What were some Negative Effects of the Industrial Revolution?

What was the Industrial Revolution? Who started it? What were its Negative Effects? How did the Industrial Revolution affect Warfare? What are the Environmental Effects of Industrialization?
what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution

Living in concrete jungles and feeding off of industries might have made you wonder what was the world like before this. It was a world greener and cleaner than the era after the industrial revolution. You might have read long texts and speeches defining the boom industrialization brought to the world. But have you read at what cost? What were some negative effects of the industrial revolution? And what are the negative effects of industrial revolution that still haunt the current lives?

1. What were the Pros and Cons of the Industrial Revolution?

a work area during industrial revolution: what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution 1

Industrial Revolution, is a part of history having major innovations that fueled a worldwide change. Historians believe it unfolded in two parts. The first part was mostly confined to Britain and happened during the mid 18th century to 1830 and the second part happened during the mid 19th century to the early 20th century. It had a broader area of reach as it took place in Britain, continental Europe, Japan, and North America. (See 4 Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution)

The economy shifted from being based on agriculture and handicrafts to large-scale industry, the factory system, and adopting mechanised manufacturing. Like any other mass movement, this movement has its fair share of shortcomings and benefits. To enhance your knowledge you must know what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution and if their pros overpower their cons.

Pros of the Industrial Revolution Cons of  the Industrial Revolution
1. More affordable and accessible goods
  • Factory products were made faster and were cheaper compared to handmade products.
  • As the production and supply of things increased their cost to the consumer declined.
1. Overcrowded cities and industrial towns
  • Better wages attracted migrants to cities and towns but these places were ill-prepared.
  • They had an initial housing shortage and appearance of poor quality housing.
  • Overwhelmed local sewerage and sanitation system.
  • Contaminated drinking water.
  • The proximity people had to live in, poor working conditions and drinking contaminated water were ideal conditions for outbreaks like cholera, typhus, cholera, and the like.
2. Evolution of labour-saving products
  • Rapid production of hand tools and other useful items fueled the development of tools and vehicles increasing the mobility of goods and people.
  • Growth of rail and road transportation.
  • Development of the telegraph ( a push for communication services)
  • The invention of labour-saving machines such as the spinning jenny (the multiple swindle machine for spinning wool and cotton).
  • Electricity driven home appliances like refrigerators.
  • Fossil fuels run automobiles.
2. Pollution and environmental deterioration
  • Excessive use of natural resources for industrial fuels and raw materials greatly affected our planet’s valuable natural capital.
  • Increased water and air pollution.
  • Reduction of biodiversity.
3. Rapid Medical development
  • Industrialization allowed fast production of medical instruments like scalpels, microscopes, test tubes, etc.
  • Machine manufacturing produced more refined medical instruments.
  • The newly developed communication services helped physicians around the world share cures and treatments.
3. Poor working conditions
  • Less importance was given to the safety and wages of workers.
  • Less than ideal working conditions.
  • 14-16 hrs of work per day for 6 days a week.
  • Men workers were paid twice the wages compared to women workers.
  • Unsafe factory work resulted in accidents and deaths.
4. Enhanced quality of life and wealth
  • Mass production lowered the cost of everyday products like clothes, tools., etc. Saving money now common people were able to build personal wealth.
  • The establishment of new factories provided new employment.
  • Average people were able to earn a fortune working as factory or business employees.
  • The middle class emerged in industrial societies.
  • Greater buying power led to changes in the laws.
4. Development of unhealthy lifestyle
  • The Industrial revolution lowered the physical work done by people.
  • They started doing less physical workouts and eating more processed foods.
  • This led to an increase in lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease,..etc.
5. Specialised professions on the rise
  • Factory workers were being trained to perform specialised tasks.
  • More specialised teachers, lawyers, physicians, and workers were on the rise.

2. What were the Effects of the Industrial Revolution in America?

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The American industrial revolution started between 1820 and 1870. It spiked rapid urbanisation in America. (See Who Invented Paper Money?)

  • It also caused a rise in unskilled labour. Due to the use of children, new labour laws were introduced. The working conditions and inequality in the wage system fueled the growth of labour unions.
  • The new economic conditions lead to the formation of a new middle class which consisted of doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and the like.
  • Industrialization also polarised political parties and factions. This polarisation was a result of clashes between different social groups who held their own specific cultures, views, and values.

