The Positive and Negative Impacts of Industrialization
Revolution, the reformation of an existing constitution, has taken place throughout humankind’s’ history and varies enormously in terms of strategies, durations and beliefs. One of the revolutions that created major modifications in human history was the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial revolution was the progression to new manufacturing processes. It started in Great Britain and then expanded from Britain to other European countries and to the United States. During the revolution, production of the necessities of life were began to processed by powerful machineries from 1750 to 1850. Technologies like steam engines, electric generator, telegraph, etc. made the revolution possible and increased the improvements of science. Therefore, the Industrial Revolution helped in forming the modern world. The modern industrial revolution evoke an automation of manufacturing processes and robotic technologies through artificial intelligence. This indicates that. machines will operate cooperatively with humans. Therefore, there are similarities between the past Industrial Revolution and the modern Industrial Revolution in terms of workforces, societal changes, and further action led by the social tensions.
Industrial Revolutions increased the production enormously, also increased wealth and power. This massive revolution affected the working conditions of common people. People developed new machines to generate items, instead of manufacturing by hand and this has led to significantly reduced prices for production. (More, 2006, p .3) As factories began to multiply, it created job opportunities and also offered new innovations to be developed. However, there was a clear class conflict; the factory owners’ only aim was to increase profits while the working class was viewed as a machine piece (Foster, 2005, p. 120-126). Moreover, inside the industries, the atmosphere was poisonous and unhealthy. For example: coal burning, metallic goods production, using basic chemical created enormous air pollution. However, women’s employment progressed at factories in 1850 (Lewis, 2019). Likewise technological advances are producing dramatic changes in the industrial lives of employees today. Use of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation in industries may make it possible to have quicker and effective methods to produce products of better quality at lower prices. Robots are developing to be even more useful by becoming better adaptable, more autonomous and collaborative (Waters and Bradshaw, 2016). They can eventually interact and work hand in hand with humans efficiently (Gerbert, Lorenz, et al., 2015). The absolute omission of emotion will lead the artificial intelligence of robotics to take all the decisions entirely realistically (Waters and Bradshaw, 2016). Besides, industrial automation can also add improved safety, lessen working weeks and decreased processing times in the factory. With all the aforementioned impacts, the state of the workforces can progress highly at the time of Industrial Revolutions.
Not only in the economic status, Industrial Revolution’s developments also brought major societal changes to people. The past revolution changed traditional economic structures that gradually breeded the capitalist economy system (Kaldor, 1977, p. 193). But according to Wallerstein (1975), capitalism also formed a clear system of classes. At the top class of the society were upper class and they were wealthy and owned the factories. The lower class were the workers, who had little amount of money and rarely had property. Jobs was unstable for them as there were always more labourers to replace the old workers (p. 367–375). The revolution caused increasing population and urbanization, as numerous people moved to cities for employment. 14% people used to live in British towns at the time of 1830 and the number increased three times at 1900 (Wyatt, 2009, p. 62). Therefore, slums grew and the working classes had to live in congested environments with minimum ease and safety.
Furthermore, in order to support family, poor children often worked full time jobs during the Industrial Revolution and this practice of child labor continued throughout much of the Industrial Revolution period (More, 2006, p. 51-57). Moreover, Industrialized nations got the ability of developing large armies, navies, air forces, and many destructively evolved weapon which was a threat for the non industrialized nations (Grant, 2016, p. 225). The modern industrial revolution can create vital societal changes too. As world is dealing with a shortfall of skilled workers (Schumann, 2018), automation can lessen the insufficiency of qualified labor. So, there is a huge possibility where human jobs will be replaced by the machines which can produce massive unemployment in nations. The office workers will be allowed to control and process an amount of information which was previously unimaginable (Harsh, 2016). Moreover, developed nations may create strong individualism economy system through these technological advances which can ultimately generate more prosperity for developed states and less for developing or undeveloped states. According to Baldwin (2019), “Not all of us are equally good at social cognition, just as we aren’t all equally good at algebra. But as it turns out, computers are much better at algebra than they are at social cognition, this provides an edge that will allow humans to stay competitive in jobs that involved social interaction” (p. 238). So there has been debates going on either robots will take away human’s employments or it will only make a sustainable world. So the impact of Industrial Revolutions on society is controversial.
The starting of new technologies have also been reforming people’s reflection tremendously. At the time of past industrial revolution labor union groups started fight for improvement of the working conditions. It all started by a labor named John Doherty who used to seek for better pay and conditions in industries and he led the way of unions where people started to join with the risk of losing jobs and imprisonment (Kelly, 2013). They had nearly one million supporters by 1875 (Kelly, 2013). Many unions accomplished their objectives by urging the government to take steps on various aspects of factory work in setting laws, such as- the British parliament passed Factory Act and made major legislation to limit child labor in 1800s (Evans, 2016). Therefore, because of the labour revolt, people in 1800s succeeded to establish that, children were too young to work and they should rather focus on education. In the decades that followed, labour unions are still playing a vital role in today’s world. They are still taking action collectively for the improvement of their lives. They are continuously providing workers a voice and giving means to gain security in the factories. But the labor activists in modern world got involvement of political power either in positive way or negative way. As example, The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL CIO) offers a great deal with the politicians and get them focused into the working issues (Mort, 2000, p. 101). On the other hand, an investigation in Myanmar found that, there are discrimination happening to the leaders of labour unions and they are getting fired for labor activity ( Htoon, et al., 2019). Also, if the robots take place of the labors in industries, there is a high chance of a massive revolt by the labor unions as the labor unions are actively showing their enthusiasm for better job security in workplaces. So all the merits and demerits, the denoted activists have the higher possibility to create the next monumental transformation within workforces.
With all the positive and negative impacts, industrialization has opened up the all the possibilities for a progressive, faster, cheaper, stronger world. The mountainous movements of Industrial Revolution changed the shape of manufacturing process and daily lives. Similarly, artificial intelligence, robotics and industrial automation are creating a gigantic transitions in modern world regarding business field to the society.
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