Discuss the positive and negative social and economic consequences of the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

Essay by damalur_solHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2003

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The industrial revolution had a great impact on Europe, especially when it comes to social and economic aspects, since they underwent a great change during the period. Still, whether the industrial revolution was positive or negative as a whole depends on if you focus on either of these two aspects. Optimists will say that it was good, and they'll focus on the favourable consequences on economy. Pessimists, however, will focus on social aspects, since society suffered a decline as to way of life.

When it comes to economy, most of the consequences of the industrial revolution on it were quite positive. Wages rose, and people had enough money to buy goods. Industry developed, making it more efficient to produce products with the help of machines. These made it more profitable for industries, since work was done faster and without a need for a big human work force, thus creating mass production.

It was cheap to make goods, and they were produced at a large scale, which in turn led to consumers being able to afford more products. Another thing was the creation of banks, which favoured economy as they lent money to set up even more industries.

Mercantilism also helped European countries, since they had a market for their goods. Also, industries were favoured by the construction of better roads and canals, and with the invention of the steam engine, as well as with the construction of turnpike trusts. Goods were transported in faster, safer and cheaper ways, which had a positive effect on industry and economy.

The improvement of the transport system also had positive effects on social aspects. Now that people had more money, they could use it to go on day holidays to the coast, since they could use the railroad. Improvement in transportation also...