Revolutions, imperialism, and industrialization were three major aspects of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. All three of these things continued to influence the globe from their start until the present day. Revolutions were occurring in multiple parts of the world in the 18th to 20th centuries as colonies began to overthrow their mother countries and nations began to overthrow their monarchs. Most of these revolutions were influenced by Enlightenment ideas, which promoted new concepts such as liberty, tolerance, progress, fraternity, and constitutional government. Some of the most notable revolutions include the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the American Revolution. Imperialism was also a major theme in this time period. The presence of foreign powers in several areas such as Africa and Asia had influential effects on both the native people and on the nations that controlled those areas. The extent of foreign power ranged from direct occupation to indirect rule and more. The third major theme of this time period was industrialization. All over the world, individuals and entire nations were rushing to join the Industrial Revolution, which started in Great Britain and occurred from approximately 1760 to 1830. The Industrial Revolution had a widespread effect on the world and influenced the actions of several major world powers. Industrialization is still a huge part of society in the present day and continues to drive the actions of people as well as their governments. Ultimately, between industrialization, revolutions, and imperialism, industrialization has had the most profound impact on the modern day because of its economic, social, and political effects on society.
First, industrialization has had the greatest impact on the present day because of its widespread economic consequences. For example, the surge of industrialization had a large impact on the areas controlled by Great Britain and other European nations. One such area was India, which was largely under British control from around 1750 to 1947. India once had a thriving and influential economy, but Great Britain severely damaged its global economic presence. India’s prosperous cotton textile industry became virtually nonexistent for a long time as the British took raw Indian cotton back to England to manufacture textiles. Indians then had to buy back these textiles that were made by the very cotton they had grown and harvested. Colonies such as the ones in the Americas also provide examples of industrialization having devastating effects on nations’ economies. In the Americas, European powers exploited natural resources and took them back to Europe in order to mass produce products. Once the South and Central American countries eventually gained their independence, many of them found it difficult to build their own self-sufficient economy. Conversely, European and U.S. economies were greatly aided by industrialization, which allowed them to gain money and power in international trade markets. The effects on India, American nations, Great Britain, and others have remained influential today. Many areas that were under foreign rule during the Industrial Revolution were not able to completely catch up and are still considered to be second or third world countries today. Countries that were successful in the early stages of industrialization had a higher probability of remaining more powerful into the present day. Overall, industrialization had long-term economic effects on many nations around the world.
Second, industrialization was the most influential to the current day because of its major social effects. In nations undergoing industrialization, manufacturing led to the creation of a factory culture, which influenced nations’ social life in a few different ways. For one, demographic patterns changed from rural living to urban living. People who were previously spread out over farmland began to congregate in cities to work in factories. Most of these cities, such as London, are still major urban centers today, influencing the policies, ideas, and culture of surrounding areas. Industrialization also impacted gender roles in mechanizing nations. Before industrialization, work was done on one’s own property so women worked alongside their family to generate income. As factory work became the norm, women were expected to stay home and tend to domestic work and childcare. The women who did work in factories were generally only allowed to perform certain jobs and received lower wages. This system resulted in the notion that women belonged at home while men belonged at work, making money. Society took this to heart and it considerably influenced gender roles into the present day. Some people still believe that women should stay at home and that men are more capable of providing financially. Hence, industrialization had effects on demographic patterns and gender roles that lasted into the modern age.
Lastly, industrialization had the greatest impression on the modern day because of its enduring influence on political matters. Many nations became rich because of industrialization and used this wealth to gain power on a global scale. One such nation is Great Britain, who obtained raw materials from their many colonies. The British then sent these raw materials back to Great Britain to be manufactured. Using this system, they were able to sell finished products back to their colonies as well as participating in other fruitful trade networks. This caused the British to not only hold extreme economic power, but also political power. Great Britain was already a successful nation, but with the help of industrialization, they grew more powerful than ever. By making the switch to large-scale manufacturing rather than small businesses and the “cottage industry,” Great Britain was able to mass produce items such as weapons in a much faster and cost-efficient way. This caused Great Britain and similar European nations to have more weapons to maintain and gain control of other areas. It also enabled them to use the additional money made through industrialization to strengthen their nations politically by addressing issues domestically and abroad. Furthermore, areas under European control lost their political power, which often resulted in a disadvantage in the 19th and 20th centuries when they gained their independence. For instance, areas in Latin American were controlled in the name of industrialization in order to harvest raw materials to export back to Europe. They had been under the rule of Europeans for much of the Industrial Age, which made it extremely hard for those nations to create functioning governments after they gained autonomy.
To conclude, industrialization had the most considerable impact on modern society compared to revolutions and imperialism because of the major economic, social, and political effects it had globally. Economically, industrialization hurt some nations financially while it made other nations rich. Some social effects included the switch from rural life to urban life and creation of traditional gender roles concerning work. Politically, industrialization gave some, namely Europeans, the means to better control colonies as well as expanding their rule. Industrialization in earlier centuries continues to have a profound influence on the daily life of modern-day citizens and governments worldwide.