European History

Part 1

The Industrial Revolution changed the lives of people considerably. Middle and upper classes, consisting of wealthy and successful people, benefited from the revolution the most. Revolution made the opportunities of both classes equal. The middle class consisted of businessmen and representatives of respectful professions and the industrial resolution made these people more wealthy and successful.  Numerous new jobs were created due to growth of business. The size of middle class grew in size as such occupations as merchants, shopkeepers and accountants provided these people with the opportunity to lift into higher class.  Middle class people benefited from industrial revolution in terms of education and their social standing (Wright 12).

As for the working-class people, their lives changed, but did not improve considerably. The working class people used to work in the agricultural sphere, and industrial revolution made them work in factories. The industrial revolution provided women with jobs, as working in factories was easier than work in the fields. However, the wages were lower and the working conditions were filthy and dangerous. Finally, due to the influx of working class people into cities in search for the job, the cities became overcrowded and rife with disease. Unlike children of middle class, working class children had to work and did not attend schools.

The results of widening economic gap in the XIX century were evident in the level of life of simple Americans. Although, industrial revolution was supposed to make life of all people better, it failed. The economic gap became wider and wealthy people became richer, while poor working population did not enjoy the results of revolution. The uneducated and limited to unskilled labor people remained at the bottom of the economic pile.

Part II

The role of industrial revolution is huge, and it is necessary to admit its influence on each sphere of life. Therefore, the social consequences of it are also considerable. They varied, depending upon class and region. In the period between the late 18th and early 20th centuries, new family and class structures occurred in order to regulate the new wage economy (Wright 45). People started organizing labor unions, which aimed at helping people to advocate general interests, but improving their social lives. The second consequence of the industrial revolution was population migration from rural to urban areas, explained by the rise of factories around towns. Approximately 10% of the Europeans lived in cities in 1800, however, by 1850 this number increased to 52% of Englishmen inhabiting cities, 25% Frenchmen and 36% Germans (Wright 46). Taking into account that rural production was unable to compete with cheaper factory manufacture, rural workers moved to the cities in order to work in factories. There was a gradual, but significant increase in the level of literacy after the 18th century. Almost all classes in British society became literate, chiefly, people from the lower working class. It is explained by the increase private schools.

Modern society still uses social consequences of industrial revolution. Workers at factories still organize labor unions, which have acquired modern and more sophisticated structures. There is still a considerable growth of population in the developed industrial cities, where people from the rural areas or small towns arrive, searching for more working opportunities. Finally, industrial revolution increased opportunities of education and gave the path to the development if schools and institutions.


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