, China has industrialized rapidly. It faces some of the same problems that the US faced in the Industrial Revolution such as poor working and living conditions for workers and excessive pollution. You could compare the two countries’ experiences with industrialization.
- Why the US is no longer industrialized and why that matters. In the Industrial Revolution, the US became a major industrial power. Today, there is much less industry in the US and our economy has come to be based on services more than on manufacturing. You could make an argument about why that has happened and how it affects us today.
- Connection between immigration in the Industrial Revolution and immigration today. During the Industrial Revolution, much of our labor force was made up of immigrants. Today, we are worried about the number of immigrants and we fear that they are taking our jobs. How does the American experience with immigrants today compare to our experience with immigrants during the Industrial Revolution?
- The amount of inequality at the height of the Industrial Revolution compared to today. When we study about the Industrial Revolution, we often study about the “robber barons” and we hear about how unequal society was in those days. Today, many Americans are concerned about inequality again. Was inequality then caused by the same things as inequality now? How did inequality affect our country back then compared to its effects today?
Not knowing any more about the topic you are supposed to write on, I cannot tell if these will be acceptable. Hopefully, at least one of them is usable or can at least inspire you to think of a topic that you will enjoy writing about.