The Industrial Revolution and Beyond

Examines the many ways in which the Industrial Revolution and the information revolution changed society.

This paper explores the impact that the Industrial Revolution and the information revolution had on society. The paper considers not only how the Industrial Revolution affected the amount of work people do and the amount of goods produced, but also the type of goods produced and how the machine age virtually eliminated the uniqueness and aesthetic qualities of the products. The paper looks at how the Industrial Revolution eventually led to the Arts and Crafts Movement, modernism, rationalism, and other aesthetic philosophies. The paper then examines the impact that the information revolution has had on society. How the information revolution affected democracy, power, the concentration of wealth, production, and new postmodernist philosophies is discussed as well.
“It is difficult for anyone now alive to appreciate the radical changes that the Industrial Revolution brought to humanity. We imagine that we know what it was like before this shift in economics, in culture, in society: We think of farmers tilling fields and of their children piling hay into stacks for winter forage, or of trappers setting their snares for the soft-pelted animals of the forests, or of fishers casting their hand-woven and hand-knotted nets into the seas from the hand-sewn decks of ships. We imagine the hard physical work that nearly every person in society once had to do in the era before machines substituted their labor for ours – and this exchange of human (and animal) labor for machine-driven labor is indeed one of the key elements of the Industrial Revolution.”