The Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, and Socialism

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The Industrial Revolution brought about great changes in how goods were produced and consumed, but it also brought about social and political changes. Some were positive, such as machines relieving much of the toil previously placed on worker’s muscles. But there were also negative changes. As workers moved to cities to work in factories, and progress in medical and sanitation practices improved, urban crowding became a huge issue. Additionally, where industry was taking over production in markets that had previously been dominated by small business owners, these skilled workers, weavers and the like, were now being forced to take jobs working for capitalist ventures-- often working in the industry coinciding with their master skill, but being paid as unskilled workers. These two issues--urban crowding and loss of independence for workers no doubt lead to an extreme decrease in the overall social atmosphere and in worker morale. The Industrial Revolution brought about several new inventions that greatly increased production efficiency, however these machines were very expensive, so it was natural for businessmen and investors to put up the money needed to purchase these machines and the factories that housed them and then hire employees as workers. This generally caused a great disparity of wealth. Though capitalism already existed by the time large-scale manufacturing came into play, the very nature of these changes had a great impact in it’s further development. Capitalism is a type of economic organization in which those with capital, or the funds and resources needed to purchase and maintain large scale production facilities, own all said means of production. Capitalists will then hire workers, or employees, to work in their facilities in exchange for a wage. These workers can be dismissed at will, so the only real duty the capitalists have to the employees is to pay this wage. The ultimate goal of the capitalist is to increase their own wealth by hiring...
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