Industrial Revolution Term Paper

Sample term paper on Industrial Revolution:
The Industrial Revolution was one of the most significant epochs in human history. It indicated the change from an agrarian, handicraft economy to one dominated by industry, machines, and manufacturing. The industrial Revolution has showed the way to such important changes in the way goods were produced and in the way people lived that it completely altered the world. This drastic change benefited life but hindered it as well. Pollution at a scale the world had never seen before augmented tainting the air, water, ground, and the environment. Working conditions declined considerably and wages decreased, and the number of women and children working amplified tearing apart family ties and religious and moral values. However, the industrial Revolution had other more benign results as well. They include advances in technology, communication, the development of new inventions such as the internal-combustion engine, advances is science, medicine, increase in mobility of the population, and interest in the social sciences, education, and changes in music, literature, and the arts.

The industrial Revolution was largely illustrated through technological strides which was seen through developments in electricity and the application of the internal-combustion engines to daily lives. The power of electricity was exploited to upgrade technology and social and home life. In 1831 an English scientist, Michael Faraday, drawing from the works of Ampere and other scientists, figured out that magnetism could produce electricity. This concept and principle is still in use today via the dynamo, a device that transformed mechanical energy into electrical energy. Thomas Edison, an American inventor, formulated an electric bulb that glowed for lengthy amounts of time before burning out. Realizing the importance of a steady flow of electric current to their destinations, Edison worked out a central powerhouse and transmission system. People also discovered means to tap waterfalls and rivers to run gigantic dynamos, whose hydroelectric power was transmitted through wires. The internal-combustion engine was designed to drive individual vehicles by combusting the fuel inside a closed cylinder. Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and Louis Renault were some of the pioneers of this area. The engine was the key to the successful production of Henry Ford’s automobiles. Beginning from the Montgolfier brothers in the 1700s, people used lighter-than-air balloons to hover above the ground. In 1903 the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright of the US, successfully flew a heavier-than-air airplane because of their study of aerodynamics and the utilization of the internal-combustions engine to propel the aircraft. The strides in both the electric industry and the internal-combustion showed how science and technology could be combined to generate great inventions.

Discoveries in electricity gave away to progress in communications as seen by the invention of the telephone and the telegraph. Alexander Graham Bell, an American, transmitted the human voice over a long distance through an electric circuit. He patented his telephone in 1876. An Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, by studying the discoveries of James Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz, devised instruments for sending and receiving radio waves. From its creation in 1896 and afterwards, this wireless telegraph sent messages through space without wires and they became indispensable for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications. The telephone and telegraph helped narrow down the communication gap and linked areas, previously unknown and impassable, to the modern world. This increase in communications also gave a major boost to the spirit of nationalism as people of the same religion, ethnicity, or creed could easily communicate with their peers around the rest of the world, and could distribute the nationalistic ideas of western philosophers around a particular area. Such a major development in communications was only due to the advancements in technology that took place because of the industrial revolution.

Many significant innovations in physical science were made as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Probably the architect of modern physics and the modern atomic theory, John Dalton, an English chemist and schoolteacher, devised a method for “weighing” atoms. From Dalton’s discoveries, Dmitri Mendeylev, organized all known elements into the Periodic Table thus providing a practical taxonomy of the elements. Other discoveries such as the result of motion of a body’s atomic particles ascertained the atomic theory as a part of physics. In 1895 a German physicist, Wilhelm K. Roentgen, discovered X rays that became an imperative diagnostic tool in medicine, and their subsistence raised new questions about the physical world. Some people could not accept the crude theories about the structure and nature of the atoms so they experimented further into its characteristics. Such a person, J.J. Thompson, discovered the electron, an electrically charged component of the atom. Even another critical discovery was made when Pierre and Marie Curie determined that the atoms of elements such as uranium perpetually disintegrate and released energy on their own. This process is known as radioactivity. Combining Thomson’s concept of electrons and the Curies’ discovery of radioactivity, Ernest Rutherford of Great Britain bombarded atoms of radioactive elements with heavy particles. He discovered smaller particles, which he identified as protons.

Although some concepts of the atom were incorrect, the discoveries made by Dalton, Mendeylev, Thompson, the Curies,’ and Rutherford opened the door to modern physics and new inventions such as the atomic bomb and nuclear power.

