The Industrial Revolution began in England during the 1700s and spread across the entire Europe. It was a time of new products, inventions, and ways of work, which introduced a lot of changes in agriculture, the techniques of the production of goods, communication, and trade. These changes metamorphosed the social standards and relationships. Like a coin, the industrial revolution also had two sides: pros and cons.
Cons of Industrial Revolution
The negative impacts of the industrial revolution were poor working conditions, long working hours, lack of proper food, and death and illnesses from working in factories. Workers complained that they had to work for a long duration because of which they were not able to have proper food, sufficient rest, and education. An interaction with a worker of a factory highlighted that working in factory resulted in severe illness for many; damaged lungs, malfunctioning of leg muscles, and respiratory diseases were common. The causes were dust in the factory, overwork, and lack of proper diet. In the factory, shafts were not covered which resulted in many major injuries and even it led to death incidents. Some workers got cut by the uncovered shaft machines and injured, while few of them were caught in the machines and broke their bones.
Let's get into details, industrialization resulted into migration of huge populations to the cities. It made overcrowded cities and the development of slums. Poor sanitary conditions already prevailed in the slums. As an outcome of overcrowding, the conditions worsened. For example, the condition of slums in the town of Manchester was very poor, and the environment was unhealthy and contaminated. Many people who lived in these poor cities or slums belonged to the working class, which had to struggle throughout life.
With the industrialization comes the air pollution. Natural lands were taken up for factories that emitted pollutants and released wastes degraded the quality of air. Thus, the overall quality of environment was hampered.
Pros of Industrial Revolution
As a result of industrialization, classes shifted, wealth increased, and nations began assuming national identities. When the production in the factories increased, the incomes and the employment rate are also increased. Prices of goods decreased that enhanced the quality of living. Everyone started living a comfortable and convenient life. The comforts and facilities were increasing day by day. Better-built houses, cheaper clothes, and increased number of appliances and utensils were enjoyed by all. Transportation underwent an enormous change by becoming cheaper and quicker.
Many factory owners started giving special attention to health, appearance, education, clothing, and diet of their children. Children in most of the towns lived a cheerful and happy life. Not even a single case of corporal chastisement insisted on child was reported in factories of Manchester and the surrounding towns. Industrial revolution improvised the condition of many towns; for example, in the town of Hyde, the living standards of its inhabitants experienced drastic changes. Houses, food, and clothes were now available at lower prices, and cleanliness and comfort increased. The chart about British Iron Production showed that the iron production increased from 17350 tons in 1740 to 9,000,000 tons in 1900. This hike in production was primarily attributed to the increase in trade. This increase was mainly because of cheaper production and high employment rate. New inventions like the locomotive, steam engine, cotton gin, and many more, were all revolutionary products. Thus, jobs, trade, transportation, communication, luxuries, and facilities raised as a result of industrialization.
Thus, the industrialization of Europe, with its pros and cons, left a permanent mark on societies all over the world.