Analyze changes and continuities in the environment due to the Industrial Revolution.
Rober Koehler's painting The Strike shows realism in during the Industrialization. The sky is portrayed as gloomy and polluted, showing the environmental damage that existed due to the Industrial Revolution.(Deutches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
The Industrial Revolution caused severe changes in the environment, such as changes in the ecology,
the economic environment, and moral environment, yet peoples’ response
to these changes still lacked a motivation to improve the conditions of
their surrounding environment. As the need for factories and other
establishments rose, the need to alter the environment to exploit their
resources and potential investments also increased.
The environment underwent several changes during the Industrial Revolution,
yet the way people treated the environment continued to be mostly the
same. As people industrialized over time, they increasingly used up
natural resources such as coal, established factories, and cleared land
for development. The effects of these actions were increased pollution
in the ecosystem, which devastated the land, enlarged the mortality
rate, and caused global warming. While the environment had changed,
most peoples’ response to the changes was unchanged, as they still
continued to use too many resources for their own profit. One such
example is the practice of agriculture on the land, for people needed
to clear lands for pastures and fields. This not only affected the
ecosystem of various animals and their habitats but it also contributed
to the increasing usage of materials. The new factories and same
agricultural necessity contributed to the continuing effects of
pollution and abuse of the environment, leading to diseases such as
cholera, due to water, air, and noise pollution.
While people were basically disrupting the ecosystem, another change during the Industrial Revolution was the changes in the economic and social environment. The establishment of factories caused the development of the middle class due to the job opportunities that were available and the working class which consisted of people who were constantly working to take care of themselves. The classes reestablished the roles of women and children by forcing them to work in order to support their families in the working class while in the middle class, women were bound to housekeeping and following the rules of etiquitte and children were to receive an education later in the time period. While owners and the wealthy benefited from the Industrial Revolution, the lower class remained treated poorly, and the middle class remained subservient. The poor living conditions of the lower classes were mostly caused by the effects of pollution and continued to prosper for many generations to come.
The Industrial Revolution provided a way for workers to have more jobs. The picture depicts workers tending to a steam hammer. Outside, one can see the smoke rising out of the chimnies in nearby factories, and the polluted air in the sky. (Science Museum Library, London/Science and Society Library)
The moral environment was affected in some
aspects during the Industrial Revolution. The root of the changes in
moral environment was in the lack of motivation to change or fix the
pollution that was caused by the heavy industrialization. People
continued the practice of deforestation for agricultural land and space
for numerous buildings such as factories, tenements, businesses and
other components of large cities. There was an increase in crime and
the need to control it thanks to the moral and mental effects of
epidemics such as noise pollution. However, the people still showed
little concern for the environment, and the rate of pollution and
mortality continued to increase.Throughout the time period, however,
scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Rudolf (Carl) Virchow,
continuously sought to improve the medicine and health of the people of
the industrial Revolution, representing the first continuous attempts
at changing the polluted land.