Two of the greatest icons of 20th century physics were undoubtedly Max Planck and Albert Einstein. In 1900 the German physicist Max Planck demonstrated that energy could be released only in different “packages” which he entitled quanta, therefore disapproving the traditional belief that energy was incessant and that it could be divided into any number of smaller units. Planck’s quantum theory created the foundation for a completely new move towards the study of matter and energy. In 1905 an amazingly young but industrious German scientist, Albert Einstein, composed four papers that transfigured physics. In his first paper, Einstein scrutinized some of the basic concepts of mechanics and wrote an argument to prove the existence of atoms. In his second paper, Einstein modified Planck’s quantum theory to portray the nature of light. While Planck deemed that light was a continuous wavelike marvel, Einstein mathematically showed that light can also be composed of tiny particles of energy. In his third paper, Einstein expounded his special theory of relativity and finalized that no particles of matter can move faster than the speed of light and motion can be measured only relative to some particular observer. So, there was no point to speak about absolute motion, space, or time. His ultimate and briefest paper was his celebrated formula E=mcІ. The formula affirmed that a tiny amount of mass could be changed into a colossal amount of energy. Einstein’s ideas came into conflict with Newtonian laws which dictated that the universe is expressed in three dimensions but Einstein asserted that there was also a fourth dimension to the universe. The discoveries of Max Planck and Albert Einstein led toward later more advanced scientific discoveries.

Improvements in the biological sciences were no less dynamic than the development and advancement of its physical counterparts. It was known that cells existed in every living creature but they were not accepted as the unit of living matter until 1858. A German scientist Rudolf Virchow rectified the cell theory and further declared that cells were susceptible to outside force or diseases. He also concluded that a new cell is fabricated from an older cell and that only living matter constructed new living matter. By the late 1800s, the cell was commonly recognized as the basic unit of living matter. Regrettably, the cell was also the most prone to diseases but fortunately noteworthy breakthroughs in medicine went hand in hand with science and assisted in extending human life. This was reassuring because epidemics eliminated more people than did wars, droughts, or natural disasters put together. Edward Jenner may have been a person who believed that prevention was the best cure. Like a good scientist, he observed that milkmaids contaminated with cowpox never got smallpox even during an epidemic. In 1796 he developed a vaccine from the liquid in cowpox scabs and injected it into the skin of a young boy. The boy never contracted smallpox, even if he was vulnerable to it. Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, showed that bacteria could reproduce and travel from place to place. Some of them were beneficial while others, referred to as germs, initiated diseases. In the 1860s Louis Pasteur discovered and fabricated a way to eliminate all germs in milk by heating it. This process was called pasteurization in his honor. Throughout the 1870s Pasteur developed a vaccine to prevent anthrax by injecting weakened germs into a person, thus sharpening up the immune system and preventing anthrax from developing in that person. The immune system builds up antibodies to fight the vector that causes the disease. Before the 1840s surgery was primitive, crude, painful, and frequently lethal. During the 1840s, the discovery of painkillers such as chloroform and antiseptics to reduce bacterial infection revolutionized surgery by making long surgeries feasible and lessening the fatality rate. Other medicinal refinements include the isolation of the TB bacteria by Robert Koch in 1882. The discoveries of Pasteur, Lister, and Koch opened up a way to an international fight against disease that eradicated diseases such as malaria and yellow fever from the western world and controlled them in some areas. Scientists also determined multitudinous medicines such as aspirin, insulin, penicillin, and sulfonamides. These new inventions and discoveries combined with public awareness for sanitation helped eradicate most bacterial diseases in the western world and would later succeed in eradicating smallpox and controlling common diseases such as whooping cough, beriberi, polio, measles etc. in most vicinities of the planet.

