The Market Revolution, Industrialization, and New Technologies

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Why was the Industrial Revolution a blessing?  

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To say that the Industrial Revolution was a blessing predetermines the kind of answer you can expect to find. One can certainly make an argument that the Industrial Revolution was a positive effect on society, but it's important to note that, like any other transformative moment in global history, the...

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To say that the Industrial Revolution was a blessing predetermines the kind of answer you can expect to find. One can certainly make an argument that the Industrial Revolution was a positive effect on society, but it's important to note that, like any other transformative moment in global history, the Industrial Revolution had both positive and negative outcomes. So the question becomes how one weighs those outcomes against one another.

Economically, this moment represented the shift from an agrarian economy (situated in the countryside) into a more urbanized, manufacturing based society and economy. This had profound political implications. Industrializing was critical in growing economic and political power, as can be seen in the example of Britain, who used its early lead in industrialization to become Europe's premiere economic power and retain political and economic dominance across the Nineteenth Century. Additionally, we can note that with the Agricultural Revolution (and especially the Enclosure Movement), there was a lot of unemployment in the English countryside--too many people without the land to support themselves-- and the development of the Industrial Society provided a lot of much needed jobs. On the other side of this picture, we must remember that there was a lot of exploitation and abuses within these early Industrial Economies: unsafe working conditions and long hours for low pay, the use of child labor, etc. Additionally, industrial cities tended to be overcrowded and polluted.

Regardless, as said before, the transformative power of the Industrial Revolution cannot and should not be underestimated. Ultimately, the world as we know it today could not have come into existence in a pre-industrial world, for the Industrial Revolution brought with it profound shifts in society, culture, economic activity. There's a reason it is called a Revolution: it really is that critical as a moment in time.

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The Industrial Revolution had many positive outcomes. First of all, new inventions made life easier for many people. The use of water, coal, and steam as power sources provided a new lifestyle for the growing populations. For example, James Watt refined the steam engine. This allowed for factories to be built anywhere. No longer did they have to depend on wind or water for power or, further, depend on certain locales, such as areas near fast-moving rivers. The steam powered locomotives also changed how people traveled and how goods could be transported. Goods could be moved from one area to another quickly, providing food and merchandise to a larger number of people.

As innovation and reliance on machinery increased, so did reliance on mass produced goods. This reliance meant that goods were being produced quickly and cheaply. For example, Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin was notable for removing seeds from the cotton fiber. This invention resulted in greater supply and demand, and the influx of more factories also led to more employment opportunities.

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The Industrail Revolution had both negative and positive effecfs for the average American. It was a blessing because it freed people from an agrarian lifestyle. Farm life is very hard, and the once the factories opened, people could move to the cities and work for more dependable wages.
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The Industrial Revolution brought a large number of cheap manufactured goods to consumers, easing their lives and lifestyles and raising the quality of life that they enjoyed in many ways.

While it came with a human cost, the economic progress the IR represents jobs by the hundreds of thousands, opportunities for immigrants to women, and in the long run, it was a vehicle for social change.

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The Industrial Revolution was a blessing because it made a higher standard of living available to a larger number of people.  It did this by making goods more cheaply.  This allowed more people to afford those goods.

When industrialization came, goods could be made more cheaply. For example, instead of having a skilled workman making pairs of shoes by hand, you could have a semiskilled person using machines to make shoes much more rapidly.  Naturally, the price of shoes would go down.

This process happened to more and more goods over time and so more and more goods came to be cheap enough for common people to own them.  In this way, the Industrial Revolution was a blessing because it allowed people to be able to afford more goods and a higher standard of living.

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