The Effects of the Industrial Revolution

by Tank ~ April 20th, 2010. Filed under: Chapter 19: The Age of Ideology in Western Europe.

The complex developments of the 18th and 19th centuries in European culture are often categorized as a historical movement that was succeeded by a disproportionate influence.  The progression of Charles Townshend’s crop rotation and the innovation of Jethro Tull’s seed drill seemed like simple enough endeavors- output was increased, carrying population’s were expanded, and world appeared to be a happier, better fed place.

But what escapes apparent knowledge is the recognition that excess production leads to an excess of workers. No longer was the bulk of the population required to work to feed the country- specialization was able to occur, moderately-successful farmers transitioned to wage-labor factory workers and a generation ripe with angst and discontent was born.

Thus, the revolution that began on the fields of subsistence farms and poultry estates ended at a point that is hard to define.  Karl Marx’s theories on the rights and historical role of the working class grew into a paradigm that shaped the course of world events in the next decade and a half to come. The attached article, Pope Denounces Capitalism and Marxism discusses the Pope’s belief that neither ideological byproduct of the Industrial Revolution is conducive to global spiritual growth.  The point being- the effects of this historically documented phenomenon are still identifiable today.

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