To some people, industrialization is one of the most important and most wonderful things that has occurred in the past 400 years. To a limited extent, I agree. Without industrialization, we would be nowhere as far along technologically. Although industrialization had a dark side (Families were split up as different family members went to work in the factories), I have found that the benefits far exceed the drawbacks. This holds true for almost all beneficial things in history: the good exceeds the bad. Thus, I believe that the trend towards industrialization in the 19th century was a good thing.
The Industrial Revolution in Europe began in England rather than on the continent. According to Robert L. Heilbroner, “…England was the scene of the most successful and thoroughgoing transformation of feudal society into commercial society.” This means, because of its superior wealth and power as compared to everywhere else in Europe, England was in the best position of any other country to have radical change (like the Industrial Revolution). Heilbroner then adds, “…England was the locus of a unique enthusiasm for science and engineering.” Indeed, things such as the Royal Academy, and Gentlemen’s Magazine were very helpful in providing the frame of mind for science and engineering.
This being said, there was a dark side to the industrialization of Europe, too. Industrialization all but destroyed the family unit. Instead of all members of the family working together at home, the father would go to work as the primary (and many times, the only) breadwinner, leaving the rest of the family at home. Sometimes, other members of the family would also go out and work at factories, but not the same one, thus splitting up the family even more. There were more drawbacks, but these are the major ones.
So, in conclusion, while things may have gone bad for the family unit for a while, the long-term effects of industrialization far outweigh the disadvantages of it. So, it is in my opinion that industrialization of Europe during the 19th century was beneficial to society.
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