Industrial Revolution Dbq Essay

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In the late 18th century, a few small, relatively simple inventions from England started an Industrial Revolution that forever changed the way people consumed and produced products. Machines such as the water frame and cotton gin made textile production much faster and more profitable. This industrialization spread to almost every area of industry, from transportation to agriculture, where new inventions were springing up and it would be only a short time before they were implemented in the new industrial world. To take advantage of the many new jobs created by these machines, people moved in large numbers from rural areas into cities where factories were set up. The industrial revolution changed society in a massive way, making it easier …show more content…

Most working-class people lived in apartment buildings called tenements where they could only afford small, usually old and dilapidated housing. In many instances an entire family would be crowded into a single room to live together, as evidenced of a historical photograph of a working-class family in their apartment. Seven people are together in a single room, including several young children (Document V). Without enough money to afford adequate and safe housing, families in tenements such as this one would be uncomfortable and burdened by domestic responsibilities as well as long hours at jobs. The close proximity of so many people meant disease could spread rapidly through the building and the rest of the community. One may think these conditions only applied to the poorest members of society, but, in fact, entire cities of people were living like this. Manchester, for instance, seen to be the center of English industry and production, changed dramatically because of urbanization and industrialization. The English Poet Robert Southey, in Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, comments on Manchester that it has “...this multitude crowded together in narrow streets, the houses built of brick and blackened with smoke: frequent buildings among them as large as convents, without their antiquity, without their beauty….”(Document Q). Here, Robert Southey is comparing the older, bucolic and pastoral England with the modern cities in which productivity and profit is valued above maintaining an environment conducive to people’s health and happiness. Southey, being a Romantic poet, may be overdramatizing his views on Manchester, but it remains that a stark change in the landscape of cities has occurred, mostly for the negative. Another writer commenting on the city of Manchester, seen to be the center of

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