Negative Effects of the Industrial Revolution
Added On : 27 Jun 2022
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A rural and handicraft economy gave way to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing throughout the Industrial Revolution in modern history. These technological advancements brought about unique working and living arrangements and radically altered society.

The technology revolution that is about to happen will drastically change the way we live, work, and interact with one another. The shift will be unlike anything the human race has ever encountered in terms of magnitude, scope, and complexity.

While the exact course of its development is yet unknown, one thing is certain: the world's political actors—from the public and corporate sectors to academia and civil society—must work together to develop an integrated and comprehensive response.

  • Water and steam power were utilized in the First Industrial Revolution to automate production.
  • Electricity was employed by the Second to facilitate mass production.
  • The Third automated production uses electronics and information technologies.
  • A fourth industrial revolution—the digital revolution—is already building on the third.

What are the 5 Consequences of the Industrial Revolution? 

  • Ascension of Capitalism 

An economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their use for profit is known as capitalism. Capitalism was growing in popularity in Britain due to political control over the colonies and growth in technological advancements.

Fast becoming very wealthy and with more money to invest in technology and more industry, factory owners and others who controlled the means of production.

In Britain at that time, just a small percentage of the population—about 3 per cent—was permitted to vote. As the leaders of the country's economy and power structure, industrial capitalists progressively supplanted rural landowners. They were the new nation's rulers in many senses thanks to their political and economic clout. 

The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, and then other countries like Belgium, France, Germany, and the United States followed. The capitalists quickly rose to power and took control of several nations around the world.

  • Overpricing of Working Class 

The first 60 years of the Industrial Revolution saw a significant decline in the quality of life for many skilled employees. In pre-industrial culture, skilled weavers, for instance, enjoyed comfortable lives as a form of the middle class.

They ran their own farms, took care of their own gardens, and worked on textiles in their homes or small businesses. They held power over themselves. The transition from predominantly rural to industrialized cultures occurred during the Industrial Revolution.

Particularly for the first few generations of factory employees who were familiar with country living as opposed to life in industrial towns, the difference between the two was great. The new working class in the factories suffered from the lack of regulations for the new age and the concentration of power among the wealthy.

Their communities were desolate, cramped, filthy, and polluted. The health of manual laborers declined, and there was little to no opportunity for them to increase their income through collective harvesting or gardening.

  • Increase in Materialism and Consumerism 

One of the main effects of the Industrial Revolution was the rise in materialism and consumerism. Money, whether in the form of gold, paper, or plastic, is a medium of exchange, and the commodities and services people are willing to exchange it for determining their worth.

More items were produced thanks to the growth of industry, which helped the country thrive. Concurrently, because of political and economic factors, competitive hand-skilled sectors were being driven out. Over decades and centuries, production grew continuously, which necessitated a corresponding rise in demand.

A cycle of increased production and consumption was sparked by the fundamental human drive for more, which resulted in an increase in prices.

  • Advancement in Technology 

The Industrial Revolution itself was largely fueled by the development of technology, which altered the course of history and ushered in the modern era. Railways and factories were powered by external combustion steam engines, which also served as an inspiration for internal combustion engines and the automobile industry.

Electricity and electric appliance development was prompted by energy demands. The telephone came after the telegraph, and then the internet and mobile technology. There are many examples that demonstrate the enormous technological advancements that humans made both during and after the Industrial Revolution.

  • Socialism and Marxism rose under Industrial Revolution 

In the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, the government largely favored the wealthy. Even youngsters were not spared, and in the early 1860s, the textile industry in Britain employed almost one-fifth of workers who were under the age of 15.

Social tensions steadily grew as a broad population felt oppressed by a small group of affluent entrepreneurs. Socialism arose as a result of the growing concern over the plight of the working class. According to the socialist idea, everyone is created equal and should share in the prosperity of the nation.

What were the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution? 

The Industrial Revolution expanded the range and quantity of produced items that were available, as can be seen when weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the period. It is a procedure that has contributed to certain people having a higher standard of living. The working class had difficult living and employment situations throughout this time.

