Industrializationis the process of building up a country’s production capacity inorder to process various raw materials and manufacture goods foreither consumption or for further production. The industrialrevolution took place between the 18thand 19thcenturies. This marked a shift from low scale agrarian production tohigh mass production using special purpose machinery in factories.The development of the steam engine played a major role in developingthe iron and textile industries, among others.[ CITATION Ray98 l 1033 ]Industrialization is the main source of long term economic growth.The United States of America is one of the most industrializedeconomies in the world and thus one of the most developed. This essaycomprehensively analyses the positive and negative impacts ofindustrialization.
Part1. Positive Impact of Industrialization
Industrializationcontributed significantly to the economic growth of the United Statesof America. Introduction of new machinery in industries led toincreased volumes of production, which in turn increased volumes oftrade in the international market. This went a long way inappreciating the value of the American Dollar in the exchange marketsto date. The demand for manufactured goods in the world market washigh from the 18thcentury, placing the United States at an advantageous position. Thisled to increased exports leading to increased gross domestic productand thus improved balance of payment. Thus, the aspectindustrialization has gone a long way in making America one of themost economically stable nations.[ CITATION Ray98 l 1033 ]
Industrializationhas also led to balanced regional development due to the variouslinkages and multiplier effects it fosters in society. This isbecause industrialization provides forward and backward linkageswhich lead to the growth of other industries. For example,manufacturing industry in Michigan led to the growth of theconstruction industry thus leading to urbanization. This has beenreplicated elsewhere as industries in other states have led to thedevelopment of urban areas, thus leading to balanced growththroughout America.[ CITATION Jon14 l 1033 ]
Part2. Negative Impact of Industrialization
Industrializationhas led pollution of the environment by creating an ecologicalimbalance. Burning fossil fuels in industries have led to the releaseof toxic gases into the atmosphere, especially carbon monoxide. Thishas consequently led to air pollution and global warming due to thegreenhouse effect. Most water sources have lost their relevance dueto release of harmful by-products from industries, especiallymercury. This has decreased water creatures and has also increasedcost of water purification due to the presence of harmful mercurycomponents in the water. Scientists also warn of rise in sea levels,wiping out islands due to melting of glaciers and ice masses. Inaddition, natural calamities such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoand floods are as a result of ecological imbalances caused bypollution. [ CITATION Ger13 l 1033 ]
TheAmerican population has also been negatively affected byindustrialization either directly or indirectly. Toxic gases releasedinto the atmosphere have led to increased cases of respiratoryillnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer, for example toworkers in the mining industry. In addition the development of modernday food industry, has led to high consumption of processed foodswhich has in turn led to increase in reported cases of lifestylediseases such as Type 2 diabetes, renal failure and otherdegenerative diseases which are the main cause of death. Wildlife hasalso decreased and some indigenous species have become extinct hencethe need to address pollution before the effects are irreversible.[ CITATION Bar99 l 1033 ]
Industrializationhas contributed greatly in the history of America and hassignificantly developed over the years into becoming a pillar of thenation. The impact of industrialization has been felt nationwide bothpositively and negatively. However the positive impact ofindustrialization has to a great extent overshadowed the negativeeffects in the following ways.
Industrieshave created employment opportunities to a large percentage of theworking force in the USA. This is because of the various linkages inindustries which guarantee the growth of subsequent industries. Anindustry requires a variety of skills which are provided by an arrayof workers running from the managerial team, to the casual laborers.This relieves the government of the burden of providing for itscitizens, because workers earn incomes thus have economicindependence.
Moreimportantly, industrialization has greatly improved the welfare ofAmericans. Employment opportunities have led to improved standards ofliving. It has also led to the urbanization thus development ofinfrastructure such as roads, which have eased transport andcommunication. The industry has also created an avenue for improvedsocial amenities by direct funding programs or indirectly throughrevenue. This has improved healthcare, education and socialassistance. Industries are also actively involved in environmentalfriendly initiatives. In addition, technological advancement can bedirectly linked to the growth of the industry. This is becauseindustrial production requires relevant technology, which propelsdiscoveries as well as importation of technology from other nations.Industrialization generates up to 20% of the GDP and growth of allother sectors of the economy can be linked directly or indirectly toit. Therefore industrialization is a great anchor of the economy as awhole and the pride of America.
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Rees, J. (2014). Industrialization and the Transormation of American Life: A Brief Introduction. Routledge.