In source 1, Erasmus Darwin speaks about the revolutionary piece of technology that changed the way of life in the 19th century- the steam engine. The steam engine affected the industrial revolution in various ways, particularly the textile industry. It allowed large pieces of machines in factories to produce mass amounts of cheap energy and products. It also paved the way for European businesses to transport their produce time and cost efficiently, increasing their profit. The steam engine helped develop Europe’s first true industrial machine. Factories no longer needed to be built near water sources like water mills and rivers for energy, allowing business owners to expand, provide jobs and provide a quicker means of transport. One technological development discussed by Nisbet is the effect of electrical lights implemented in Melbourne’s Paddy’s Markets. Electric lights gave people absolute control over lighting inside their homes and businesses at the simple flick of a switch. Even in rural areas, many turned to electricity to power their lights instead of candles and oil lamps, saving them for emergencies only. Electricity, particularly electrical lights influenced the way of living and work, allowing industrial plants and workers to work all day long because of it. The use of electrical lights increased the speed of industrialization and allowed the development of a more advanced lighting system. Electric lights paved the way for higher work and home safety measures. During the industrial revolution, your wealth dramatically changed the way you lived your life. Poor women were only allowed to cook, have children and clean cottages whilst men worked jobs outside, usually involving a lot of labour. They were forced to work in factories with very little pay as their small home businesses were destroyed. Both women and children in large numbers had to endure intense labour in dangerous and unhygienic working conditions.
The rich on the other hand, received the best education money could buy from top private schools, had the ability to own home businesses and lived in a large house, usually with many servants. New pieces of technology being invented led to cheap mass production being created, sold and transported more efficiently. This introduced manufacturing businesses and trade, making the rich even richer. As Europe advanced, the rich made more profits with their businesses and had the poor become their workforce. The rich travelled and splurged money and the successful middle class climbed social ranks into the upper class. This industrialization and the sudden amount of money coming into their pockets allowed them to build mansions, buy out public infrastructure, collect rare art and overall give them a new life of absolute luxury. Child labour during the industrial revolution was a popular workforce that required low maintenance and cheap wages. Poor children were stationed in factories, on farms, on the streets selling paper, in coal mines and even as chimney cleaners. They worked in precarious conditions as they were small and could slip easily in small spaces. The children who worked received little to no education and often worked a 12-16 hour shift, from 4 am to 5 pm. They were forced to pull wagons of coal up small and tight tunnels, usually just a few feet tall. Mine shafts would collapse and lethal air quality made work even more unbearable. Young girls would work in match factories, surrounded by chemicals so toxic their teeth would fall out.
Business owners saved a lot of money and treated children no better than slaves. They were popular in the production of goods as their small hands could unclog flesh slicing machines and wore no protection whatsoever. Children were often abused and suffered life threatening accidents and injuries. They had little to no rights and very low wages. The machines produced harmful fumes and chemicals and exerted intense levels of heat, making working unbearable. They suffered under abusive and horrible working conditions. The Industrial revolution established foundations in agriculture, manufacturing processes, the economy, urbanisation, energy sources, political changes, social changes, cultural transformations and kick started the growth of cities that eventually made for a better world. It replaced the hand crafted economy into a world of business, industry and manufacturing via machines (though working conditions in factories were poor).
Technological changes including the use of iron/steel and the use of fuels like coal and the steam engine are responsible for the pieces of technology and transport we have in our modern world. The inventions of new machines would eventually replace human labour and increase productivity as well as increase demand of natural resources, thus commencing an era of factory systems and mass production, though at the cost of the environment. The steam engine in source 1 is an example of a technological development that impacted one of the biggest manufacturing organisations and paved the way for more efficient means of transport, as well as allowing business to expand.
Agricultural developments including more efficient farming techniques and improved livestock breeding led to mass food production, resulting in better health and population growth. This agricultural revolution introduced techniques like crop rotation and overall developed the national market as well as the rise in domestic farmers and land conversions, further impacting our lives today.
The Industrial revolution made goods more affordable, accessible and established import and export systems across the globe. It increased the wealth of companies that led to shifts in businesses towards our society today. The development of technology like electricity, phones and vehicles not only saved time, money and labour investments but improved our communication, created home appliances (lights and refrigerators) and developed transport, therefore increasing our standard of living.
The Industrial revolution is also responsible for our advanced discoveries in medicine, through the inventions of devices like test tubes and all kinds of scientific equipment (which was made accessible so more people could join the field of medicine). Developments in communication allowed doctors and scientists to interact with each other and allowed for collaboration in finding cures and solving health issues, thus improving patient care across the globe. Our modern infrastructure is shaped based on events and developments during the Industrial revolution. It created more job opportunities and allowed the middle class to expand, creating a new level of economic power through investment of companies. This increase in jobs made specialist popular and specific machines for a certain product.
Whilst the industrial revolution paved the way for a better world, it is also responsible for a significant amount of wealth inequality and distribution. Social classes were even more divided, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer as seen in source three, money dramatically changed the way you lived. Though population growth expanded business and trade, it also led to overcrowding cities and things like disease and water contamination made life difficult for both the rich and poor. The use of factories and new technology is responsible for the destruction of its surrounding environment, including deforestation, water pollution, the extreme demand of natural and scarce resources like soil and minerals and overall led to our global warming issue from the use of fossil fuels and pollution.