In considering whether industrial revolutions or political revolutions
have had the greater impact upon history, one must understand the true
nature of the question. Does it refer to instantaneous impact upon
society? Does it refer to one's perceptions of historical importance?
Does it mean to uncover which has made the most drastic change for
humanity as a whole? Surely each of these options is viable in
answering the question posed. However, neither "industrial revolution"
nor "political revolution" is the best of all possible answers for
these questions. Thus, one must consider the matter to a greater
In reference to the first question-the instantaneous results of a
revolution-political revolutions are more important to history. As a
certain history teacher at Delran High School pointed out, the
newspaper headlines of 1794 may be used as an example of this. What
did they read? The newest developments during the Reign of Terror, a
title assigned to a period during the French Revolution. No one sat
down to their breakfast and read about Eli Whitney patenting the
cotton gin, nor did intellectuals discuss it in their social clubs,
nor did monarchs and legislatures consider its ramifications.
Additionally, Britain, Russia, Prussia, and other major nations
watched the American Civil War with great interest, yet one doubts any
of them gave nearly as much attention to Cyrus McCormick's steel plow.
By these means, one must determine political revolutions more
important to history.
The second question posed asks of one's perception of historical
importance. This i...
... middle of paper ...
Industrial revolution has changed the way humans live: how they
travel, communicate, work, eat, and even think. Political revolution
changes the way humans vote and pay taxes. A modern human sent
centuries back in time would be more concerned with the lack of what
is now considered necessity-medicine, waste disposal, et cetera-or the
sight of lepers, than the identity of his fief lord, Consul, or
parliamentary representative. Though a political revolution is
certainly more sensationalistic, in the long run, all government is
interchangeable; as the British rock group The Who once put it, "What
about the new boss? The same as the old boss," or, if one prefers
German philosophy, einstürzende neubauten. On the other hand, it is
because of industrial revolution that humans exist in the state they
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