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Industrial Revolution (essay on a respectable topic)


awaterbottle38 1 / -  
Jan 15, 2010   #1
So we had pretty much a free range essay on any topic we chose and could be any format we chose (persuasive, expository, etc). The only restriction on the topic was that it had to be a respectable one. The essay has some weak parts (particularly the conclusion I think), so can anyone suggest some changes. Also if you notice any other problems please point them out.

So I did it on the industrial revolution:

Suppose that suddenly all the technological inventions that we have come to depend on suddenly disappeared or were out of our reach. Such a world would leave us in the absence of washing machines, automatic can openers, and blenders, and make simple everyday tasks a huge chore. The luxuries that we enjoy today are products of a remarkable period of change that took place in the late eighteenth century, the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution was a major event that was marked by a massive move to urban areas for the population and a complete shift in the life of a person living in the late eighteenth century. A huge benefit of the industrial revolution was that it allowed access to essential goods for lower class citizens such as cheap medications or clothing. As well, this remarkable period of technological change created a huge number of jobs in the end and a boom in the economies of the major powers of the world. Furthermore, the high standards of living that we enjoy today are the direct results of the advances in technology that took place during this time of great change. The industrial revolution has ultimately resulted in positive changes for society and helped create a better world.

The industrial revolution was extremely favorable for all aspects of society but even more so for the middle class which saw tremendous changes in their lifestyle. During the late eighteenth century, many goods were not available to middle class citizens because of their rarity and cost but this was to change with the advent of the industrial revolution. The radical revolution would first lead to a solution for the rarity of products, which was due to two main reasons, the speed of workers, and the shortage of skilled workers. The two causes for the rarity of important products were resolved by mechanization where the increasing use of technology allowed for a faster manufacturing process. For example, the textile industry was the first to benefit from machinery where "merchants turned increasingly to machinery for greater production" (PUHSD). Here, the use of technology in an important industry led to an increase in the output of woven fabrics such as cotton, which would subsequently lead to cheaper clothing being available for working class citizens. In addition to this, machines allowed products to be almost identical and so eliminated the need for skilled labor since workers only had to do simple tasks such as moving products to another assembly line. Mechanization also resolved another important problem that prevented access to essential goods for the middle class, the expense. Take for example, the reduction of cost in important medicine which was a direct result of the machines that "provided scientists with new forms of microscopes, dyes that could be used to track and identify germs, laboratories and technical equipment for use in medical experimentation" (School History). Due to this reduction in price of important medical equipment, medication was available at a lower cost and consequently accessible to the lower and middle class. As well, since the price of an item is often determined by the demand and the supply, an increase in supply will result in a lower cost for the consumer. This is exactly what resulted from the industrial revolution outcome was the proliferation of cheap but essential goods through common consumer markets. Therefore, the industrial revolution has resulted in many beneficial changes for society during the eighteenth century and has ultimately led society in the right direction.

The industrial revolution had an astounding impact on many facets of society but its economic impact was tremendous. The revolution created a huge number of jobs for unskilled workers and had a positive influence on economies around the world. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, there were many unskilled laborers and very little jobs for these unskilled workers. The changes taking place in factories during the industrial revolution provided a solution to this problem because factories required a large workforce. For example, "factories increased in size, number, and productivity, there was more necessity for unskilled labor to man the machines" (ThinkQuest). The enormity of the factories required an equally enormous labor force and led to the creation of employment opportunities. Furthermore, the factories created work that was better suited for the qualifications of the majority of workers at that time. That is to say, unskilled workers could now be assigned to simple, repetitive tasks while still earning a wage that was reasonable to both the worker and the factory owner. As well, the demand for unskilled workers led to the acceptance of women in the workplace since most women were not very educated during this period (Women in World History). This meant that there was an extra source of income for most families and consequently led to a better standard of living. Additionally, the use of unskilled laborers allowed economies to avoid stagnation, such as the British economy, which was reaching a cap due to the rising cost of producing goods. The industrial revolution was the solution to this problem since merchants bought machines that lowered the cost of manufacturing goods. Additionally, because of the rising monetary power of the middle class, the economies of major countries grew due to increased spending by consumers. This idea of consumer spending has become common place in modern society but this was not the case in the eighteenth century where "The people in rural areas made most of their own clothing, furniture, and tools from raw materials produced on the farms or in forests" (PUHSD). and this applied for more than 90% of the population. The reasons that the middle class grew was due to the industrial revolution, which subsequently stimulated the languishing economies. Hence, the industrial revolution has had many constructive impacts on society and has improved society in many ways.

One of the most important changes that resulted from the industrial revolution for the working class was the improvement in the standard of living due to the new technologies that surfaced during this period. The industrial revolution was truly an upheaval for the middle class, which saw its standard of living rise dramatically due to increasing mechanization that allowed cheaper goods. Historians agree with this change saying: "The standard-of-living debate today is not about whether the industrial revolution made people better off, but about when" (Library of economics and liberty).This dramatic change in the standard of living occurred because the industrial revolution allowed the general public access to goods that were only available to the upper classes, as discussed previously. The goods that were available relieved many of the burdensome chores that a normal family would have to face such as washing clothes by hand. The invention of the washing machine during the industrial revolution relieved the burdensome chore of washing clothes by hand. While some may argue that the working class had to labor in harsh conditions in a factory job, the truth was that the conditions were equally as terrible for the average person working on a farm before the industrial revolution (Hartwell, 399). The industrial revolution also empowered the working class and decreased the large income gap between the middle and upper classes. This was partially because wages doubled from 1819 to 1851, a period of only thirty-two years (Library of Economics and Liberty). This meant that the average worker had much more of a say in the companies he or she worked for because of the purchasing power that the average worker now held. Additionally, the change in government that took place during the industrial revolution of many countries such as Britain granted the people much more of a say in government, such as the increasing importance of the elected British Parliament. Therefore, the industrial revolution has had many positive impacts on society and has improved our lifestyles.

The industrial revolution has had many beneficial effects on society and has led society down a better road. The industrial revolution was responsible for the availability of inexpensive goods for the lower and middle classes through the introduction of machines in producing goods. In addition, it had ultimately created a huge number of jobs that fit the labor force and had sparked the stagnating economies of the time. Furthermore, it has been a huge force in the improving standards of living of the working class and has led to many important changes such as government. So while what often gets advertised are the negative effects of the industrial revolution, it does not account for the long term benefits on society. The industrial revolution has had some effect on what we have and do in our modern world in some way, whether you live in the desert or in the most populated city on Earth.

Thank you for your help.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 16, 2010   #2
They showed us a powerful video/audio footage of Rachel's life and the Columbine tragedy that led everyone, including me, spell bounded.---- this thesis statement is very general and broad. The essay would be interesting in a sharper way if you made an observation that was more specific. However, this is very solid, very good just as it is. It does not have to be made sharper, but it could be if you wanted a specific theme.It would be like dedicating the essay to an idea.

Your topic sentences are good.

The whole essay s well-written, just a little bit boring. If you gave it a theme to make it unique, it would be so much better! :-)


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