I have already asked a question about the Industrial Revolution and have had thoughts about the topic since. I know that the Industrial Revolution was extremely beneficial to humanity as a whole and it brought the Western World out of the malthusian trap. At no point in history was so much wealth created and people born. After the industrial revolution humanity as a whole was way better off. Hence, I think the Industrial Revolution was a good “thing”. That being said, my school books argue that the ind. revolution impoverished lots of people and living standards worsened. What is true about that claim?
Were there lots of people who were impoverished?
Or only some?
Or only one kind?
Or only in the beginning?
I’m aware about the fact that without the Industrial Revolution lots of people would have stayed out of cities with lower wages (because of population rise). So things would have been worse without the ind. revolution.
I just don’t know what to think about the Ind. Rev. Thanks!
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Sons, I apologize for the slow reply. I’ve been traveling quite a bit the last month with spotty internet access. However, I’m back home for the remainder of the summer and will be posting much more regularly.
I deal with these questions to some extent in the lectures on the Industrial Revolution, and there are one or two other threads in this forum that address the topic as well. The short answer is that some people’s living standards dropped when enclosure forced them off the land where they had been living, but this is something separate from the Industrial Revolution. For nearly everyone else, they were already poor when the Industrial Revolution began (because there was little capital accumulated in the society) and gradually saw their conditions improve as the revolution proceeded.