How Industrialization Impacted the Global Order

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Industrialization is when a country or region enters into a period of great industrial growth which implies several economic and social changes. Economically speaking, a country with a large population would be a prime spot for industrialization due to the large population needing jobs and money. This in turn would cause people to urbanize around areas where factories were located which makes a bigger population. In terms of social changes, the “lowest class” was created, which consisted of the working and middle class.

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These people would work in factories which were owned by the bourgeoisie who were extremely wealthy people that had greater authority over the “lowest class” who were employed in their factories. For those working in these factories, many precautions had to be taken due to the harmful and often dangerous working conditions that these employees suffered. There were multiple things that made the industrial revolution so grand. Industrialization had greatly impacted the world for better and for worse. While the industrial revolution had many great traits such as, rapid advancement in the production of useful products to help function machines and a higher rate of consumerism, there are several commissions and acts which counteract these benefits and discuss the negative effects that the industrial revolution had on the global order.

For example, a young child had testified to the Ashley Commission which was associated with the British Parliament in 1842. “The British Parliament took on a series of initiatives to investigate the lives of women and children in the mid-nineteenth century, and the resulting testimonies, presented by workers to the various parliamentary commissions make for fascinating”and uniquely visceral”reading.” (Oxford). While the lives of children during this era have been very seldom recorded, it can be seen from these testimonies that children had to undergo the life of an employee in order to provide some money for their families. “My father has been dead about a year; my mother is living and has ten children, five lads and five lasses; the oldest is about thirty, the youngest is four; three lasses go to mill; all the lads are colliers, two getters and three hurriers; one lives at home and does nothing; mother does nought but look after home. “(Oxford) This goes to show that women would have multiple kids so that they could be sent to work and help out the family with their children’s pay. This impacted the industrialization globally for the work industry because mothers all around were having multiple kids. They were then able to help out and get money out of it to help support the family. Some kids were unfortunately worked to death in some instances, and never returned home. They had to sacrifice getting an education to help provide for their family and this happened everywhere which impacted childhoods. Kids were working as young five years old for over ten hours shifts. This posed both an economic and social change of the industrial revolution as mothers having children increased the population and thus effects the economy. However, due to the children missing out on an education, they now belong to the “lowest class.”

The Factory rules in Berlin in 1844 consisted of 17 rules that every worker had to obey. Many of these men that worked in these factories would make a big impact to society for the product production. The men would make steam engines and railroads therefore making an easier way for transportation, but they were getting below minimum wage for the work they were doing, but some countries had higher wages because of their production costs. With textile and mining industries they helped provide benefits towards the machines in the factories would make it easier for the advancement for industrialization. Because of the importance of each job, rules were given to these workers in order to increase total efficiency in every employee. “In every large works, and in the coordination of any large number of workmen, good order and harmony must be looked upon as the fundamentals of success, and therefore the following rules shall be strictly observed” (Factory Rules in Berlin). These rules were given to set boundaries for the employees and must not be broken resulting in losing a man. Every man that was employed was given a copy of these rules to live by when they were working for the company. Therefore, no man can be ignorant towards them. These rules were pretty mainstream and are still considered of today such as don’t be late and do not smoke on the job. This created another social change between employer and employee as the employer can dictate the manner in which the employee should act on the job. And this holds true with any job today as there are certain requirements that must be met by each employer.

The Factory Act in 1833 outlined the problems that children faced in the factories, and sought to create a reasonable guideline for employers to follow when hiring children. Rules such as no child workers under nine years of age, and that employers must have an age certificate for their child workers were implemented. Also added where stricter rules on the amount of time children could work each day. Every factory would be held to factory inspections where child employees would be questioned about their work hours and their age. And while the act was implemented in 1833, its effects were slow to pick up as evident by a factory inspectors report in 1836. “They stated to me that they commenced working on Friday morning, the 27th of May last, at six A.M., and that, with the exception of meal hours and one hour at midnight extra, they did not cease working till four o’clock on Saturday evening, having been two days and a night thus engaged.” (British Parliamentary Papers, 1836). This inspectors report shows that these children in particular were forced to work for over 30 hours which is absolutely absurd by today’s standards. This act provides social change for child workers and is a step forward for better working conditions for them. However, these factory owners would still take advantages of their child laborers despite of this act.

As it can be seen by the sources above, the industrial revolution was a time of great social and economic change. While much good did come of the revolution such as an increase in consumerism and advancements in technology, the social implications that were had on the “lowest class” where terrible. Not only were people forced to work in poor conditions for small wages, but children were also forced to slave away for long hours. However, advancements in how employers treat employees did come from these times such as the Factory Act in 1833 and the Factory Rules in 1844. Modern employers often follow guild lines that have roots in these acts such as the age requirements for employees and the rules that employees must follow while on the job. While it can be argued whether the industrial revolution had a positive or negative effect on the global scale, overall it is inarguable that the industrial revolution caused a great social and economic impact on the world that we live in.

Works Cited

  1., from Readings in European History Since 1814, ed. Jonathan F. Scott and Alexander Baltzly (New York: Appleton-Century- Crofts, 1930), drawing on Parliamentary Papers, 1842, vols. 25??“27, Appendix 1, 252, 258, 439, 461; Appendix 2, 107, 122, 205.
  2. PRINTED FROM OXFORD FIRST SOURSCE ( (c) Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford FIRST SOURCE for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy
  3. “Factory Rules in Berlin (1844).” First Encounters and Immigration to the Colonies,
  4. Extract from a Factory Inspectors report ??“ British Parliamentary Papers (1836) No 353
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How industrialization impacted the global order. (2020, Jan 06). Retrieved from