Revolutions are Seen as Positive Advancements
Industrial Revolutions are seen as positive advancements, which can lead to furthering economic growth in a nation. Although, industrial revolutions can bring numerous positive outcomes, it can also bring many negative outcomes to the developing country that is going through an industrial change. Throughout history, there has been more than one industrial revolution that has occurred, and it also continues to happen to this day. So far, there has been three different waves of industrial revolution and we are currently on the brink of a fourth coming industrial revolution. Industrial revolutions help out developing countries a great deal, it provides work and can get people above the poverty line, and it also furthers economic growth within the country.
On the other hand, industrial revolutions can also widen the gap between the poor and the rich, where rich factory owners get wealthier and the workers are usually being taken advantage of, and work off of a minimum wage. The nations also can experience an influx of people moving into cities for work, leaving rural economy behind and potentially hurting it. Ultimately Industrialization can help out a country, it will get its people to work, reduce poverty and possibly even crime. But, there are also socio-economic, environmental and agricultural disadvantages that come with it. Through looking at the numerous and different waves of industrial revolution and examining the positive and negative impacts on developing nations, we will be able to identify that the industrial revolution does more good than harm.
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The first industrial revolution came around in England during the mid-eighteenth century and from then on it began to spread to other nations in the world. The changes brought by this revolution brought great positive changes to the developing countries it was altering. This revolution altered how products were produced and how the work was done to get there. The factories were made up of machines and these machines were producing product faster and cheaper than it could be done manually. The factories were making numerous items at a faster pace, therefore the cost to consumers had declined, items such as shoes, clothing, tools, and more were easier for everyone to purchase (John Rafferty). Women were also beginning to be used as factory workers.
This positively impacted both the females and the employer, because it allowed women to have a sense of independence while working, and employers were able to get cheap labor out of women (ushistory.org). Not only did the flourishment of factories bring jobs to work within the factory, but it also brought more jobs outside of the factory setting as well. According to John Rafferty’s article, The Rise of the Machines: Pros and Cons of the Industrial Revolution, the housing, transportation, and recreational needs of factory workers resulted in the rapid expansion of cities and towns. Governmental bureaucracy grew to support these, and new specialized departments were created to handle traffic, sanitation, taxation, and other services. People began to have more specialized jobs, and jobs that were never needed before became a necessity because of the industrial revolution.
On the other hand, this industrial revolution also brought some negative impacts on the developing nations. This industrial revolution was also characterized by wage labor, which according to ushistory.org, was a form of exploitation where factory workers were being paid very low wages and still had to suffer through horrible working conditions. It seems as though making a profit was the top priority compared to safety and the best interest of the workers. John Rafferty states, Factory workers often labored 14-16 hours per day six days per week. Men’s meager wages were often more than twice those of women. The wages earned by children who worked to supplement family income were even lower.
John Rafferty also describes how there was machines that expelled smoke and dirt, and this made these enclosed factories extremely unsanitary. Even though the wages were better than what would be made working in a farm, it was a big price to pay to endure those hours and conditions. Additionally, the influx of people who desired factory jobs creates an overcrowding in the industrial cities that were uprising. According to John Rafferty, because of the overcrowding, the local sewerage and sanitation systems were overwhelmed, and drinking water was often contaminated. This caused major health issues as well. People who were fatigued by poor working conditions, and drinking contaminated water caused a lot of illnesses to submerge.
The second Industrial revolution also brought many great advancements in both technology and in society and had few negative impacts. According to Richmond Vale, The Second Industrial Revolution, which began in the middle of 19th century. It was a period of growth for pre-existing industries and expansion of new ones; such as the steel, oil and electricity fields. The development of new technologies led to the introduction of two things: public transport and planes. (2016). Basically, this industrial revolution consisted of improving the methods of manufacturing and production, as well as new discoveries and inventions. For example, steel was discovered to be strong and cheap, so it was now being used to make rail lines and make transportation easier, and it was also used to make ships, skyscrapers and big bridges (Vale 2016).
