Essay on the Industrial Revolution

Published: 2021/11/23
Number of words: 2628


The industrial revolution has been a contextual issue in the academic field, notably in history and science. This paper discusses and explains Britain as the original country of the industrial revolution and the impacts that the revolution has on the humankind and their environment. Among the effects analyzed in the paper are, increase in food production, advancement of the technology, development of the managerial concept and formulation of social protection laws. The document also discusses adverse effects of the industrial revolution which includes environmental degradation, increase in sexual immorality, child labor, and social inequities.


The industrial revolution began in Britain in the year 1700 and spread to the other parts of the word, starting with the United States of America (Ahuti, 2015). The industrial revolution shaped the face of the new industrial and economically prosperous societies, by reconstructing their traditional social and economic structures and ended up destabilizing all the initial existence hierarchies (van Neuss, 2015). Industrial revolution succeeded in influencing almost every aspect of people’s life. Interestingly, all the economically prosperous nations did not follow the same industrialization path. Britain’s uniqueness due to its profound precocity led it to be the first country to undergo an industrial revolution, and that is why Britain up to date presents the purest case of the industrial revolution in some way (van Neuss, 2015). The revolution permanently marked the use of new machines, technologies and advanced managerial ideas in the production process. The significant use of the sophisticated tools and systematic establishment of industries and factories led to mass production. The effects of the industrial revolution could be felt everywhere as it dramatically changed the peoples’ way of life. The shift from the traditional forms of production dramatically changed the peoples’ way of living. The massive production of goods and services produced for instance increased the worlds’ population. Though the revolution highly benefited human being, it also came with some negative effects which also significantly affected and changed the peoples’ way of living.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

Positive impacts

Discovery, development, and diffusion of new technology

The development, inventions, and dissemination of new machines and technology to all the parts of the world can get attributed to the ancient industrialization in Britain (Akita S, 2016). Technology and organizations that became the first wonders and the final marks of the modern economy include the stem power, processes for making and shaping metals, chemicals, and factories (Akita S, 2016). Over time there has been a fundamental breakthrough in the industrial technologies emanating from the dynamic technology, and developing a progressive set of institutions and cultures. The massive use of machines, energy converters, and advanced industrial processes became the prime movers behind the Britain’s economy precocious transition (Akita S, 2016). A notable development in the technology is the development and advancement of the art of spinning and weaving. The initial long-established processes got transformed in a ferment of an invention before a period of stability was established (Hearle W, 2013). Industrialization led to the emergence of several designs and their full maturity in Britain, though their initial impacts got confined to specific sectors of the industries which included shipbuilding, cotton textiles, metallurgy, generation of energy from steam and transportation. Initially, technological discovery and diffusion proceeded in slow motion in the many regions of a connected but not integrated Eurasian Oikumene(Akita S, 2016). Statistical exercises reveal that the evolution of the technical progress evolved until mid-nineteenth when they reached a vantage point when its outcome for the growth of the economy could be retrospectively perceived and considered as highly significant (Akita S, 2016). The development and advancement of new technologies have brought substantial changes in the average levels of labor productivity. The British government and investors have overtime undertaken risky investments in the latest technologies. They have also offered their direct support to the research and development for a more diverse and extensive diffusion of the potentially useful technical knowledge and skills (Akita S, 2016).

Increase in and diversification of production

As a result of the industrial revolution, the world does witness a substantial expansion of the normal flow of goods, services, knowledge, and people resulting in global networks, which span across the ever-increasing number of countries and regions (Bellandi, M. & Propris, L, 2015). Widespread emergence of the universal value chains which go across all the parts and nations has thrown places into a shared space in a brief period. The visible nature of the scale and intensity of the increasingly globalized production processes have led to the diversification of products and services in almost every part of the world. Through pervasive and the radical changes in the science-based knowledge in the world of production, industries across the globe have been able to trickle down towards the millions of consumers worldwide through rivulets of applications (Bellandi, M. & Propris, L, 2015). It is interesting to note that the globalization of production brought about by the industrial revolution, has importantly created a divide between the high cost and the low-cost economies. This gap created by the two economies has to the advantage of the consumers, changed both global and domestic competition with the newly industrialized and industrializing countries being able to produce at relatively lower costs (Bellandi, M. & Propris, L, 2015).

