Industrial Revolution

Reviewed by Komal | Updated on Sep 28, 2020

What does industrial revolution mean?

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, the industrial revolution was a period of major industrialization and innovation. The industrial revolution began in Great Britain, and it rapidly spread all over the world.

Commonly referred to as the second industrial revolution, the American industrial revolution started sometime between 1820 and 1870. This time saw the mechanization of agriculture and textile manufacturing as well as a transition in power that influenced social, cultural, and economic conditions, including steamships and railroads.

Understanding the industrial revolution

Although the industrial revolution took place about 200 years ago, it is a period that had a profound impact on how people lived and how businesses worked. The factory structures built during the industrial revolution are, undoubtedly, responsible for the creation of capitalism and today's modern cities.

Many Americans made farming as the source of their livelihood before the revolution and lived in largely rural communities. With the advent of factories for the first time, people started to work for companies based in urban areas. The wages were often low, and the conditions were tough. Working for businesses, however, has earned a better living than agriculture.

During the industrial revolution, the production efficiency improved with inventions such as the steam engine. Dramatically, the steam engine reduced the time it took to produce the products. Subsequently, more productive manufacturing lowered product prices—primarily because of lower labour costs—opening the marketing doors to a new level of customers.

Advantages of the industrial revolution

  • Product advancements
  • Innovation and invention growth
  • Workers earned more wages
  • Transportation networks improved

Disadvantages of the industrial revolution

  • Working conditions deteriorated and child labour increased
  • Living conditions worsened
  • Pollution level increased causing global warming
  • Shortage of food supply for common people

To sum up, the progress made by the industrial revolution resulted in the world seeing the first diesel engine, the first incandescent light bulb, and the first modern assembly line used in construction. The industrial revolution changed the way people worked, the tools they had at their fingertips and often where they lived.