Industrial Revolution in the United States Essay
The industrial revolution refers to the time period in which changes in production processes had extreme impacts on man’s social, economic, and cultural status. The changes were realized in sectors such as agricultural, manufacturing, and transport, among other sectors. This paper seeks to discuss the subject of the industrial revolution in the United States. The paper will look into the development of the industrial revolution in the United States, the changes that were caused by the revolution, and the reactions that Americans had towards the industrial revolution.
The industrial revolution in America
The industrial revolution was a period of transformation from reliance on human beings in production processes to great dependence on machines to produce commodities. The revolution is believed to have originated from Great Britain before spreading through Europe and then to other parts of the world. The British industrial revolution was also directly and almost instantly spread to British colonies, which were at the time run as its territories. The revolution’s transformation of economic operations from human labor to employment of machines was characterized by transformation in economies in which traditional agricultural practices were, for example, replaced by industrial processes.
Machines that were invented played an important role in removing people from their jobs and replacing them with machines that did the jobs in a better way and also produced products of better utility to people. The developments due to the revolution were also characterized by the invention of better transportation means that were more affordable and accessible. People were basically contained around their homesteads with major duties being either farming or performing duties in homesteads before the revolution, which later changed events in the then American societies as professions changed from the earlier farming into industrial jobs. Vast resources that were available in the United States contributed to the quick industrialization that was realized in the country (Brezina 4).
Impacts of the industrial revolution in America
One of the immediate impacts of the industrial revolution was the transformation of the American economy from being agriculturally based on being an industrial economy. Consumptions were previously direct agricultural products. The introduction of machines into the economy, however, transformed the system into industrial production focused. Agricultural products were transformed into forms of more refined products, and other industrial production processes were established.
The industrial revolution also had the impact of job losses among the American people in the agricultural farms in which they were employed as manual laborers. The introduction of machines in the agricultural sector, which were more efficient as compared to human labor, led to the displacement of people from their jobs in the agricultural sector as their positions were then taken by machines. The revolution can, therefore, be said to have caused unemployment among the American people, at least at the time it was being launched in the country (Brezina 8).
Loss in artistic skills was also experienced following the emergence of industrialization in the United States. The wave of people that moved people from their rural farms in order to take up jobs in industries affected artisans who followed the mass, abandoned their tools, and moved to take industrial jobs factories. Their positions were then taken by unskilled people who had just moved to the profession to fill the gap that was left by the artist who had left for the industrial jobs. The industrial revolution also changed the social structure that was previously dominant in America. Parents moved to take jobs in industries, thereby reducing the socially family-based environment that had existed before the revolution (Brezina 51).
Americans reaction towards the industrial revolution
The revolution that invaded American society led to a number of transformations in the nature of the American people in their society. A number of reactions to the changes caused by the industrial revolution were evident in terms of behavior and social set up. In reaction to the industrial revolution, significant changes were realized in the nineteenth century regarding the structure and nature of American society. Henry Bellows, for example, outlined some characteristic features that were realized in America towards the middle of the nineteenth century. The economic changes that were realized following the wave of the industrial revolution forced Americans to work harder and for longer hours in order to sustain their family needs.
Bellow expressed the concern that following the revolution, “lawyer must confine himself to his office” (Bellows 95) and “the physician must labor day and night” (Bellows 95) in his duty. Americans generally reacted to changed conditions by increasing their efforts at work. Another form of reaction to the wave of revolution was the attitude of ambitious gains that people developed. This could be attributed to the lower wages that resulted from industrialization. Another evident reaction, as represented by Bellow, was the affinity or desire that people developed for money. He described the then society as “doomed tradesmen” who could “mistake money for the kingdom of heaven” (Bellows 96). These, among others, were reactions towards industrialization.
The industrial revolution that was experienced in the United States of America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had great effects on the American people and, as a result, led to a number of reactions by Americans to the impacts of the revolution.
Bellows, Henry. The Influence of the Trading Spirit upon the Social and Moral Life of America. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 2009. Print.
Brezina, Corona. The Industrial Revolution in America: A Primary Source History of America’s Transformation into an Industrial Society. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. Print.
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Introduction The industrial revolution refers to the time period in which changes in production processes had extreme impacts on man’s social, economic, and cultural status. The changes were realized in […]