The Industrial Revolution in England
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The Industrial Revolution in England
The Industrial Revolution brought about a major change in the lives of almost all of the people of England. The people of the working class benefitted from the Industrial Revolution. In other words, I am an optimist. I think that the standard of living of the people increased. However, I also believe that many people of the working class lost their independence as a result of the revolution. Greed did not increase over this time period because there was just as much greed before the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was a step forward for women because they wanted to be at home with their children. The working class in England had a higher standard of living during the Industrial Revolution than before it started.
The living standards of the working class of England improved during the Industrial Revolution. At the start of the revolution, from 1790 to 1815, prices and wages grew steeply. At this point, the prices were a little higher than the wages. This was due to the war against France from 1793 to 1815. Was it just a coincidence that the prices were higher only during the time that the war was going on? I do not believe that this was the case. Prices tend to go up during wars. After the war with France ended, the prices went back down very sharply. Wages did not decrease as much. They went down marginally, but not close to the sharp decline in prices. For the bulk of the revolution, wages were higher than the prices. After the people of England had bought their necessities to live on, they still had money left over because of the decrease in prices. This constituted higher living standards because the people had more money to spend on things other than the necessities. !
Pessimists argue that the chart from which this information was taken is incorrect because it only shows factory workers. However, the factories were where most of the people of England were working. People knew that they would make more money in the factories, and consequently, the people of England flocked to the factories. Pessimists also claim that it is unfair to disclaim responsibility for the Industrial Revolution during the war time years with France. But why should optimists be responsible for the years of poor living standards when it was not the revolution's fault? It was the war's fault, not the revolution's fault. It is obvious that over the course of the Industrial Revolution, death rates in England decreased. There was also a large population increase because of the decreased mortality rates. "20% of the population growth came from increased birth rates, while the rest came from declining mortality rates." (Bin. p. 103) From 1700-1750, the death rates i!
n England were 32 out of every thousand people per year. By the
1810's, death rates were down to 21 out of every thousand people. At the end of the revolution, in the 1840's, the death rates were at 22 out of every thousand people per year. "There were no significant medical advances until after 1850 ..., so improved housing, clothing, real wages, and diets reduced the mortality rates." (Bin. p.103) The pessimists point out that almost all of the decline in death rates occurred before 1800. This is correct. However, the death rates still went down. They also point out that when the effects of industrialization took hold, the national death rates rose from 21/1000 to 23/1000. But, even though they rose by two more people per thousand, this is insignificant compared with how much the death rates had already decreased. While from the 1810's to the 1830's, the rates went up by two people per thousand, in the 1840's, the death rates went back down to 22/1000. The starting point used by the pessimists of 1820 is unfair because it fails!
to include the portion of history during which the death rates fell the most. "The pessimists unfairly select 1820 as their starting point, which is to their advantage in the debate, but the technological changes in cotton and iron, which brought about industrialization all occurred in the 1770's and 1780's." (Bin. p.104) The pessimists also say that the death rates
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Industrial Revolution, Power loom, Weaving, Enclosure, Demographic economics, Human geography, Calton weavers, Life in Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution
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