Consequences of Industrialization

Essay by benewUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2006

download word file, 3 pages 3.7

Most people regard industrialization as a positive development capable of generating great wealth and revitalizing run-down areas. Mention industrialization today, and it brings to mind large factories organized with the latest technologies in mass producing. Along with these visions comes the promise of more jobs for the community, higher rates of pay, and financial stability. One can only think of the positive influences on a community that the opening of a new factory could bring, but during what some have deemed the Industrial Revolution, industrialization only meant using machines and new power sources to accomplish a task formerly done by human and animal power. Our modern day conception of industrialization can greatly influence our interpretation of historical industrialization and whether the progress it represented was positive.

In the late eighteenth century, a factory could be described as anything from genuinely large style plants situated in northeastern urban or urbanizing locales, to scores of comparatively smaller "country " mills rooted in northern rural communities and buildings ranging from major free-standing structures to single floors of buildings.

Unlike today's concept of a factory which is just enormous buildings, modern technology, and numerous employees. In the 1800's any sizable mechanized workplace was known as a factory, most of which were water-powered textile mills. Factory meant manufactory; it was a term contemporaries could properly apply to various arenas of production. Although most writers on America regard industrialization as closely linked to advances in capitalism, industrialization could not begin and grow without individual business owners who were willing to take a chance on something new. It also involved a qualitatively sharpened focus on profit as the guiding goal of economic transactions. And it involved for the most part noble increments in free wage labor and in ranks of individuals who stood to such labor...