What positive and negative outcomes about transportation came about during the Industrial Revolution?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As far as transportation itself goes, all of the effects of the Industrial Revolution were positive.  The negative effects were side effects of the positive effects. During this time, transportation methods improved, making transportation much easier across both land and water. The only negative impacts were on things like people and the environment.

The Industrial Revolution also revolutionized transportation on both land and water.  It made steamships and riverboats possible.  These changed water transportation, making it faster and making it possible to travel in any direction, even upriver, relatively easily. The Industrial Revolution made the creation of railroads and trains possible.  This allowed much larger amounts of goods to be moved across land than had been possible when transportation by land was only accomplished by animals pulling wagons.  In these ways, the Industrial Revolution had important positive effects on transportation.

There were no real negative effects of the Industrial Revolution on transportation.  It did not reduce transportation capacity in any way.  However, the boom in transportation did impact other things like people and the environment.  As steamships and railroads improved mobility, Europeans were able to reach out and dominate other people more easily.  This harmed the non-whites who were conquered and subjugated. The new transportation required the use of more natural resources and made it easier to exploit natural resources as well.  This is true because the new ships and trains made it much easier, for example, to cut timber in one place and ship it somewhere far away.  In these ways, the new types of transportation harmed the environment as well.

Thus, the Industrial Revolution affected transportation in positive ways, making it much easier and more prevalent. However, the increased transportation affected the environment and some groups of people in much more negative ways.

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