Revolutionizing the management thought

Initially, people considered management as knowing what the manager wants people to do and then monitoring them do it in the best way possible (Gulzar A, 2015). With the industrial revolution, the theories of the management evolved consisting of two parts considered by the scholars as the essentials of the administration. These two components were the physical part and the conceptual part (Gulzar A, 2015). According to many researchers, management is the fundamental key to progress. The rapid increase in the industrialization provoked the need to improve the economic proficiency, putting great emphasis on labor productivity. The cornerstone of foundation management formed the basis of the classical control as advanced by Frederick W. Taylor (Gulzar A, 2015). This concept of the scientific management introduced by Taylor considerably influenced the management thought process. Taylor later discovered that by incorporating the use of the experimental procedures and methods, the proficiency of the workers could get increased and the economy could be able to gain substantial growth as a result. The primary aim of the scientific management is to create new knowledge on how to develop the work processes. The famous economist Max Weber later developed a sociological approach to the phenomenon of control. His contribution formed a framework of characteristics which was termed by scholars as bureaucracy (Gulzar A, 2015).

Development of new laws and amendment of the existing ones

Researchers argue that nuisance law was a robust of constraint on polluting the industrial enterprises resulting from the industrial revolution (Pontin B, 2012). The most affected parts were the country estates which surrounded the industrial areas in which pollutants got displaced by the industries’ tall chimneys and extended outfalls. These nuisances of industrialization were visibly inter-neighborhood (Pontin B, 2012). Unfortunately for the industries and their owners, the primary victims of the revolutionary industrial problems were the elite proprietors who had a unique capacity to enforce the law (Pontin B, 2012). These proprietors would later use their lawmaking and amendment ability to reinforce their social advantage; this got done through creating new common laws related to public nuisance. The development of the common laws was primarily meant to preserve and protect the ecological fabric of the rural life from the glaring threat of polluting corporate enterprises (Pontin B, 2012). The application of the nuisance laws was more favorable to the nuisance victims, as the institution’s distinctive competence of the law field was high enough to allow for a well orchestrated and ostensibly favorable common law response to the characteristic pollution of the age (Pontin B, 2012).

Negative impacts

Environmental degradation

The significant use of the machines and systematic establishment of factories led to mass production which later resulted in the development of the numerous environmental hazards. The effects that the industrial revolution had on the environment would get visible years after. Researchers would note that, while the revolution was the cause of numerous positive changes in the industrial world, it has many adverse effects on the environment. While the impact of industrialization on the natural environment is a significant concern in the developed countries, much less about its results in the developing countries is known. Among the many notable problems imposed to the environment by industrial revolution are the carbon emissions, depletion of the natural resources, health problems, and environmental pollutions. Undoubtedly, the industrial processes contribute a significant role in the degradation of the global environment, the poisonous gases released into the atmosphere by the paper, bricks, and metal producing factories pose a significant health threat to both animals and the plants (Ahuti, 2015). Air is not the only environmental component affected by the industrial revolution; water and soil are the other components of the environment which are also severely affected by the industrial processes. Untreated industrial waste products from industries and manufacturing plants usually get dumped into the nearby water bodies leading to water pollution. In the end, the polluted water becomes unfit and unhealthy for human consumption or irrigation. Human-made chemicals from the manufacturing plants always find their way into the soil, leading to alteration in the whole composition of the land. Also, the use of pesticides and underground water systems degrade the land and renders it useless (Ahuti, 2015). The massive and noisy generators, factory equipment, machinery and all the other construction activities lead to noise pollution which has the effects of harming the living organisms.

Increase in sexual immorality and general moral decay

Industrial revolution resulted in a significant economic growth and mainly led to the growth and massive development and growth of urban centers (Griffin E, 2013). Towns and cities became a point of convergence for many different persons drawn from all over the world. Majority of these people came to look for employment from the established industries and factories in the urban centers while others were already working in the said industries. It is this economic growth and urbanization that created a sexual freedom for the working class women leading to a sharp rise to the birth of illegitimate children (Griffin E, 2013). Uncontrolled interaction of people who had different cultures meant the communities were unable to sexually control themselves as even those who had strict morals got diluted by those who had no morals at all. The decline in the personal sexual control exercise also contributed significantly to the rising illegitimacy which researchers later termed to as the sexual revolution, which offered a new opportunity for the female sexual expression and fulfillment (Griffin E, 2013). Some of the traditional rituals such as weddings, which were initially meant to preserve morality and maintain order in the society died in the urban centers. Moral decay was got heavily linked to the economic fragility brought about by the industrial revolution (Griffin E, 2013).

