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The Industrial Revolution was an era that had a great impact in American history. It was a time period that showed a large amount of change in the economy. During this time human hands were replaced by large machines and manufacturing. Before all of these changes were made, all work was done by hand which took a lot more time for things to get done. This all came about in Great Britain during the mid 18th century. Samuel Slater brought the Industrial Revolution to America from Great Britain in 1790. It was decided that The Industrial Revolution was to be kept top secret and that the people of Great Britain were to be the only ones to know. The plan did not go as followed and Samuel decided to disclose the information to the Americans in exchange for wealth.
At the age of twenty-one, Slater took in as much information as he could in regards to what the Britain’s were doing and fled to America seeking his fortune. There were three major changes that helped the Industrial Revolution grow. One being the inventions of more advanced tools that took over handmade tools, the use of power in replacement of human and animal labor, and the adoption of the factory system.When the Industrial Revolution began it was viewed as an advantage and a disadvantage by most of the citizens. All workers had to be capable of being able to use the equipment provided that was required for production of any product, therefore it became an advantage because people no longer had to be specially trained to be part of the production. These machines also allowed for the workers to produce a large amount of product for low costs and in shorter amounts of times.
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It became a disadvantage because it brought large amounts of individuals out of the countryside and into the city to work. These jobs were sometimes dangerous and didn’t usually pay enough money for the work that was being done. It was also a disadvantage because of environmental drawbacks which included high pollution of air, water, and soil. Before the Industrial Revolution occured many of the items that were used on a daily basis were created by hand. The owners of the facilities then created ways to produce larger amounts of items in a shorter amount of time. Instead of utilizing artisans to produce hand made items, machines began to help and eventually took over the artisans. Different types of machines were then created to increase the production of these items. Machines such as the steam engine, the water wheel used to produce power for machinery, and the spinning wheel which was used to create textiles. All of these machines helped to speed up the process of producing manufactured items.
Now that materials were being created faster and for a smaller value, manufactured goods were needed more than the actual supply. This insufficiency of materials caused the factories to demand harder work on their employees. These demands of harder work became extremely inhumanly possible to achieve, to the point where laws were being created to protect the employees. The Factory Act was an act that was passed to protect the working hours of the employees from the factories. However, the modifications that these acts achieved were really good and led to different and superior ways for the factories to produce more business. Another major change that took place during the Industrial Revolution was transportation.
The revolution of transportation started off early with just plain roads. It then expanded to the inventions of steamboats and railroads. In 1807 the first commercial steamboat was built by Robert Fulton. Steamboats were created for the use of carrying supplies or people across waterways. Railroads became a great way of transporting from one place to another in a short period of time. The first steam train (locomotive) was created by Peter Cooper and was called the tomb thumb. The tomb thumb was about thirteen miles ( twenty-one kilometers) long starting from Baltimore to the Ohio railroad. Transportation Revolution increased rapidly throughout towns and cities due to its populations. Along with transportations and new job opportunities, the Industrial Revolution had one great advantage for everyone, even the most distanced farmers.
No matter the weather and climate changes with the Industrial Revolution everyone was assured reliable wages. Countryside farming jobs were seasonal and also paid a low wage, so on off seasons farmers decided to migrate to the cities in order to make money. Even Though farmers migrated from countrysides to cities on off seasons for labor, farmers still only received just enough money to survive. With the large amount of urbanization that went on during the Industrial Revolution in the cities, the urban populations began to interact with the environment. The citizens of the cities began to change their environments through their utilization of chemicals and fuel for all of the machines in the factories. The utilization of chemicals and fuel resulted in air and water pollution. Not only did the citizens affect the environment, but in turn it affected them back.
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