Industrial Revolution In 18th And 19th Century Europe

1433 Words 6 Pages
In order to have enough knowledge to answer the question: “Was the Industrial Revolution beneficial or detrimental to the 18th and 19th century Europeans?”, the use of two primary sources will be required. It is essential to understand what is the Industrial Revolution. The Oxford dictionary defines this term as: “The rapid development of industry that occurred in Britain in the late 18th and 19th centuries, brought about by the introduction of machinery.” .
The first source that will be used in this analysis is The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, written and published in London in 1776. It was publicised with the intent of influencing the British Parliament, by describing the contemporary issues of the industrial revolution at this time.
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He starts off by giving an example of how a factory functions by describing the many divisions of labor. He provides information that poor and uneducated workers were capable of producing goods at a higher rate when the labour was divided, because of how much easier it was to pick up on one skill alone as opposed to many: “[...] ten men only were employed , and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. But though they were poor[...] they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them twelve pounds of pins in a day” (Smith p.327). Another aspect that helped efficiency was the fact that there was many divisions. Smith shines light on the issues of monopolies and privileged companies giving artisans such “stifling restrictions”. He conveys that there should be an implication of free trade which would allow all citizens to have equal rights as well as the opportunity for consumers to be protected from prices of products being increased. In addition, Smith argues that there should be a bigger division of tasks to increase efficient production. Although Smith never states “free trade” throughout his book, individuals can read between the lines and understand that Smith believes that by having a free trade, enterprises will be able to fulfill the needs of the population in a much better way. In addition, this system will help …show more content…
This can be explained by the works of Adam Smith and Friedrich Engels works. After analysing these sources, one can conclude that this movement affected negatively the economy as well as affected individual's living conditions. It can be understood that the movement allowed capitalism in countries, because the government took the matter into their own hands. This disabled citizens to make a profit. Which then led to the a bad distribution of wealth. In addition, this movement also negatively impacted communities, because they were overflowing with houses. This caused terrible living conditions. In other words this movement completely flipped the european society. Although there may be positive aspects to this movement, the negatives overweigh the favorable characteristics. Perhaps if the industrial Revolution happened more slowly, the developers would have had more time to plan out cities to favour the population’s living conditions as well as economic

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