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The Industrial Revolution

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The Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution, the shift, at different times in different countries, from a traditional agriculturally based economy to one based on the mechanized production of manufactured goods in large-scale enterprises.

The British Experience: The first Industrial Revolution occurred in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century; it profoundly altered Britain's economy and society. The most immediate changes were in the nature of production: what was produced, as well as where and how. Labor was transferred from the production of primary products to the production of manufactured goods and services. Far more manufactured goods were produced than ever before, and technical efficiency rose dramatically. In part, the growth in productivity was achieved by the application of scientific and practical knowledge to the manufacturing process.

Efficiency was also enhanced when large groups of enterprises were located within limited areas. Thus, the Industrial Revolution involved urbanization, that is, the process of migration from rural to urban communities. Perhaps the most important changes occurred in the organization of work. The typical enterprise expanded and took on new characteristics. In general, production took place within the firm or the public enterprise instead of the family or manor.

Tasks became increasingly routine and specialized. Industrial production became heavily dependent upon the intensive use of capital-equipment produced for the express purpose of increasing efficiency. A reliance on tools and machinery allowed individual workers to produce more goods than before and the advantages of experience with a particular task, tool, or piece of equipment reinforced the trend toward specia...

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...n to promote industrialization was far from negligible in the British case, the role of government has been considerable in Germany, Russia, Japan, and nearly all the nations that have been industrialized in the 20th century. By definition successful industrialization leads to a rise of national income per capita. It also leads to changes in the distribution of income, in living and working conditions, and in social conduct and convention. The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and elsewhere led initially to a fall in workers' purchasing power or to a deterioration in their living conditions.

Industrialization has also affected the environment by an increase in pollution and by the dumping of waste. This has in turn put industrialization under much scrutiny from the "hippies and tree huggers". A prime example of industrialization's bad effects is Newark NJ.
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