Advantages and Disadvantages of Industrial Revolution

the advantages and disadvantages of industrial revolution

An Introduction to The Industrial Revolution

As we all know, the Industrial Revolution happened during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a period when ruler societies started to become more urban. These societies were present in Europe and North America.  During this era, there was quite a focus on the increase in productivity. Advances in manufacturing processes led to innovations in new technologies. It increased the overall efficiency. People started to shift from handmade products to machine-made products. This idea gave birth to the setup of factories in the cities and towns.

Some results of this factory development were:

    •   tools driven by steam,

    •   manufacturing methods,

    •   improved water power,

    •   and mass production of goods.

This led to more production and better efficiency, lower prices, more items, higher incomes, and people moving from the country to the city.

With every event, we know that there are very good and bad aspects to things. The industrial revolution also had some positive and negative impacts on society. In the next parts of this article, we'll talk in more depth about some of the pros and cons of the industrial revolution.

The Reasons for The Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution started in Great Britain in 1700. It was a major turning point in human history. This revolution almost affected every aspect of human life in some way. its impact spread all over the world.  It made changes in both technology and the social structures of societies.

Many small and big reasons made the industrial revolution happen. Each factor had a vital role and considerable importance. One of the significant reasons for the industrial revolution was the emergence of capitalism. which helped the shift of economic power and the establishment of various companies. The second reason was European imperialism which led to the creation of more raw materials and big markets. Also, the agricultural revolution had a role in the growth of the industrial revolution.

Technological changes brought the division of labor and specialization, which increased efficiency. Some of these changes are the use of iron and steel, new energy sources like coal and steam, and the factory system.

New inventions and technologies played a vital role in the rapid growth and spread of the industrial revolution. Some of them are:

    •   Steam engines,

    •   Electricity,

    •   Spinning jenny,

    •   Improvement in communication and transportation systems,

    •   and the economic growth of societies.


To read in more specifics, please check out the ultimate guide to industrial revolution article.

Industrial Revolution Timeline

The world has undergone four industrial revolutions, with the fourth one currently in progress. However, as the 5th Industrial Revolution approaches, it is necessary to examine the four that came before.

The First Industrial Revolution; Definitions, Causes and Impacts

The Industrial Revolution is divided into several eras. The first industrial revolution took place between 1760 and the early 19th century.  

It had resulted from many gradual developments and occurrences. And led to life-changing innovations.

According to historians, this revolution had three causes:

    •   the emergence of capitalism,

    •   imperialism in Europe,

    •   and the agricultural revolution.

During this period people were more dependent on machines than ever. Some of the prominent changes and advancements in technology by the 1830s are:

    •   Improvements in business, trade, commerce, and finances,

    •   developments in steam power,

    •   new energy sources,

    •   new communication techniques,

    •   the textile industry improvement,

    •   and iron production.

The First Industrial Revolution

They introduced the ways in which things were powered, manufactured, and transported. These new ideas increased efficiency. They allowed the industrial revolution to grow rapidly and spread throughout Europe and the US.

Additionally, transportation improved. This made it simpler to transport people and goods anywhere. All these changes improved the lives of the working class and poor people.

The Industrial Revolution led to new opportunities and economic growth. But it also faced enormous negative impacts, to name a few:

    •   increased population,

    •   children's labor,

    •   poor hygiene,

    •   low-quality houses,

    •   disease transmission,

    •   and pollution.

Even though, without the industrial revolution, several nations today might not be as prosperous.

Here is an article about the first industrial revolution which goes into details about this era.

In case you’d like to know more, simply click the following link on First Industrial Revolution article.

The Second Industrial Revolution: Technological Developments, Key Stages, and Timeline Highlights

The Second Industrial Revolution took place between 1870 and 1914. It is referred to as the Technological Revolution. The peaceful end of the American Civil War started the second revolution in the United States. Mass production, assembly lines and electrification marked the Second Industrial Revolution. So, the United States emerged as an industrial giant.

This was the time of huge social, economic, and technological growth. The root of the second industrial event goes back to earlier manufacturing advances. It caused the rapid pace of scientific advancement, standardization, mass production, and industrialization. The most important and few of the many new technologies and innovations that developed during this time are:

    •   light bulb,

    •   telephone,

    •   the internal combustion engine,

    •   automobile,

    •   airplane,

    •   radio,

    •   canned food,

    •   cash register,

    •   typewriter,

    •   camera, etc.

The second industrial revolution

These inventions had a major impact on society and changed the world forever. The Industrial Revolution altered the U.S. economy. It set the stage for the US to dominate technological change and growth in the Second Industrial Revolution and the Gilded Age. The transportation revolution and the rapid expansion of vital transport links happened at this time. Transportation methods got significant change. It was a result of scientists building on earlier discoveries to produce the automobile in the late 1800s and the airplane in the early 1900s. This advancement accelerated the speed of industrialization. The railroad became the main way for people and goods to travel for the rest of the 19th century. The telegraph and telephone transformed communication techniques. The steel industry began to expand.

Historians have found that the US has passed through two stages of industrialization. The first industrial revolution in the US began in the 18th century. It focused on textile manufacturing and steam power. The Second Industrial Revolution focused on steel production, railroad construction, and electricity. The basis of this revolution was a new factory-based economic and industrial model. That brought about many favorable conditions. These circumstances include the introduction of new technology and a rapid population rise. Other circumstances are labor increase, more resources, and better food production.

There is lots more about this era. If you’re curious to know more, you’re welcomed to click on the following link and read our article on Second Industrial Revolution.

The Third Industrial Revolution: A Brief Description and Timeline

The Third Industrial Revolution also called the Digital Revolution, began in the late 1900s. This era changed not only business but much else besides. It brings new forms of energy, new means of transport, and new ways of communication. The computer and information sciences provide the most profound effect on our everyday life. Improvements in telecommunications made globalization possible, and companies' productions moved to low-cost economies. 

The Internet also changed business models all over the world. 

Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean waves, and biomass are the first pillar of the 3rd Industrial Revolution.

If you're willing to know more, click the following link on Third Industrial Revolution article.

The Third Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Key Features, Components, Trends, And Challenges

The Fourth Industrial Revolution's goal was automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It has the potential to increase global income levels and improve people's quality of life all over the world. Technology has enabled new products and services that improve efficiency and enhance pleasure in our personal lives. 

Digital capabilities can enhance the physical products and services, which as a result, increase their value. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our sense of privacy, notions of ownership, and consumption patterns. It is already changing our health and leading to a "quantified" self. And may lead to human augmentation soon.

In our article, you can read more about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and what might be the consequences.

The fourth industrial revolution

What is the difference between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Industrial revolution?

The four industrial revolutions are about coal, gas, electronics and nuclear or renewable energy, and of course the Internet. From 1765 to the present, we've witnessed an incredible evolution. The entire landscape of the modern world has been transformed numerous times as we discovered new products, energy sources, and digital technologies. Here we have summarized the differences between the four industrial revolutions that humankind has experienced.

•   First Industrial revolution - use of metals rather than just stone and wood - Bronze Age/Iron Age;

•   Second Industrial revolution - use of "steam" energy rather than just animal/wind/water;

•   Third Industrial revolution - use of electricity;

•   Fourth Industrial revolution - use of information technology.

Advantages of Industrial Revolution in Points

The Industrial Revolution had some great positive impacts, and it has more benefits than negative ones. Some of the advantages of the industrial revolution in points are given as below.

The Production of More Products

One of the greatest advantages of the industrial revolution was that there was the production of more products and the products started to be manufactured by machines. 

They were more efficiently made. This really helped the economy to grow. Another advantage was that the products became less expensive as there was less labor work involved and there was a rise in custom made products. 

The innovations made in manufacturing and the products were invented to help people make their lives much easier, and they gave people less time for the transportation of products from one place to another. 

The invention of the steam engine is owed in part to this phenomenon.

Access to The International Market Became Available

Due to the industrial revolution, businesses became able to enhance their supplies from local towns and local cities to the international market. 

It was one of the ideas that was developed by the industrial revolution. Due to the use of high end machines, the production increased, but sometimes the local demand was not sufficient for the maximization of the production. 

It gave rise to the idea of the multinational firm, and businesses were able to expand their sales in the international market. Not only did the businesses start to fulfill the local demand, they also started to fulfill the international demand as well. 

People began to notice the balancing of trade and began to produce more of it, increasing business wealth and tax revenues.

Invention And Production of Quite Useful Products

The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the invention and production of many useful products. Due to .the industrial revolution, there was a sudden rise in the invention and development of vehicles and tool types which had the ability to carry more items and people for their transportation from one place to another. 

There was also a rise in the creation of roads, which held the power to accommodate more traffic. 

One of the greatest inventions of that time was the development of the telegraph, which helped in improving the overall communication process and laid the basis for the invention of the telephone and fiber optics, which are considered a huge part of the delay in everyday life. 

The spinning Jenny, which was made in such a way that it could spin cotton or wool and eased the creation of more things in the same or even less time, was another of the greatest inventions of the time which led to the invention of some really useful tools like the refrigerator and other advanced home appliances that increased the overall living standard.

Purchasing Power of The Local People Quite Increased

One of the greatest advantages of the industrial revolution is that the purchasing power of the local people has increased quite a bit. It also led to the idea of the creation of a product in their basement. 

Families were producing enough to meet their needs, and if you didn't have the stuff to make your everyday items, then it wasn't necessary to spend a fortune to get the thing you wanted. The Industrial Revolution introduced processes that let companies produce faster than ever before. 

This increased mass production and overall productivity, allowing more products to be made in a given number of hours and eliminating the need to make products by hand. 

As the supplies went up, it resulted in the prices going down, which increased the overall purchasing power of the local people, and the goods were not as expensive as they were used to be.

Competition was created

As a result of the ability to manufacture multiple products in any industry or sector, free market economies began to emerge. 

Instead of relying on a business or provider to meet their needs, consumers would be able to choose from a variety of products to meet their own requirements. 

The industrial revolution shifted power away from corporations and toward consumers.

It decreased the impact of borders

Prior to the industrial revolution, trade and commerce were at best confined to the national level. Transporting goods was prohibitively expensive, making international commerce difficult. 

As a result of the industrial revolution, transportation became more convenient and affordable as a result, enabling businesses to establish a global presence for their brand. 

This made it possible for communities to try out new goods or services while still using goods made locally.

The Disadvantages of the Industrial Revolution in Points

Although there were positive aspects to the industrial revolution, there were also some negative aspects, which included the worst working conditions, poor living conditions, low wages, child labor, and land pollution. One of the most negative impacts of the industrial revolution was the introduction of capitalism as an economic system. Capitalism totally revolves around individualism in which the government has almost no to very little power to make the economic decisions of the country. 

This phenomenon spawned a climate in which factory and mine owners wielded power over workers' rights and forced them to work for their benefit. 

In the aftermath, the working conditions of the people really got worse, and child labor became one of the main features of the industrial revolution. 

It got so bad that even a child as young as 3 years old was working in an unsafe and dangerous environmental condition without having any kind of protection from the government. 

Some disadvantages of the industrial revolution in terms are given as under.

The Safety of Working People Was Threatened

One of the worst disadvantages of the industrial revolution was the working conditions of workplaces. The industrial revolution led to the placement of factories in cities and industrial communities. 

The only target of the business owners was to increase their production and gain more profit, and they really didn't really look at the wages or the workers' safety. 

Although the families were able to earn more, it came with various policies, like working for 16 hours and 6 days per week. There was also an inequality present among the men's and women's earnings, and women and children were only able to earn half as much as men while working the same as me. 

There was a lot of smoke in the factories, which caused breathing problems, injuries, and even deaths. This led to the formation of labor unions, but families had to make a lot of sacrifices that weren't common in those days.

Unequal Share of Wealth

Before the industrial revolution occurred, wealth was only restricted to those people who were very rich from birth, or had their belongings in royalty or invented something that was quite useful to society, like a telescope. 

After the revolution happened, the people who were setting up factories and leading businesses started making more money, but most of it was by jeopardizing the rights of the poor and working class, and it led to inequality and unjustifiable distributions of the money between the rich and poor. 

The wealthy became wealthier and the poor became poorer. If I talk about Jeff Bezos, who is the wealthiest man on the planet before his divorce proceeding, he had 157 billion in his wealth, along with the wealth of Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates and Elon Musk are living examples of how inequality transforms. 

If you take a look at industrialists like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, they both had 310 billion and 340 billion, respectively. Rockefeller, all by itself, controls 1.5 % of the overall American economy.

The Excess of Pollution

Pollution is one of the biggest negative factors of the industrial revolution. During the industrial revolution, there were huge numbers of streets and waterways that were quite heavily polluted with garbage and human waste. Not only that, the air was also heavily polluted. 

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, when the Industrial Revolution was happening, all the people that set factories and mines all across Great Britain really didn't care about the environmental aspects. 

Those factories were great producers of air pollution, which happened due to the burning of coal, which was one of the most famous fuels that was used during the industrial revolution, and it’s really known for empowering the steam engine. 

Coal is considered and it is also a fact that it is one of the heavy air polluters as it sends particles into the air. This led to the very worst air quality and created smoke all over the cities in which industries were present.

If you are interested, read our Industrial Revolution Analysis article and find out more about its advantage and disadvantages.

Industrialization Era

Industrialization was a period of dramatic innovation and change in the Industrial Revolution. People began leaving their family farms to work in factories near growing cities or coal mines. But going to work back then was not the same as today's clocking into a modern office or factory.

The Industrial Revolution was a period marked by the widespread introduction of machinery. It saw the world shift from an agrarian and handicraft economy to an industrial one. But, the Industrial Revolution promoted pollution, poor working conditions, and agricultural decline. Many modern mechanisms trace back to this time. A desire for better transportation fueled the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Banks and other investors fueled the new demand for capital investment to expand businesses. 

Find more interesting facts about the industrial era in our article.

