Was the Industrial Revolution a revolution or evolution ?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could argue that it was a little of both.  One way to look at it is that it was evolution in how it happened but revolution in its effects.

The Industrial Revolution did not happen all at once and change the world in a day or even a few years.  Instead, it built gradually to the point where it truly had changed the world.  In that sense, it was evolution.

But in its effects it was a revolution.  That is because it changed everything so completely.  It changed everything from where people lived to how they worked, to the role of women in society to the environment.  The changes it created over time were so important that they should be called a revolution.

lalithareddy | Student

The era of industrial revolution is noted by population growth and the emergence of industries. These two factors brought higher consumption and higher production. Consequently, human activity is capable to massively exploit the world’s resources. Industries has as much impact on the planet as a city population has on their municipality or a family on their own house.

If a city or a house is neglected, it can rapidly become a mess. If nobody intervenes while it degenerates, the damages inflicted to the specific environment grow, and eventually, it crumbles. Once that point is reached, there is no other alternative but to leave the area, or to destroy and rebuild it.

Human activity has a big impact on the environment

The planet is no different. Human activity has such an impact on the global environment that we can no longer count on the magnitude of the planet to absorb pollutants. Massive pollution provokes general ecological changes. As we approach a point of no return, it becomes necessary to assess the inflicted damages and find ways to manage them.

As obvious as it may seem, we have no alternative but to stay on planet Earth. In the case of a global deterioration, we would have nowhere to go. This is why environmentalism is not to be taken lightly. It is imperative to assess the damages human activity inflicts on the ecosystem in order to avoid any kind of irreversible damages.

gopikrishna | Student

the Industrial Revolution — the surge in economic growth that occurred first in England around 1800 — occurred because of a change in the nature of the human population.

The change was one in which people gradually developed the strange new behaviors required to make a modern economy work. The middle-class values of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save emerged only recently in human history.

Because they grew more common in the centuries before 1800, whether by cultural transmission or evolutionary adaptation, the English population at last became productive enough to escape from poverty, followed quickly by other countries with the same long agrarian past.

— each time new technology increased the efficiency of production a little, the population grew, the extra mouths ate up the surplus, and average income fell back to its former level.


Generation after generation, the rich had more surviving children than the poor.... That meant there must have been constant downward social mobility as the poor failed to reproduce themselves and the progeny of the rich took over their occupations.