Positive and Negative Impacts of Industrialization

How Can Industrialization Affect National Economies of Less Developed  Countries (LDCs)?


The Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century in the United Kingdom and later spread too many other parts of the world, during which the agrarian and handicraft economies changed rapidly to industrial and machine-manufacturing-dominated ones. Not only did this economic change alter how work was done and goods were produced, but it also altered how individuals related to each other and to the world as a whole. Today, this wholesale shift in social organization continues and has created many impacts that have rippled through the political, ecological, and cultural spheres of the World.


Goods became cheaper and more affordable:

The factories and equipment they housed started making goods faster and cheaper than they could make by hand. As the availability of different goods increased, their cost to the customer declined (see supply and demand). Shoes, clothes, household goods, equipment, and other products have become more common and less costly to improve people’s quality of life. For these products, international markets were also established, and the balance of trade changed in favor of the consumer, bringing increased prosperity to the businesses that manufactured these products and adding tax revenue to government coffers. It has, however, also led to the disparity in income between countries producing products and consuming goods.

Manual labour was replaced by machine work:

The rapid manufacture of hand tools and other useful objects has led to the development of new types of instruments and vehicles for moving goods and people from one location to another. The development of road and rail transport and the formation of the telegraph (and its related telegraph infrastructure and later telephone and fiber optic lines) meant that progress in manufacturing, agricultural harvesting, energy production, and medical techniques could be easily communicated between stakeholders. Also well-known products of the Industrial Revolution are labor-saving machines such as the spinning jenny (a multi-spindle machine for spinning wool or cotton) and other inventions, particularly those driven by electricity (such as home appliances and refrigeration) and fossil fuels (such as cars and other fuel-powered vehicles).

Evolution in the field of medicine:

The Industrial Revolution was the catalyst behind numerous medical advancements. Industrialization has made it possible to manufacture medical instruments more rapidly (such as scalpels, microscope lenses, test tubes, and other equipment). Using machine production, refinements to these tools could be more effective for the doctors who wanted them to roll out. When contact between doctors in various fields increased, it was possible to easily spread the information behind new cures and disease treatments, resulting in better care.

Increased standard of living:

Mass production reduced the cost to the common (i.e. non-aristocratic) people of much-needed tools, clothing, and other household goods, which allowed them to save money for other things and create personal wealth. Furthermore, new job opportunities emerged as new manufacturing devices were developed and new factories were established. The average citizen was no longer so tightly tied to land-related issues (such as being dependent upon the wages farm labor could provide or the plant and animal products farms could produce). The emphasis on land ownership as the chief source of personal wealth was diminished by industrialization. The increasing demand for manufactured goods meant that as factory workers and as employees of companies that sponsored the factories, average individuals could make their fortunes in towns, paying better salaries than farm-related positions.

Rise of Professional jobs:

As industrialization advanced, in search of better pay in the factories, more and more rural folk flocked to the towns. To improve the overall productivity of the factories and to take advantage of new business opportunities, factory employees have been qualified to perform specific tasks. The owners of the factory divided their employees into numerous groups, each group concentrating on a particular mission.

Some groups secured and transported the raw materials used in the mass production of goods (namely iron, coal and steel) to factories, while other groups worked different machines. When they broke down, some groups of workers repaired equipment, while others were tasked with making changes to them and the overall operation of the plant.

Additional teachers and trainers were required to pass on advanced skills as the factories expanded and employees became more specialized. Furthermore, factory workers’ lodging, transportation, and leisure needs contributed to the rapid growth of cities and towns. To support these, governmental bureaucracies expanded, and new specialized departments were formed to manage traffic, sanitation, taxation, and other services. As more builders, doctors, attorneys, and other staff were added to handle the diverse needs of the new inhabitants, other industries inside the cities also became more skilled.


Over crowded cities:

The prospect of better pay attracted refugees, who were ill-prepared to manage them, to cities and manufacturing cities. Although initial housing shortages ultimately gave way to construction booms and the development of new buildings in many areas, first existed crowded shantytowns made up of shacks and other types of poor-quality housing. The sudden influx of people overwhelmed local sewerage and sanitation schemes, and drinking water was frequently polluted. Ideal conditions for outbreaks of typhus, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases were provided by people living in such close proximity, fatigued by bad working conditions, and consuming contaminated water.

Environmental degradation:

In India two centuries ago, factories emitted toxins such as carbon di oxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful gases that caused air pollution along with vehicular exhausts that were not heard or seen before. Because of Greedy Indians and their Expansionist conquests, India lost many of its forests and natural ecosystems and botanical and zoological species became Endangered or Extinct overnight. Water contamination is caused by heavy metals, arsenic, lead; hard water and industrial hazardous waste are released into lakes, rivers and other water bodies. Aquatic and aquatic animals are dying as a result of water bodies being polluted. As the human population of the planet continues to rise and more and more people are chasing the material benefits promised by the Industrial Revolution, more and more of the resources of the Earth are appropriated for human use, leaving a diminishing stock of plants and animals on which ecological services the biosphere depends (clean air, clean water, etc.).

Moreover, more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land-based net primary production is used by human beings, a measure of the rate at which plants transform solar energy into food and development. Coal, which had to be extracted or obtained after wood burning, was used by most factories, creating smoke and photo chemical smog in North Indian cities such as New Delhi, where visibility and breathing was difficult. Fossil fuels had to be imported from foreign countries and would again produce smoke, Green House Effect, Global Warming by using them for industrial purposes.

Poor working conditions:

Their owners valued production and profit above all else as factories appeared in the cities and industrial towns. Security and salaries of employees were less important. Compared with farm workers, factory workers received higher wages, but this also came at the cost of time and less than desirable working conditions. Factory staff frequently work six days a week for 14-16 hours a day. Human beings (employees) have become more vulnerable to exploitation, violence at work, more working hours and fewer fixed payments, job instability, and after retirement or termination of their employment, a bleak future. Also, finished Indian products were not on par with global standards and labels, but were more costly than comparatively cheaper imports from countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, etc.

Other problems

Nuclear plants are a threat to health and different forms of diseases can be caused by human beings living in close proximity. Farmers, who were in heavy debt to pay their dues to industrialists and real estate sharks, sold agricultural land with fertile and cultivable soil, and these lands have now become less yielding as factories or buildings have been constructed upon them. Inflation in India has always been increasing due to scarce natural resources or lack of availability.

3 replies