The industrial revolution is one of the most significant events that changed the material wealth of the western world. It ended the dominance of agriculture and initiated the immediate impact of social change (King & Timmins, 2007). There was also a drastic change in an everyday work environment with the west embracing urban civilization. Radical aspects of social and economic thoughts began replacing the traditional aspects of western civilization (King & Timmins, 2007). Two of the most significant social consequences of the industrial revolution include:
- Acceleration of the urban population growth
Urbanization is one of the most significant social consequences of the industrial revolution that led to the rapid increment of crime. This reflects on three factors that were dominant in the urban landscape in the wake of the revolution (King & Timmins, 2007). The first two include unemployment and poverty. During the revolution, there was no social security or job security for most factory workers. Some of the charitable organizations that were made available to curb such cases were over-taxed that their aid even never matched the good intentions they had. Overcrowding is the third factor, which was also a source of social disorder, which is a crime. The aspect of the industrial revolution drew people in thousands to the urban areas to secure employment. Most of the cities became overpopulated since they were not completely prepared for such an influx. The overcrowding fueled cases of social dysfunction, which aided the rapid increment in crimes, mostly against people and property (King & Timmins, 2007).
- Child labor
The industrial revolution resulted in cases of child labor since most of the children got exposed due to the expectation of them assisting the family in a traditional economy. They performed tasks that do not commensurate to their age (King & Timmins, 2007). Employers began exploiting young children with most cases experienced in factories with textile machines and woven clothes. Most of the children suffered severe damage due to their ability to handle tasks efficiently especially the machines. The technology changes at a rapid pace and machines become more sophisticated; most employers have begun to value their machinery more than the workforce (King & Timmins, 2007). This eventually eased the rate of child labor.
The two major differences between capitalism and communism include:
- Their view on resource ownership: communism has been known to promote production means and communal tenure of major resources while capitalism mostly promotes individual tenure of resources. Societal factors are above individuals in a communist society, as opposed to a capitalist society.
- Economic and political ideologies: communism and capitalism do not share common grounds and have significant political and economic-based ideologies. In communist societies, patriotism is emphasized more compared to democracy that is upheld in capitalist societies. The capitalist economy is driven by the free market while the economy of communist society is burdened by many trade regulations and protective tariffs.
The first industrial revolution contributed significantly to the rise of capitalism. This is through creating market platforms for the innovators of the enhanced mechanical revolution. This optimized the aspect of production and established ways to minimize labor and increase revenue facilitating the businessmen to act and think with the economic, aggressive, and greedy approach (Saxonberg, 2013). The rise of capitalism created ways for the development of the communist theory. In relation to the unfair conditions and the rise of poverty among the poor people when capitalism flourished as a result of the industrial revolution, communism ideas took shape spreading rapidly. This led to a change in the economic systems globally to the idea of property ownership, running of businesses, and earning of wages is the primary idea that maintained and supported most of the families (Saxonberg, 2013).
King, S., & Timmins, G. (2007). Making sense of the industrial revolution: [English economy and society 1700-1850]. Manchester [u.a.: Manchester Univ. Press.
Saxonberg, S. (2013). Transitions and non-transitions from communism: Regime Survival in China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.