The Industrial Revolution

by Shane S.

First Industrial Revolution - England

The first Industrial Revolution started in England with the textile industry. The textile industry is mainly focused on the production of cloth, yarn, and the design of clothing. This included plenty of new machinery. Therefore, factories were made where these machines were kept and one could work efficiently and for money. This brought many people in from rural areas to urban areas with factories. The economy switched from mostly agricultural to industrial. Due to this swarm of people, many British cities such as London were over-populated, and the streets were littered with the homeless. Some of the important inventions during this time in England were the locomotive and the spinning jenny. In conclusion, the Industrial Revolution changed England significantly, and society had a hard time adjusting to it.
Old London Street Scenes (1903) | BFI

Second Industrial Revolution - United States

The U.S. Industrial Revolution started because of Samuel Slater. Slater sailed to the U.S. in 1789. English laws prohibited the export of machinery, nor the plans for making it, so Samuel Slater memorized the way to build a mill, and set one up in the U.S. after being hired by Moses Brown of Providence, Rhode Island. The Napoleonic wars and the War of 1812 disrupted commerce and made English products hard to acquire. Therefore, more U.S. investors began to build factories, thus spreading the new technology through the United States. Some key inventions during this time in the U.S. included: the cotton gin, light bulbs, and the telegraph. Concluding this paragraph, the second Industrial Revolution had a huge impact in today's economy in the United States.
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Child Labor

Child labor was a significant part of the Industrial Revolution. Most families had to have their child work along with the rest of the family just to stay above the poverty level. Child labor included children as young as 3. These children would endure some of the hardest conditions. They'd often work about 10 to 14 hours with very few breaks. The factories employing the children were very dangerous and could lead to serious injuries or even death. Limbs could easily get caught in the quick machinery, and the environment was a threat as well due to fumes and toxins. As these instances of child labor got worse, it led the British Parliament to pass laws beginning to restrict child labor, and then eventually making it illegal. Child labor was a terrible thing, and it's important to remember so children aren't exposed to harsh conditions, injured, or killed at an early age for production of goods.
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