In the mid 18th and 19th century, industrial revolution took place in key areas in Europe and America where what used to be a largely agriculture-based economy shifted to one that is reliant on industries. The countries which were in the forefront of the industrial revolution were Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and France until t swept into every nation in the world. The changes that took place during these period were dramatically felt as rural works turned into industrial labour, and where technological progress was unstoppable. Also, during this period, a new industrial structure for financial investments emerged. Class consciousness also developed during this time.
Another milestone in the field of industrialization transpired during the mid-19th century after the invention of internal combustion engine that led to the sophistication of steam engine. Among other important inventions during this period were improvements in electricity, railways, electric power lines and construction of roads and canals. Major changes in workplace also took place as people begun working in mines, factories and offices instead of being in the fields and at home.
Today, we have gone far when it comes to industrial development. What used to be agricultural lands were converted to industrial sites and industries rise one after another. Large and multitude of companies sprouted in urban areas. Along with the boom in the industrial field followed crowding and congestion of cities. People from rural areas moved to these industrial sites to look for work and earn a living.
As industrialization became more widespread, there were more goods being produced in little time, which also led to cheaper price of commodities due to competition. There was also a leap in the transportation sector as speedy rail transport systems were established. Aside from these, another positive effect of industrialization was that people were able to save more time and money as machineries took over the hardest part of labour thereby also cutting the cost of expenditure. Along with this, there was also a rise in the standard of living of the people. Because industrialization paved the way to the creation of more jobs, poverty have been reduced as well.
However just as there are advantages to the rising industrial world, one cannot disregard its negative effects. One of which is pollution in land, water and air as a result of the waste products of industrialization. Natural resources were also destroyed and damage intentionally or not in the promotion of industrial sites. The nonstop working of machines in many factories led to the emission of toxic gases and smog. With this, people’s health deteriorated especially in cities which were highly industrialized. Aside from environmental damages, there were also exploitation in human workforce. The workers were pressured to work more so to keep in pace with the demands of the consumer goods. Poor condition of the working class in factories were observed. In companies which started to make use of machineries in lieu of human resource, unemployment rise.
Having to consider all the positive and negative effects of industrialization, we can come to a conclusion that while industrialization is necessary, it must be controlled. Environmental protection should be prioritized as well as the health and working condition of the middle class as they are the ones most affected by the negative effects of a highly industrialized world.