Pros of the Industrial Revolution

  • Products Became More Accessible and Affordable

Manufacturing facilities and the equipment housed in them started to manufacture goods more quickly and economically than could be done by hand. The cost to the consumer decreased as the supply of diverse goods increased (see supply and demand). More individuals had access to and could afford shoes, clothing, home goods, tools, and other products that improve people's quality of life.

These items also found foreign markets, and the trade balance moved in favor of the producer, resulting in higher wealth for the businesses that produced them and more tax money for the government coffers.

  • Labor-Saving Inventions' Rapid Evolution

New kinds of tools and vehicles to transport people and things from one location to another were developed as a result of the quick development of hand tools and other useful objects.

Advances in manufacturing, agricultural harvesting, energy production, and medical technology could be quickly shared between interested parties thanks to the development of road and rail transportation as well as the telegraph (and its associated infrastructure of the telegraph—and later telephone and fiber optic—lines).

  • The Medicine's Rapid Evolution

Various medical advancements were fueled by the Industrial Revolution. Scalpels, microscopes, test tubes, and other medical equipment could be made more swiftly thanks to industrialization. Improvements to this equipment may more quickly reach the doctors who required them by using machine production.

The ability to quickly disseminate information about novel disease cures and treatments as physician communication within specialties expanded led to enhanced patient care.

  • Quality life for an average person 

The ordinary (i.e., non-aristocratic) people's access to tools, clothing and other household necessities was made more affordable through mass production, enabling them to save money for other purchases and amass personal wealth.

New employment prospects also emerged as a result of the development of new industrial machinery and the construction of new factories. The common individual was no longer so reliant on issues relating to the land (such as being dependent upon the wages farm labour could provide or the plant and animal products farms could produce).

The importance of land ownership as the primary source of individual wealth was diminished by industrialization. 

Cons of the Industrial Revolution  

  • Cities and industrial towns are overcrowded

Migrants were drawn to cities and industrial towns that were unprepared for them because of the promise of higher earnings. Congested shantytowns made up of shacks and other types of subpar housing first developed, despite early housing shortages in many locations eventually giving way to construction booms and the development of new buildings.

The massive rush of people overburdened local sewage and sanitation facilities and drinking water was frequently contaminated.

  • Environmental maladies caused by pollution

With only a few notable exceptions, the Industrial Revolution either started the current environmental issues in the world or significantly aggravated them. Natural resources (water, trees, soil, rocks, minerals, wild and domesticated animals, etc.) were transformed to power the factories and maintain the output of every single type of manufactured good, which decreased the planet's stock of priceless natural capital.

This period in human history can be linked to the current global issues of widespread water and air pollution declines in biodiversity, habitat degradation, and even global warming. This ecological shift intensifies as more nations industrialise in an effort to increase their own riches.

  • Unhealthy working conditions

When factories began to appear in urban areas and industrial towns, their owners placed a premium on output and financial gain. Wages and worker safety were of lesser importance. Compared to agricultural employees, factory workers made more money, but this often came at the sacrifice of time and less-than-ideal working conditions.

Factory workers frequently put in 14 to 16 hours a day, five days a week. Men often earned more than twice as little as women did. Even less was paid to kids who had part-time jobs to help support their families. The different equipment at the factory was frequently filthy, spewing smoke and soot, and hazardous, both of which contributed to mishaps that led to worker injuries and fatalities.

  • Increase in bad habits

People engaged in less severe physical exercise as more affordable labor-saving gadgets became accessible. Tractors and other specialised vehicles, such as trains and automobiles, effectively reduced the number of healthy exercises people participated in each day while making arduous farm-related labour much easier and, in many cases, much safer.

These vehicles were used to till the soil, plant crops, and harvest them. Additionally, indoor office labour, which is frequently sedentary, has replaced many vocations that needed significant quantities of outdoor physical activity. As television shows and other passive entertainment have come to dominate leisure time, such sedentary behaviours also occur outside of the workplace.


The pros and cons of the industrial revolution are contentious. On the one hand, we have the reality that without technology, our society would not be what it is today. On the other hand, it might prevent our society from continuing to exist. There is just one thing that is certain: we must keep our attention on innovation without sacrificing value or safety. If we can accomplish this, we will be able to keep taking advantage of the advantages that the industrial revolution has brought.

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