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ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:Industrial Revolution in Britain:Effects of the British Industrial Revolution

Positive Effects

  • It led to improved communication systems in Britain, that is, letters and newspapers delivery, ¬†from being backward in 1750 to becoming the best in 1800
  • The availability of food in Britain led to rapid population growth
  • The industrialization also led to population distribution as people moved to towns with iron and coal areas
  • Industrialization led to the rural to urban migration and towns began to grow
  • A new social class emerged called the middle class which included professional and business people and their families.
  • Industrialization led to increase in the production for goods as there was an increased demand for the goods locally and abroad
  • It led to the mushrooming of many banks in Britain as industrialists required loans for their businesses
  • It also led to the improvement in the agricultural sector as new farming methods, crops and tools were introduced
  • The Revolution increased global trade as goods produced in British factories were wanted globally
  • Administrative structures also emerged due to industrialization as towns were created
  • Parliamentary representation also increased as many towns were created
  • Women became liberated as they were now allowed to go out of the house in search of employment
  • Women also began earning a wage which was the same as man
  • It led to the discovery of new ways of treating diseases
  • Life expectancy also increased

Negative Effects

  • Child labour began as children as young as fourteen were employed in factories
  • Women were seen as convenient to employ and this led to their oppression
  • Factories and mines were characterised by poor working conditions such as:
    1. Poor structures
    2. Poor ventilation
    3. Up to sixteen hours of hard labour
    4. Low wages
    5. Hot and moist atmospheres
    6. Lack of protective clothing yet they were working with dangerous machines
    7. Falls and flooding in mines
  • Poor living conditions for industrial workers became the order of the day due to low wages
  • They lived in overcrowded houses with poor sanitation and drainage systems

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.