Try to explain how important it was for advanced civilization that the industrial revolution occurred.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Civilization has to do with how individuals and peoples (nations, cultures, races, etc.) treat each other.  Throughout time, civilization has advanced in some places and regressed in others.  Civilization made possible the industrial revolution.  When people feel secure in their lives, their liberty, and their property, they will invest time and effort and capital in inventing and manufacturing new machines and other devices to make life easier.  They will do this because they are pretty sure they will make a profit from their input.  Where civilization is not so advanced and people feel insecure about their lives, their liberty, and their property, they are afraid to invest because they are afraid that their investment and profit will either be destroyed by war, taken by robbers, or too highly taxed by bad governors.

Faster communication and mass communication devices and methods of recent times makes information more widespread, so that often war or other conflict is avoided that in olden times would not have been avoided because information moved too slow and reached too few people.  The industrial revolution has facilitated high-speed and mass communication, so it has helped civilization, but mostly civilization helped the industrial revolution.  The industrial revolution gave us labor saving devices such as automatic washing machines, electric heat, automobiles, etc.  But this is technology, not civilization.  Civilization results from the development of institutions which enable mankind to solve conflicts with out resort to barbarism.  I like Prof. Collinwood's use of the words civilization, savagery, and barbarism.  He said savagery is a less advanced stage of civilization, and barbarism is the active opposition to civilization.  Civilization is  secure life, liberty, and property so that happiness results; happiness is adequate food, clothing, shelter, life, liberty, property.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Industrial Revolution brought technology to the forefront. Cities became "urbanized" in the modern sense of the world and life started on its journey to the fast-paced world that we live in today. As machines became more and more available, they sped up the process of manufacturing and started to make people's lives a little bit easier (they also created problems as well in terms of the environment and eventually in terms of lost jobs due to automation of processes that were once performed by individuals). Overall, though, it was a time of great change and a time in which we began looking at technology as the wave of the future and, in all honesty, we have not looked back!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It would be just about impossible for advanced society to exist if it were not for industry.  Since industry really got started with the Industrial Revolution, you can say that the Revolution made our society possible.

Our society depends on production that is very mechanized and routine and can therefore be done very quickly and cheaply.  This allows us to get all sorts of things for low prices and allows us to have the high standard of living that is necessary for advanced civilization.

Without mechanized production that is cheap and plentiful, we could not have all the things we have.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial