Q5. How did Industrialization affect the society of a country?
Since the Industrial Revolution was so new at the end of the 18th century, there were initially no laws to regulate new industries. For example, no laws prevented businesses from hiring seven-year-old children to work full time in coal mines or factories. No laws regulated what factories could do with their biohazard waste. Free-market capitalism meant that the government had no role in regulating the new industries or planning services for new towns. And those who controlled the government liked it that way—only a small minority of people, the wealthiest, could vote in England at this time. So during the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, between 1790 and 1850, British society became the first example of what happens in a country when free-market capitalism has no constraints.
Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the population of the world lived in villages and was dependent on agricultural. Almost all economic needs of man were met within the village itself, which in itself was a self-sustained unit dependent on land.
One of the defining and most lasting features of the Industrial Revolution was the rise of cities. In pre-industrial society, over 80% of people lived in rural areas. As migrants moved from the countryside, small towns became large cities. Earlier towns were mainly centers of craft and of political and administrative control and affected only a very small percentage of the population.
With the growth of industrialization the picture was completely transformed. The centre of economic life shifted to the cities.
The new cities and towns that grew were important more as centers of industry than as political and administrative centers. A large part of the population now started living in cities where thousands of people worked in industrial establishments. This population was not connected with land.
The crowding of people into cities has always produced problems of housing, health, and sanitation. The quickening pace of industrialization in England created deplorable living conditions, concentration in smoky industrial towns, and city slums grew worse.
Life for a villager in the city resulted in many social strains. Many social bonds were dissolved. Many moral restraints which life in a village community imposed broke down. Cholera, tuberculosis, typhus, typhoid, and influenza ravaged through new industrial towns, especially in poor working-class neighborhoods. Poor nutrition, disease, lack of sanitation, and harmful medical care in these urban areas had a devastating effect on the average life expectancy of British people in the first half of the 19th century.
On the other hand, men became freer to develop their capabilities. The Industrial Revolution brought countries and peoples together. The relations between countries and peoples, however, were not based on equality as the industrially developed countries began to control the economy of countries which were not industrially developed. In spite of this, the Industrial Revolution created an international consciousness among peoples because the developments in one place began to influence the developments in other places.