Despite the widespread acceptance of the cell theory, creationism was the only acceptable solution to the development and creation of life on earth. Some scientists like Jean Baptiste Lamarck believed in evolution as the mechanism to change in life and proposed that living beings changed their form in response to the environment. In 1859 the English naturalist Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. His main topic was that in any given generation some creatures would subsist while others will succumb. The survivors would be the ones that were the most adapted to the current environment. This idea was either known as “survival of the fittest” or natural selection because nature “selected” who would live and who would die. The survivors would then produce offspring and the offspring would produce more offspring. Darwin’s theory enthused scientists to garner evidence that would either prove or disprove their problem. Darwin’s theory stirred up controversies among religious groups and many people who did not believe that apes and human beings were related. In spite of Darwin’s spectacular discoveries, it could not be ascertained why the offspring were not identical to their parents. Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, founded genetics, or the study of the passing of traits between plants and animals and their descendants. By experimenting with pea plants, Mendel verified that inborn characteristics were inherited through genes and alleles. It could be said that the theory of evolution and the quantum theory were the most distinguished theories in the world and displayed how one development could lead to another.

Between the dawn of the industrial Revolution during the 1700s to 1850, the population of Europe skyrocketed. A reason why the population grew so rapidly was because of enhancements in diet and food storage. In the 1900s biologists established the significance of vitamins and minerals, and diseases stemming from vitamin deficiencies, such as rickets, were eradicated from the westernized world. Pasteurization and refrigeration were crucial in preserving and transporting food. As a result of these improvements, the population exploded and it became quite clear that Europe was too small a continent and was getting overcrowded. Large numbers of people emigrated to new lands such as North and South America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The ranks of the emigrants included the economically insecure Irish and Italians, and the oppressed Jews, Armenians, and Slavs. The mass movement of people spurred urbanization as immigrants flocked to the cities. Nevertheless, urbanization created problems such as deterioration in sanitation, and a steep rise in crime rates. To alleviate the sanitary hazards, public sewers were set up and homes were supplied with running water. Laws compelling the installing of better heating systems and better assembling of buildings were passed. Roads were paved and street lights were set up. The city governments also equipped and organized a police force to patrol streets and defend the rules. As cities became more congested, suburbs, or residential districts on the outskirts of the cities appeared and people moved into them. The surge in population during the Industrial revolution demanded more and more leisure and culture activities to quench the thirst of the amusement-hungry citizens. People participated and joined soccer, rugby, or American football clubs, or simply watched these games for entertainment. People who were culture or art oriented were contented when the city government built concert halls, museums, and libraries. Knowing that even the most vigorous of workers had to relax, the city government built public parks and amusement parks. The industrial revolution resulted in a transition from rural areas to cities causing many problems but some, like the necessity of amusement, were tackled due to the improvements in science and technology made possible by the very same industrial revolution.

Though the industrial Revolution was marked by extraordinary discoveries and accomplishments in physical and biological sciences, it also initiated a renewed and more profound interest in the social sciences. Political science, or the study of politics was a favorite subject among the social sciences, and writers tried to study law and government through the scientific manner advocated by physicists and biologists. Economics also became a hot social science topic. The way historians interpreted history was forever changed by the Industrial revolution as nationalist historians identified the triumphs and glories of their native countries. There was shift in more concentration towards the study of ordinary people and how they lived at the expense of the study of wars and great leaders. Darwinist historians attempted to judge historical events in terms of evolution. Scientists became more and more fascinated with anthropology or the study of the development of early humanlike creatures and how they looked, how long they lived, and other characteristics. Progress in the field of sociology- the study of human interactions in society- developed into an important facet of the industrial and post-industrial era. Between 1877 and 1896, Herbert Spencer applied Darwin’s, the languid, the inconsiderate, the delinquent- contribute nothing. If the inferior people, so conception of “natural selection” and stated that civilization consisted of two types- the superior people who contribute to the evolution of society and the inferior people- the poor he said, were allowed to wither away, the world would eventually be the exclusive domain of the superior people. This theory came to be acknowledged as social Darwinism. Another social science, psychology, or the study of the human mind flourished under the industrial revolution. There was no disagreement that Ivan Pavlov and Sigmund Freud were the architects and greatest symbols of modern psychology. By applying Darwin’s theory of evolution and the use of animals, Ivan Pavlov, a Russian biologist, made certain that all actions, even mental activity, comprise a series of connected conditioned reflexes. Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, introduced the science of psychoanalysis, that is, investigation of the unconscious mind, and by it brought relief and hopes to millions of disturbed minds. Social sciences were vital elements in the aftermath of the industrial revolution as we starting discovering who we really are and how we had made a difference.

