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The Effect Of The Industrial Revolution On European And American Societies

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The Industrial Revolution marked a turning point in Earth’s human relationship with the environment. A manufacturing transition process had taken place. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, the use of steam power, and the ride of the factory system, etc.

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The Revolution started in the 1700s in Great Britain and drastically changed all aspect of human life. The war took a toll on both, the American and European societies. In the next three paragraphs, I will be discussing the Industrial Revolution and three major effects it had on the shape of the European and American society, and those effects are on: trade, politics, and religion. First and foremost, trade during the Industrial Revolution had a major effect on the shape of European and American societies. The economy was growing, and the intro of new railroads allowed for coastlines and ports to be built, more importantly, it allowed for investments abroad and the introduction of bank shares. This was the invention of the steam engine. It changed virtually all parts of England, but the biggest impact was in the factory industry. Improvements in the machinery have a three-fold bearing: – 1st. They make it possible to fabricate some articles which, but for them, could not be fabricated at all. 2nd. They enable an operative to turn out a greater quantity of work than he could before, – time, labor, and quantity of work remaining constant. 3rd. They effect a substitution of labor comparatively unskilled, for which is more skilled.

Trade was not always beneficial to other countries, it was the East India Trading Company who allowed for new relations between European nations and opened trading materials needed for England’s new Industries such as silk for the textile industry. The tremendous effect of the textile industry led to a change in the way it previously functioned due to increased demand and new materials from foreign places. As far as the textile industry, there was a woman named Harriet Robinson who worked in a mill located in Lowell, Massachusetts who wrote an autobiography called Harriet Robinson: Lowell Mill Girls 1883. In her autobiography, Robinson was the wife of a newspaper editor, provided an account of her earlier life as a female factory worker (from the age of ten in 1834 to 1848) in the Textile Mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. Throughout the book, Robinson describes factory life in Lowell.

The early mill girls were of different ages. Some were not over ten years old; a few were in middle life, but the majority were between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. 3Despite these mites being so young and having to work, they only worked about fifteen minutes an hour and the rest of the time was their own. This was the start of when women & children entering the workforce. Children that worked in other factories had to work a minimum of 8 hours in mines because they could fit into small places. As a result of this, the Black Lung came along, this was due to the long exposure of coal dust. Along with women and children entering the workforce, people gained social improvements. One of those were Trade Unions. Trade Unions originated in Great Britain and were organizations of workers who came together to achieve goals, such as improving safety standards, and attaining better wages.

Secondly, politics during the Industrial Revolution influenced the shape of European and American societies. The revolution made drastic changes in the lives of individuals. What changes, too, this addition of power is introducing into the Social System; how wealth has more and more increased, and at the same time gathered itself more and more into masses, strangely altering the old relations, and increasing the distance of between rich and the poor. The social classes during the revolutions are the middle, working, and upper class. The upper class was the wealthiest class; and included estate owners, factory owners, and rich nobles. Life for them was very fine. For example, they had maids to do their housework and prepare them food, they had lots of money and owned expensive clothing such as lace coats, top hats, hooped skirts, etc. The middle class was the new social class. This growing class consisted of merchants, shopkeepers, and accountants. Workers in this class began to earn more and afford new amenities. Lastly, the working class was also a new social class that had come along. It was, in fact, the poorest class. It was made up of people who could not make enough money farming, so they had to work in factories. They got low wages and the hard labor caused them injuries and sometimes death. Women and children were paid much less than men were. The working class moved into row houses that were in walking distance of factories. Many of them were constructed too quickly in terraced rows. Sanitary arrangements were pretty much non-existent, many toilets were often found outside the houses as far as possible considering the awful smell. The liquid from the toilets and the waste becomes seeded down into the earth and contaminated the water. These liquids carried diseases, causing germs to get into the water. The role of women also became more important and changed drastically. Women became nurses, teachers, secretaries, and so much more.

One important woman during this time was a British nurse by the name of Florence Nightingale. She became very significant after France & Great Britain entered the Crimean War against Russia. After Russia decided to sue for peace in September of 1855, both sides had suffered heavy losses. In total it was 250, 000 men that died, though sixty percent was from disease because they had no proper medical attention. She and a team of nurses helped with the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital. Once Nightingale & her team came along medical war standard improved tremendously. She even opened the nursing profession to women and established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Lastly, religion affected the shape of European and American societies. We have Religious machines, of all imaginable varieties; the Bible-Society, professing a far higher and heavenly structure, is found, on inquiry, to be altogether an earthly contrivance: supported by a collection of moneys, by fomenting of vanities, by puffing, intrigue, and chicane; a machine for converting the Heathens. Has any man, or any society of men, a truth to speak, a piece of spiritual work to do; they can nowise proceed at once and with the mere natural organs, but must first call a public meeting, appoint committees, issue prospectuses, eat a public dinner; in a word construct or borrowing machinery, wherewith to speak and do it. Religious movements such as Protestantism and Catholicism came about.

Protestants operated outside the church of England, many of which catered to the poor districts that had no spiritual focal point. Therefore, the Methodist happened, this was a Protestant religious movement that broke away from the Church of England and gained new followers in new industrial towns. As a result of gaining new followers, they gave women real status and proved to be more conscious of the needs of the new working class. As far as Catholicism their population increased during the Industrial Revolution due to the immigrants that came from Ireland to work in coal mines and factories along with the working class. For Christians, work became more important in people’s lives and church and religion became lessened in importance. Russia was the last standing Non-Limited Monarch from 1807-1905. After that, they had a Tsar rulership meaning they had a King/Emperor. Under Alexander II this rulership came Slavophiles, Westernizers, and Anarchists. First, Slavophiles were Slavic, meaning that they support everything traditional of Russia. Secondly, Westernizers wanted to bring European styles to Russia, and lastly came Anarchists who wanted NO government and instead break down everything and freehand the market. Marxism also became important during this period. This was the development of The Communist Manifesto written by philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The pamphlet was a propose of revolution to the working and wealthy class.

In conclusion, the Industrial Revolution had three major effects on the shake of the European and American societies including trade, politics, and religion. Trade was big because of new inventions such as the steam engine. Politics were big mainly because of the three social classes: Upper, Middle, and Working. Lastly, religion was big because of people splitting off from the Church of England and creating their own religion and religious ways.

15 July 2020

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