The First Industrial Revolution occurred from 1780-1850 and changed the way people lived and worked worldwide. New technologies and manufacturing processes were changing lives across the globe. These synergistic advances led to more developments and social consequences began to arise. The way people worked was changing as well as the way they would live.
Urbanization was one significant social consequence that was caused by the First Industrial Revolution. Urbanization is the growth of a city, and broadly the transition from the majority of the population living in rural circumstances and working agriculture, to living in urban circumstances, and working in industrial jobs. Before the ...view middle of the document...
Because of people living in overpopulated areas, diseases and epidemics also became a problem facing the people. Public Health Acts were eventually implemented in 1848 helping to alleviate some of those problems.
Although urbanization was occurring all over the world including the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany and was beginning to modernize the economy. One example of rapid economic growth occurred in Chicago, IL. This once small city was transformed during the First Industrial Revolution into an industrial metropolis. In 1860, there were less than 7,000 workers employed in the small city. As factories began to boom, so did the population and number of employees. By 1929, more than half a million people were working in industrial settings such as meat processing, steel, and railroad equipment.
The city of Chicago received rapid industrial growth the led to the downtown area becoming full of factories and needing a way to expand. As this need was developed, new factory districts began emerging on the outskirts of the city. Factories were often grouped and placed in areas that would be at an advantage for them. For example, some were located near rail facilities and others on the Chicago River branches. Businesses that were located off the Chicago River were distilleries, flour mills, boiler works, as well as warehouses. The area outside of downtown Chicago was referred to as the loop and it consisted of 45% of the cities manufacturing while the downtown area contributed to 35%.
Urbanization was not the only type of social consequence brought on by the First Industrial Revolution. Mechanization, or doing work by using machinery instead of human or animal labor, was also a consequence that affected the people of this time. During this time there were many skilled workers whose talents were of no use because they simply could not compete with the efficiency of the new machinery. For example, weavers could not compete with the new textile machines because these mills could produce products more quickly and efficiently.
Another change brought on due to mechanization was the change in how people labored. People in general were inexperienced with using machines and they initially felt overwhelmed and had a sense of fear when they first began to work with the new machines. Not only was learning how to operate new machines frustrating, it was also a very dangerous job. Safety standards had not yet been introduced and the people were working jobs in which losing their lives or being physically harmed was very likely and not uncommon. Workers were on the job for long hours every day without receiving frequent breaks. They also faced the risk of deadly fires...