3. What are some Positive and Negative changes that Industrialization brought to the US and the American Worker?

Industrialization was a very big development in our past. It has both good and bad consequences. Let’s know its positives and also find out what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution on American workers. (See Why are Dimes Smaller than Pennies?)

  • The positive part of industrialization is that it made work more available in America by producing huge employment opportunities.
  • It reduced the market rate by providing cheaper clothes and easy transportation. It developed connectivity and also increased generating more electrical power, and the like. In these ways, industrialization improved people’s lives.
  • The industrialization has its bad side too as it contaminated the soil, and caused air and water pollution.
  • During this period workers were exploited with long work hours, poor living and working conditions, low wages, and child labour. (See Why is the American Flag Red, White, and Blue?)

4. How did the Industrial Revolution affect Warfare?

what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution 4

The industrial revolution was a time when technology developed phenomenally. The military started using some of these technologies. So what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution on warfare? The factories were used for the mass production of guns, bullets, military uniforms, tents, and boots. The mass-produced weapons were more accurate, and powerful and comes with a wide range. 

Industrial developments like the railroad, the steamship, and the telegraph fully transformed logistics and communication. The strength and mobility of armies increased. The fast production rates and innovative technologies led to a lot of devastating wars in human history. (See Morse Code Uses in Communication)

5. Why was the Industrial Revolution a Curse?

To better get an idea of why the industrial revolution was a curse you need to understand what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution on people. Many have begun with the motive of easing out the work of people but it turned out to be the worst. It started as an era of people being exploited for the pursuit of unlimited profit. (See Why Is the Illuminati on the Dollar Bill?)

The workers were physically and mentally exhausted. Their wages were also not sufficient and they were also required to work in unsafe conditions. They had to live in unsanitary conditions. A lot of people died during work, if they didn’t die from overwork they died from the diseases. This revolution may have brought manufacturing prosperity but it was a curse for the society and the people enduring its blaze. To know more about what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution, read the next segment.

6. What are the Negative Effects of Industrial Revolution?

Child labor during industrial revolution

The industrial revolution may seem like a glorified era but it sure wasn’t free from any negative associations to its name. They had to endure inhuman living and work conditions. They needed to work in extreme heat, with poor ventilation, lack of light, and loud noises. Its negative points include poor working conditions, low wages, child labour, overpopulation, diseases, unhygienic and unhealthy lifestyle, and environmental damages. (See Why Africa is underdeveloped?)

7. What are the Disadvantages of Industrial Development?

As you already got answers to what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution, go through the list of major disadvantages of industrial development. (See Why do some people want to migrate to the United States?)

  • Working conditions degraded during this period. Workers had to go through a lot of pain and that too for low income. There weren’t any regulations for their safety.
  • Children were also exploited as labourers and child labour was at its peak during this time. The children were preferred because they will work at lower wages than the adults. were expected to work for 12 hours a day even in poor working conditions. Some children lost their chance of studying and some even their lives during this era.
  • It worsened the living conditions of the workers. Due to overpopulation in the industrial cities, the workers had to live in poor housing. They had to drink contaminated water and live in poor sanitary conditions as the local sewerages were also overwhelmed. These areas were always at risk of disease outbreaks. 
  • It created income inequality as only a few people in the world hold enormous wealth. 
  • The agricultural practice changed after this revolution and fewer people were getting involved in agriculture. (See Why is Agriculture Important?)
  • It created a working model where everyone values convenience more than wellness.

8. What are the Environmental Effects of Industrialization?

Environmental Effects of Industrialization

Industrialization bloomed by sucking nature off of its resources. The industrialization has had a deep impact on the environment. Due to this, people started exhausting fossil fuels and natural resources. This created the foundation of pollution and global warming. It has also led to air, water, and soil pollution. Now you must agree about the effects of the industrial revolution on the environment that makes its name in the headlines today and still for all the wrong reasons.  (See How the invention of cars affected the economy?)

Now you are well aware of what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution. It resulted in urbanisation and overpopulation and now both of them are creating stress on the available limited natural resource. A major concern today due to industrialization is global warming which leads to climate change. All of these are directly or indirectly affecting human health and also the wildlife that has nothing to do with it. Everyone should understand what were some negative effects of the industrial revolution and need to look for better working and environment-friendly solutions to tackle the problems arising due to industrialization. (See How Long is a Decade and a Century?)

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