The Enlightenment, the New Rationalism, and the Scientific Revolution was the birth of immense scientific progress. People stopped placing their entire beings in “blind faith” and emphasized the possibilities present with the use of science and reason (Khan Academy). All of the faith was now placed into the accomplishments of mankind, as people were beginning to realize what we were truly capable of. The Enlightenment gave rise to deep thinkers, and reasonable ways of living, beyond any spiritual force. This was appropriately labeled, “the age of reason.” (U.S. History). Scientists such as Isaac Newton challenged gravity and motion, while writers such as John Locke promoted the rights of people, including the natural rights of life, liberty, and property (U.S. History). There was a wave of change, spreading quickly throughout all of Europe. Most importantly, was the concept of progress. The people of this time were excited for it brought a new kind of happiness and optimistic feelings; the world would never be the same from then on out.
From 1765-1815, a group of creative thinkers, inventors, and manufacturers met monthly on the night of a full moon to really think outside the box about what could benefit the industry. Appropriately, they were named “the Lunar Society” (Sayre, 2013). This group included well known people such as James Watt and Erasmus Darwin who could discuss anything complex ranging from medicine to electricity. This, was the wake of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution subsequently answered the demand society had for everyday goods. Thinking about the way we thrive in present day, we don’t consider the emotional influence that simple goods such as silverware had on the people. This directly effected the lives of the common people. The industrial revolution is also commonly associated with urbanization and the creation of cities. As a result, “by 1850, for the first time in world history, more people in a countryâ€”Great Britainâ€”lived in cities than in rural areas” (Effects of the Industrial Revolution). As there was a greater concentration of workers and factories, there was a greater concentration of progress and wealth for the nation. Ultimately, industry flourished.
Though, not everything was rainbows and butterflies. With the monumental growth of the industry, came very brutal working conditions and demand for constant production of goods. Many employees were even children as young as 7 years old. Poor working conditions lead to poor living conditions as well, for many had little to no time to enjoy any type of recreation.
We must take time to appreciate this point in our history, for many suffered, struggled, and were very laborious to allow society to flourish and grow into what it is today.
Effects of the Industrial Revolution. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://webs.bcp.org/sites/vcleary/ModernWorldHistoryTextbook/IndustrialRevolution/IREffects.html (Links to an external site.)
Khan Academy. (2019). The Enlightenment period. Retrieved from: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/colonial-america/colonial-north-america/a/the-enlightenment (Links to an external site.)
Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
U.S. History. (n.d.). The Impact of Enlightenment in Europe. Retrieved from: http://www.ushistory.org/us/7a.asp (Links to an external site.)