Upsurge of child labor

Both quantitative and qualitative analysis by academic researchers who lived through the industrial revolution has demonstrated that there was a significant upsurge of child labor in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries brought about by the industrial revolution(Humphries J, 2012). It was as a result of the industrial revolution that children’s work entrenched in traditional sectors and spread widely in the newly mechanized factories and workshops. Child labor got partially reconstructed by the poor law records and the foundling hospital archives (Humphries J, 2012). The cotton industries and factories contributed much to the rise of child labor; these two firms were strategically crucial in the industrialization process. In an attempt to retain their relevance in the economy, these sectors organized innovations and had to actively associate themselves and rely on child workers (Humphries J, 2012). The new reorganization of production in a more detailed division of labor resulted in the creation of more jobs, which underage children could fill. Such organizational changes acted as the significant boosters of demand for child workers in the industries (Humphries J, 2012). In fact, economist considered child labor as the primary contributing factor of the Britain’s industrial revolution. The sons of factory workers, miners, outworkers, casual workers and soldiers all started working in the industries when they were below the age of ten years (Humphries J, 2012).

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

Social inequity

The significant beneficiaries of the industrial revolution are the providers of intellectual or physical capital who includes the innovators, investors and the shareholders (Li, Hou & Wu, 2017). This statement explains the ever-rising wealth gap between the people who depend on their labor and the owners of capital (Li, Hou & Wu, 2017). Social inequity got compounded by the rapid progress of robots and algorithms which almost entirely substituted capital for labor. The entire base of the job skills pyramid has mostly led the escalation of inequality social tensions. The age of industrial revolution has witnessed a worrying over-concentration of value and power, enabling some consumers to obtain goods and services more conveniently and at lower costs than the other (Li, Hou & Wu, 2017).


The industrial revolution was not an abrupt process. It is a gradual process that has evolved and is still in the process of evolution. We cannot ignore the fact that Britain was the originality of the industrial revolution which we boast of today. Such factors like religion and rise in the population were the significant contributors of the industrial revolution in Britain. The focus of the modern day economists and historians has concentrated on the impacts of the industrial revolution to humankind, the animals, and the environment. Numerous analysis and observations by the researchers have revealed that much as the industrial revolution has dramatically been of benefit to the human being, it also has adverse effects which need to get addressed with a lot of caution. Advantages of the industrial revolution include the development of new inventions and innovations, increase and diversification of food production, revolutionizing the concept of management, implementation, and amendment of new laws to govern social activities. However, the industrial revolution has also had impacted human negatively. These unpleasant effects include environmental degradation, promotion of sexual immorality, social inequity and the rise of child labor. Researchers and academicians need to note that by revisiting the prior developments of the industrial revolution and the impacts that it had on the people, is an essential step in understanding the future of industrialization in the world.


Neuss, L. (2015). Why did the industrial revolution start in Britain?. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Ahuti, S. (2015). Industrial growth and environmental degradation. Environmental Science, 1 (5), 5-7.

Akita, S. (2016). Anglo-Japanese Conference of Historians 2015 Changing Networks and Power in British History: Politics, Society, Trade. East Asian Journal of British History, 5, 1-250.

Bellandi, M. & Propris, L. (2015). Three generations of industrial districts. Journal of Religion Research, 32, 75-87.

Griffin, E. (2013). Sex, illegitimacy and social change in industrializing Britain. Social History, 38 (2), 139-161.

Gulzar, A. (2015). Impact of industrial revolution on management thought. IBA Journal of Management and Business, 2 (1), 1-16.

Hearle, W. (2013). The 20th-century revolution in textile machines and processes. Part I: Spinning and weaving. Industrial Archaeology Review, 35 (2), 87-99.

Humphries, J. (2012). Childhood and child labor in the British industrial revolution. Economic History Review, 1, 1-27.

Pontin, B. (2012). Nuisance law and the industrial revolution: A reinterpretation of doctrine and institutional competence. Modern Law Review, 75 (6), 1010-1036.

Sommer, L. (2015). Industrial revolution-Industry 4.0: Are German manufacturing SMEs the first victims of this revolution. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 8 (5), 1512-1532.

Stern, I. & Kander, A. (2012). The role of energy in the industrial revolution and modern economic growth. The Energy Journal, 33 (3), 125-152.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055