Inventions and discoveries allowed for the continuation of new products to be made, such as electricity influencing the discovery of the lightbulb. While it was great that so many advancements in technology and manufacturing was being made, we also see a couple negative impacts come out of this. Similarly, how the discovery brought the light bulb, it also brought mechanization. This would cause machines to replace some jobs, leaving people unemployed. Moreover, Vale explains how ships and other assets became obsolete in a short time span, this caused people to lose money and the unemployment rate increased greatly (2016). Lastly, artisans and craftsmen couldn’t compete with the prices of manufactured goods, so they were out of a job as well.
The third Industrial revolution followed and it is still underway. This industrial revolution is brought up mostly by internet technology and creation of renewable energies. It can be seen that the ways of the first and second industrial revolution are withering away. We are left with the negative out comes of what the first and second industrial revolutions have done to our planet. Things such as climate change caused by extreme output of CO2 emissions, and the rate it was being produced has been taking a toll on the planet and all living things. According to Jeremy Rifkin, the new industries surrounding green energy is improving performance and it reduces the cost of energy. He also states, Just as the generation and distribution of information is becoming nearly free, renewable energies will also. The sun, wind, biomass, geothermal heat and hydropower are available to everyone and , like information, are never used up (2012).
This has given us many positive outcomes because we are taking initiative in changing our ways that are damaging to the planet we inhibit, as well as creating new jobs surrounding green energy at the same time. On the other hand, since new technologies are constantly coming out and changing, that means it must also be created somewhere (such as phones, tablets, computers). We still see manufacturing of products occurring in countries that are lesser developed then we are, and it seems as though they are stuck in the issues of the first revolution. Wealthier countries are having their products be made in these lesser developed countries that are paying workers very low wages, they work extremely long hours, and they also work in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. This is a tactic many use because it saves money paying people much less in another country then a reasonable wage in the already developed country.
The final industrial revolution that will be discussed is the Forth Industrial Revolution. This is basically very new technology that is recently being created and experimented with. Klaus Schwab describes the fourth industrial revolution as so , A Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres (2016). Some of these technologies include artificial intelligence, vehicles that are autonomous, robotics, 3-D printing, biotechnology, nanotechnology and the list goes on. We currently see so much artificial intelligence in our day to day lives, cars that drive themselves and software’s that translate for us. Schwab explains that we have had so much technological progress that as been made in AI, that was influenced by a huge increase of computing power and having vast amount of data available to us.
These advancements don’t only make our lives easier and better, but it is also benefitting the lives of people in developing countries. According to Ralph Hamann, Technological advances, including artificial intelligence allow the automation of an increasingly wide array of processes in increasingly interactive and sophisticated ways. These advances will likely give rise to many opportunities for economic and social development in developing countries, for instance by increasing food production (2018). Even though these technological advances are helping the developing countries, it is also hurting them. Ralph Hamann describes three of these risk due to the fourth industrial revolution: unemployment, increasing concentration of economic power and wealth, and lastly an increase on the biases in influential innovations (2018). These risks posed on the developing nations have the potential to build on and worsen inequalities that already exist.
Industrial Revolutions have brought the world a vast amount of valuable advancements in technology and knowledge. From the first Industrial revolution, all the way to the Fourth, we can see how far along and how much each individual revolution has helped us advance. Clearly these industrial revolutions have positively impacted many people’s lives, but it also negatively impacted the lives of people in developing countries. Ultimately Industrialization helps out a country, by getting its people to work, reduce poverty and produce new jobs that weren’t needed before.
Without the industrial revolution, we would all be stuck in a cycle of life that doesn’t make improvements to move humanity forward. Our advancements have helped us have a fighting chance against economies that once were completely collapsing, some advancements improved the lives of people through sanitation and the creation of jobs for those who were unemployed, and advancements in science and medicine help us treat people who are sick. At the end of the day, the industrial revolutions have helped humans across so many categories, and now it comes down to also helping people in those developing countries since we have the means and technology to do so.