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The industrial revolution: Redefining standard of living in industrialized Britain - Research Paper Example

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The paper tells that modernization bestowed a number of important economic effects that gradually improved the lot of the general population. Increased productivity brought a gradual increase in pay and the means for a better, and easier, life. …
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The industrial revolution: Redefining standard of living in industrialized Britain
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Download file to see previous pages The researcher states that the prevailing theme among those who contend that the industrial revolution produced unrelieved misery for millions is that working, and living, conditions and key economic factors were undeniably the product of industrialization and urbanization. Yet in each country that experienced an industrial transformation, it is equally as likely that circumstances of “time and place” had as much to do with social ills and economic volatility as the rapid growth of factories and assembly plants. “Many of the social discomforts that have been attributed to the industrial revolution in Britain were…the result of forces which (for all we know) would still have operated if manufacture had remained undeveloped and there had been no change of economic form.” Chief among these was price fluctuation. Ashton notes that in Britain, it is easy to assume that the rapid emergence of new technologies would have translated into unprecedented production levels and a consequent reduction in prices. However, other variables were in play. The political adventurism that characterized the spread of Britain’s colonial empire slowed the development of economic processes, and the rapid introduction of paper money after 1797 caused a period of inflation that lasted nearly 20 years. It would be another 15 years before price levels more or less settled into some semblance of stability. As well, the transition from a predominantly agricultural economy to an industrialized economic base was far from a smooth process. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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