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Industrialization enabled the production of consumer and heavy industrial goods on an unprecedented level. Goods that were previously hand-made by skilled craftsmen could be churned out in enormous numbers by unskilled or semi-skilled workers manning machines. This made many goods that had previously been luxury items affordable for a wider range of people. Industrialization also spurred technological innovations that improved the lives of people, including innovations in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, energy, and communications. These developments helped to lengthen people's lifespans, increase productive capability, and create more leisure time that could be employed in education or other pursuits. While the negative effects of industrialization should not be minimized, they must be considered alongside its benefits, which essentially pointed the way to a modern society, for better or for worse.
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