Many factors such as social and economic transformations, combined with technological advancements spurred the demands for education. Industrialists required literate workers as well as more engineers, scientists, and technicians. Nationalists considered that schools would encourage patriotic feelings and the military needed educated soldiers, engineers, and technicians. Many governments in Europe and the United States established new systems of education which included primary and secondary education, kindergartens, state universities, and vocational and technical training. Still, the bulk of the working-class children studied as long as the law commanded and then they drifted back to work to earn money. Middle class children, conversely, attended secondary school and often went to college. There had been a lot of controversy surrounding women education but many countries disregarded them and granted elementary education to all girls. However, many countries offered dissimilar courses to girls in secondary school therefore bestowing diminutive or no education that could prepare them for the intricacies and privations of college. This kind of mass education had equally massive consequences. People became better informed about contemporary issues and increasingly read magazines, newspapers, and books. This conducted the path towards the expansion of newspapers, both in importance and popularity. Some of the principal reasons why education, and indirectly the industrial revolution, transformed the world was because it diminished ignorance to an extent and enabled us to perform leaps in science, technology, arts etc. that people once would have never believed.

The industrial revolution had an extensive weight on many different subjects including the literature, music, and art. These three mirrored the essence of the times. The early 1800s was truly a romantic age, an age when writers authored works that portrayed life as it used to be, or they thought what it should be, rather than what it actually was. Romantic authors lionized the past, notably the Middle Ages with its material atmosphere of gallant knights, castles, and damsels in distress. Another favorite romantic topic was nationalism which was steadily growing in the 1800s. Romantic musicians and composers eulogized human bravery and feats and that people should articulate their feelings fervently. They disowned the choppy and overly extravagant tunes of baroque composers like Bach. Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin, Peter Tchaikovsky, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Gustave Mahler, and Claude Debussy were renowned romantic composers. Romanticism even encroached, if not revolutionized, painting and architecture. France was the nucleus of romantic painters and sculptors. Romantic painters illustrated scenes of the past viscous with action and drama, and a love for nature. Romantic elements in architecture advocated the renaissance of the Gothic style. Romanticism was a convoluted orientation that emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.

Distinct to its materialist counterpart, realism stressed the immaculate depiction of nature or of contemporary life. Important realist authors include Gustave Flaubert, Mary Ann Evans, Leo Tolstoy, and Henrik Ibsen. In the United Sates, realism was shown as regionalism or the portrayal of everyday life in a gigantic country. Regionalist works consist of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. By the dusk of the 19th century naturalism carried realism to the hideous and unsightly facets of everyday life. Well-knows naturalist authors include Emile Zola and Charles Dickens, both of them depicted the grueling and destitute lives of the poor. Realist painters endeavored to recount vibrant impressions of people and places as they might seem in a brief glance. The recitation of these vivid impressions in a painting is known as impressionism. Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir were some of the foremost impressionist painters. Unlike romanticism which concentrated on heavy materialism, realism focused on all the overlooked aspects of everyday life and society and manifested some of the ugly sides of the Industrial revolution.

Romanticism and realism have had their “golden ages” in the arts and they were quickly replaced in support of experimentation. Painting styles became more individual-oriented and the emphasis was placed on shape, color, and feelings. These brave painters and sculptors who defied tradition and social contemptuousness were Paul Cйzanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Manet, and Auguste Rodin. The growing appeal towards abstract forms marked the viscous materialism of romanticism and paved the way towards new forms of art that would manifest themselves in the 1900s.

The industrial revolution was truly one of the two most critical transformations to have taken place in human history rivaled only by the commencement of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Every aspect of human life including the arts, literature, and music was altered by the course of the industrial revolution. This dynamic epoch saw sweeping advancements in technology, communication, all the sciences, medicine etc. in little more than a hundred years! Even the slightest imagination of such a period of time would have been incredible, romantic, unimaginable, preposterous, or even blasphemous two hundred years ago. However, it happened and definitely left a lasting imprint on the whole of the human race. Many of us think that the industrial revolution was an age of wonder and it shifted us to the digital age but a sizeable portion would not disagree less and spout out a powerful harangue about how the industrial revolution brought out class divisions, unequal sharing of wealth, globalization, poverty, and capitalism. Whatever the opinion may be, every advancement, modification, or invention from the steam engine in 1769 to the cloning of the first sheep in the 1980s was directly or indirectly a consequence of the industrial revolution.


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