Industrial Revolutions Around the World

The Industrial Revolution began in Europe around 1800 when Watt's steam engines started to export to other European countries. Many European countries embraced industrialization using new machines. Germany, for example, was a late adopter but had risen to become a great industrial power by the end of the 19th century. Japan experienced the Industrial Revolution in a very different way than the U.K., Europe, and America. The Japanese overturned centuries of feudal tradition to become one of the world's most modern nations. Japan's industrialization began in 1853 when American warships forced trade talks with Japan. 

It gets more interesting, click the following link to read our full article about the industrial revolution around the world.

Industrialization in the UAE (C4IR UAE)

C4IR provides a public-private platform for the collaborative development of frameworks. It makes governance frameworks and works with a community of people with different interests to test and improve them. Its center is a collaboration between the Dubai Future Foundation and the World Economic Forum, and the region's first affiliate center. Dubai Industrial City is an ecosystem of integrated services that include industrial land, warehouses, housing for workers, commercial office space, showrooms, and open yards.C4IR UAE focuses on three areas of new technology: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger, Artificial Intelligence, and Precision Medicine.

The Dubai Industrial Strategy released by Sheik Mohammed is based on five key objectives that will form the basis for Dubai's industrial future. The objective of this strategy is to increase the total output and value addition of the manufacturing sector, enhance the depth of knowledge and innovation, make Dubai a manufacturing platform of choice for global businesses, promote environmentally friendly and energy-efficient manufacturing, and make Dubai a hub for the global Islamic products market. Also, the strategy identifies six priority sub-sectors: aerospace, maritime, aluminum and fabricated metals, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food and beverages, and machinery and equipment. 

Don’t miss our full article about Industrialization in the UAE (C4IR UAE) here.

Industrial Revolution Facts

•   Between 1760 and 1914, the primary and secondary phases of the Industrial Revolution were the two commonly cited phases.
•    The First Industrial Revolution began in England in 1760 and lasted until the mid-to early nineteenth century. The mass adoption of steam technology and iron and the transition from agriculture to an industry characterized this period.
•    The Second Industrial Revolution began after the American Civil War and lasted until the outbreak of World War I. This epoch is distinguished by the development of new technologies such as electricity, combustion engines, and steel.
•    Even today, some countries have not yet experienced industrialization. These are commonly referred to as "third world" or "developing" countries.
•    The concept of capitalism is inextricably linked with the Industrial Revolution. The human quality of life, wealth, life expectancy, and other factors such as literacy has increased exponentially since their start.
•    The textile industry in the United Kingdom was initially the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. Improvements in this sector would eventually drive improvements in other industries throughout the UK.
•    By the end of the nineteenth century, eight out of ten British people lived in cities. Before 1760, the population was self-sufficient in 85 percent of cases.
•    The Earth's human population increased tenfold between 1700 and 2000.
•    The global economy expanded 14 times during the twentieth century.
•    Throughout the twentieth century, per capita income would increase fourfold over previous levels.
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Anticipating the Fifth Industrial Revolution

Each industrial revolution propelled our culture to new heights, enabling us to accomplish more in a shorter period of time than we could have imagined. We are rapidly approaching the fifth industrial revolution in 2020. Even though the 4th Industrial Revolution is still going on, many people have already started to think about the 5th Industrial Revolution. This revolution's emerging technologies are putting humanity's needs in the background. Profit has taken precedence over meaning. This will happen slowly because the 5th Industrial Revolution will have to adapt to the changes made by Industry 4.0.

More interesting fact about future of fifth industrial in the Anticipating the Fifth Industrial Revolution article.

The objective of the fifth industrial revolution is to integrate humans and technology in such a way that they work closely together and mutually benefit in countless ways. During the 5th Industrial Revolution, there will be an emphasis on putting faith in technology and ensuring that it is used for the benefit of humanity rather than for-profit alone. Unlike Industry 4.0 The 5th Industrial Revolution intends to reintroduce humans into the workplace. Its goal is to integrate these new technologies into our way of life to create new opportunities and make the world a better place rather than increase efficiency and productivity.

Industrial Revolution Summary

The Industrial Revolution undoubtedly was one of human history's most rapid periods of change.

It would cause both positive and negative changes in the world. Birth rates increased, death rates decreased, and cities grew to unprecedented proportions since the Roman Empire. Such massive population increases would also create new problems. Overcrowding was common, disease and poor sanitation were common occurrences, and death and injury were a regular part of the working day. This period was combined with long working hours and enlisting children and women to help make ends meet.

This epoch saw revolutionary changes in socioeconomics, geopolitics, and scientific advancements. New ways of thinking would emerge. The rapid rise of technology also had a negative side effect. It would eventually lead to the massive killing seen in the American Revolutionary War and the early to mid-twentieth-century World Wars. Despite some valid criticisms, most historians agree that the Industrial Revolution was overwhelmingly beneficial to humanity in the long run.