Societal consequences of the Industrial Revolution


The Industrial Revolution has had enormous long-term social consequences. To solve the 'social question' trade unions were formed, socialism emerged in politics and communism - mainly at the instigation of Karl Marx (1818-1884) - emerged. These developments had profound consequences, especially in the twentieth century, when the Russian Revolution (1917) and the Cold War (1945-1989) divided the world ideologically.

Society changed, both through the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, from an class society to a class society: more and more the economic position became a determining factor for someone's prestige, instead of the family or class in which someone was born.

In time, the Industrial Revolution led to growing prosperity and the social and political emancipation of numerous population groups. After the First World War - when they often took up empty places in industry - women in Europe were given the right to vote en masse, during the Pillarization in the Netherlands (1880-1920) all kinds of groups such as Catholics, Protestants and socialists were able to emancipate themselves, while after the Second World War, welfare states were built up in several European countries that distributed prosperity more fairly.

In the longer term, daily life changed radically in the areas of communication and transport in particular. The world became emotionally much smaller due to the telegraph, telephone, train, car and plane. Within these frameworks, nationalism quickly emerged in the 19th century and irreversible globalization took place, mainly in the 20th and 21st centuries. Television, computers and cell phones changed people's lives dramatically.

Warfare also changed. World War I (1914-1918) and later World War II (1939-1945) showed how inventions could be used to carry out industrial slaughter that world history had never seen before. 

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