PartA. The First Industrial Revolution
Oneof the most important social issues that emerged as a result of thefirst industrial revolution was the transition from an agriculturalpopulation to an urban population. The creation of industriesresulted into changes in the economic activities and labor patternswhich consequently resulted into redistribution of the population.The concentration of industries, for example, textile industrieswhich were labor extensive, created urban centers and cities.Although industrial revolution was supported by the agriculturaleconomy, which means that the rural population remained vibrant, anew wave of urban settlement emerged. The massive industrial laboropportunities attracted the population closer to the factors whichled to the creation of some of the modern urban settlements. Whilethe lives of many people were improved due to the new way of life,overcrowding and poor living conditions in the urban centers became anorm (Snooks, 2000).
Anotherimportant social consequence of the first industrial revolution wasthe massive increase in population. It is estimated that in the firsthalf of the 18thcentury, the population of England remained relatively stable.However, following the spark of the industrial revolution in the late18thcentury, the population increased by more than 100 percent. The rapidincrease in population throughout Europe between late 18thcentury and early 20thcentury has been attributed to the changes in the society as a resultof the first industrial revolution. This includes improved livingstandards, demand for labor and increased agricultural productivity.It is estimated that the European population increased from about 100to 400 million between mid 18thcentury and late 19thcentury (More, 2000).
PartB. The Industrial Revolution and Capitalism
Capitalismand the first industrial revolution have a very complex relationship.While some historians argue that emergence of capitalism ignited theindustrial revolution, others argue that capitalism was as a resultof industrial revolution. Capitalism is an economic system where theelements of the economy are owned by private individuals and operatedwith an aim of creating wealth through profits. Some of the basicelements of capitalism include paid labor, competitive markets andaccumulation of capital. An ideal capitalistic economy, Laissez-fairecapitalism, is an economy that is controlled by private entitieswithout government interference. Capitalism created a new generationinterested in creating wealth through investment. This allowedinventors and entrepreneurs to create industries and businessorganization. The advent of private industries in Europe allowedcountries such as Britain to become more industrialized and developedcompared to other countries, for example, Germanic states. Additionally, the industrial revolution revitalized the capitalisticideas in Europe due to the opening and expanding the markets forinventors and mechanized industrialist. This led to optimization ofproduction and increased revenue thus making the investors andinnovators more aggressive (Griffin, 2010).
PartC. Capitalism & Communism
Althoughcapitalism and communism ideologies are very different, they have avery interesting relationship. The rules and the society in generalare motivated by profits in a capitalistic economy. The pioneers ofcommunism ideologies based their arguments on the weaknesses ofcapitalism. For example, Marx, one of the greatest pioneers ofcommunism thoughts compared capitalism with other oppressive socialsystems such as feudalism and slavery (Jennifer, 2008). Communismviewed the working class in the capitalist society as the ‘gravedigger’ who are used by capitalists to accumulate wealth. Theworking class is not paid the full amount of his output and thesurplus value of his labor is the capitalist’s profit. Thus, tomaximize profits, capitalist compete to maintain the wages low andmaximize output from their workers. This results into conflictsbetween different classes in the society. For example, the industrialrevolution in the capitalistic world resulted into trade unions. Thequest for the control of the means of production by the working classled to the advent of the classical Marxism which is the foundation ofa communist society. The working class in the industrial revolutionwould have accepted the communism ideologies since it would haveresulted into better working conditions (Michael, 2013).
PartC1. Two differences between capitalist and communist philosophies
Themain difference between capitalistic and communistic philosophies isthe ownership of “means of production”. In a communistic economy,there is no private ownership of the means of production such as landand other essential resources. The means of production are owned bythe state of behalf of the entire society. In communism philosophy,the state represents the community of people. This means that all theresources are shared and the wages are equal. On the other hand, in acapitalistic economy, the means of production are owned byindividuals. The economy has a competitive market where every man isexpected to compete to earn wealth. The owners of business entitiesget the lion share of the profits while the persons learning thebusiness get wages and salaries. The owners of the means ofproduction are referred to as capitalists (Michael, 2013).
Anothermain difference between communism and capitalism philosophies is theresultant society. A communism philosophy results into an egalitariansociety without social stratification. All individuals in the societyare placed at the same level, social and economic classes are notexistence. Due to the absence of any form of competition, there isnothing like fighting since people have already given up what makes aperson different from other individuals. On the other hand,capitalism philosophy results into social stratification and classdistinction. It creates economic and social classes depending onwhether an individual is poor or rich. In a capitalistic economy, thecapitalist controls the economy and political power while the poorbecomes poorer (Michael, 2013).
Griffin,E. (2010). ShortHistory of the British Industrial Revolution.New York, Palgrave.
Jennifer,L. G. (2008). Industrialrevolution: people and perspectives,Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO,
Michael,A. Z. (2013). Rethinkingthe industrial revolution: five centuries of transition from agrarianto industrial capitalism in England,Leiden: Brill.
More,C. (2000). Understandingthe Industrial Revolution.London: Routledge.
Snooks,G.D. (2000). Wasthe Industrial Revolution Necessary?London: Routledge.