The Industrial Revolution was a period when agrarian, rural societies became industrial and urban. While the Industrial Revolution did increase the production of manufactured goods and the improvement of transportation. It also resulted in horrible working and living conditions for the poor and working class. In the following, the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution will be presented.
A major pro to the Industrial Revolution was the increase in goods. Products became more affordable and accessible, factories and machines began to produce items faster and cheaper than made by hand. As the supply of items rose, their cost to the consumer declined. Household goods, shoes, clothing, tools and other items that enhance people’s quality of life became more common and less expensive. (John P. Rafferty) The improvement of transportation in America during this time also had an enormous effect. Transportation was needed to transport the factory produced goods throughout the country. Advanced transportation networks and increasing urban populations, allowed for the expansion of domestic markets. (lumenlearning.com) Transportation also brought commercial economy and contributed to the rapid growth of towns and cities. Lastly, the Industrial Revolution was the driving force behind advances in medicine. Industrialization allowed for medical instruments, such as scalpels, microscopes and test tubes, to be produced quicker.
While the Industrial Revolution did have many positive outcomes, it also resulted in many disadvantages as well. One con of the Industrial Revolution were the working conditions. Before unions were created and worker safety protections were mandated, the working conditions in many of the first factories were horrible. People would be forced to work long hours for low pay, have few breaks, and worked in cramped, small areas, with hundreds of other workers. Another con, was pollution. The use of chemicals and fuel in factories resulted in increased air and water pollution. (Study.com)
Water pollution intensified during the Industrial Revolution, when factories began releasing pollutants into rivers and streams, resulting in diseases such as Cholera and Microbes. Lastly, a major con of the Industrial Revolution was the living conditions. As business began to boom and the national markets grew, more people began to move to the Northeast because they wanted jobs. Five to nine people lived in a single room which was as big as an apartment. Not only was there not enough room, but more people got sick as well. Because everyone lived in terrible conditions and so close to one another, diseases spread rapidly and lack of medicine and medical care resulted in many deaths. (Ankur Poddar) During this time, the population was rapidly growing, because of more people moving in, apartments became more crowded and in worst condition.
To conclude, the Industrial Revolution had many positive and negative effects. It lead to cheaper prices of manufactured goods, an improvement of transportation and an advancement of medical equipment. However, it also resulted in pollution and the horrible working and living conditions. Overall the Industrial Revolution changed history, and continues to be shown in today’s world.