1. Koot Gerard, “Aspects of the Industrial Revolution in Britain.” University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. (2012). Accessed June 4, 2013. http://www1.umassd.edu/ir/
2. Montagna Joseph, “The Industrial Revolution.” Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. . (2006). Accessed June 4, 2013. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/2/81.02.06.x.html
3. Yavuz Erdal, “The Industrial Revolution and Consequences.” Yeditepe Universitesi. (n.d.). Accessed June 4, 2013. http://www.yeditepe.edu.tr/dotAsset/74101.pdf4
Industrialization has played perhaps the biggest role in the ways that the modern world has developed. Since its infancy in the mid-1700s, industrialization has been a major force in the
transformation of the world. In his paper entitled “The Industrial Revolution and Consequences,” Erdal Yavuz discusses the many aspects of the industrial revolution and how they have affected society. He claims industrialization “paved the way” to establishing the colonies. His paper reveals many of the social results of industrialization, and how humanity was impacted by this game-changing initiative in Great Britain, but he fails to place this impact on the global scale.
According to Yavuz, industrialization greatly disturbed what was then the current way of living and led to a movement that took people from the countryside and placed them in cities. The main consequence of this upheaval was the family unit, which was displaced. He says the quality of life decreased substantially, as many people were now packed into dismal work areas and forced to work in harsh conditions. “Workers responded to new conditions, in some cases with outright resistance, but failed to slow the pace of technological change,” (Yavuz, n.d.).
Many of the middle class women eventually withdrew themselves from the labour force and decided to begin taking up the tasks of the domestic life, taking care of the home and children. At this time, there became a greater emphasis put on the upbringing of children, and providing them with an education. Along with these lifestyle changes came an abrupt increase to the population, as Yavuz points out. That increase was mostly set in following the 1730s. This was a result that industrialization has on improving the nutrition of the people exposed to the industrialized economy. There was also a lower rate of infant mortality after industrialization. This article was effective because it put the industrial revolution into perspective. For example, it points out that there were many other times when the population increased drastically in a short period of time, and this had negative effects to the overall standard of living. But as Yavuz says, the population increase wasn’t a negative thing after industrialization, as there was enough money to support the newborns.
The author does a good job at identifying the various aspects of industrialization that impacted society. In taking a look at the classes, he notes that the upper class had tried to make their positions in society secure, and this resulted in there being a social hierarchy. This is interesting, as is many of the aspects pointed out by Yavuz are, because it points to the current trend. What the reader can gain from Yavuz’s paper is the connection between the way society is run now, and the various social aspects of it, and how that was formed due to the industrial revolution in Great Britain beginning in the mid-1700s.
However, I though Yavuz’s piece was lacking in the area related to the impact industrialization would eventually have on the rest of the world. Perhaps this wasn’t in the author’s scope, but because industrialization is such a major player in how everybody lives their lives, and there are many implication outside of England, there should be a rather large section dedicated to the impact the revolution had outside of Great Britain.
Clearly, as the reader has seen, the United Kingdom was the nation to lead the industrial revolution, and the process that led to the full and complete domination of the movement has been unparalleled. Industrialization has changed the way in which nearly everyone on the planet lives their lives. Historians have said other societies had developed major industry long before the West initiated the process. “While historians have noted that other societies developed considerable large-scale industry a half millennium before the West, it was the industrial revolution in Britain that accelerated a cumulative multiplication of productive power that has transformed European society and challenged the very existence of traditional societies around the world,” (Koot, 2012). In fact, Gerard Koot, in his paper “Aspects of Industrial Revolution in Britain,” points out several areas that weren’t covered in Yavuz’s piece. It only makes sense to take Yavu’s argument a step further by saying the transformation has also led to North America and various other parts of the world, majorly Asia and Australia, to pursue the same type of development that had occurred beginning in Europe during the mid-1700s.
The industry initiated the propelling of British guns and goods throughout the world, and it also brought with it the various views of the first industrial revolution. There were various interpretations of Britain’s industrial revolution and this was not only supported by public policies in Britain and shape values, but also through the attitudes towards modern industry and capitalism elsewhere in the world, (Koot, 2012). In looking at the modern culture, there is often the connotations of the terminology of industrial revolution. These connotations include those that are literary, artistic and historic interpretations of what took place. Various artists, essayists, poets and novelists in the early 19th Century in Great Britain, contemplated the various changes that took place very fast and this was the coming of age of the modern industry, which spurred on many changes to the social relations and landscape of England and eventually the rest of the world.
There was a sense of impersonality to the power that was generated through industrialization. However, there were many others who were very impressed with mankind’s new skill at changing nature to do its bidding. And there was a great sense of accomplishment in being able to harness the energy of the world in order to make material gains. This is a point that Yavuz didn’t mention. As Koot says, many liberals said that the well-being of the people throughout the world wasn’t related to cottages covered in roses, but in the steam power and independence that was produced by industrialization. Many of the socialists and the critics of capitalism that ensued thereafter said the literary critiques of the market society was correct in saying that there was class exploitation that was spurred on by the machines. “By contrast, modern conservatives have echoed earlier liberal views that protest that society’s predilections toward the welfare state and its distrust of capitalism are rooted in a false and unduly pessimistic interpretation of the industrial revolution,” (Koot, 2012).
In looking at what modern scholars have to say, many argue that the gender roles have been very much influenced by the division of labor as taken within the industrial society and this helped to transform the gender roles and the very core of family relationships and roles. Those who advocate for globalization and those who are against it say that Great Britain is the champion of the free trade during its time as the initiator of the industrial revolution. Other modern economic historians have said the Britain didn’t even lead the industrial revolution, but there was actually an extremely slow growth rate in the British economy of that period, (Montagna, 2006). There was also a key point in what historians have to say that Yavuz didn’t mention. According to the historic economists, a period of restricted and partial nature of the industrial transformation took place. However, despite the vast majority of the world embracing the economic growth, as it is interpreted through the generation of the industrial revolution in England, there is still the images of there being much pollution, poverty and greed associated with the period of time. All that, according to many, is a result of the dark mills, and urban depravation spurred on by a government that doesn’t truly care for its people. This period is vastly criticized as being a time of extreme greed and class wars that are still being fought today through occurrences such as the Occupy Wall Street movement.
While it is difficult to put the effects of the industrial revolution into perspective, Yavul’s paper focuses too much on the early effects of the industrial revolution in England, and doesn’t take a broad enough approach to the affects to mankind as a whole. While he refers to the fact that industrialization did have a major impact in the development of colonization, he did not say enough how society throughout the world has been transformed by industrialization. A study of the impact it has had on the generation of globalization, and the resulting social improvements in many countries, would have made his piece more relevant and interesting.