Unlocking the Nexus: Industrial Revolution & Urbanization

How the Industrial Revolution Led to Urbanization


Research Background

The industrialization and urbanization complementarily has proved to be a crucial driver of economic development. These are two transformative processes for wealth generation. The industrialization process occurred in the 19th century in Europe and continued in parallel to an essential process of urbanization. In the 20th century, China experienced urbanization that was referred to as the most impressive political and human transformation that happed according to the unprecedented industrialization levels (Fang, 2013). Both processes have impacted the way people interact, work, and live.

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Urbanization is the most impressive, political, and socio-economic transformation that has a number of benefits. It is associated with the increase of technological innovation that positively impacted social life and enhanced social changes. In addition, urbanization has encouraged political system increasingly seek economic growth and prosperity (Ishii et al., 2014). Finally, higher living standards provide better education, housing, and healthcare. Hence, urban growth generates revenues and contributes to the public health.

There is an undisputable correlation between the industrial revolution and urbanization (Possehl, 2019). Urbanization continues after or in parallel with industrialization that creates economic growth and proves different areas of people’s life. As soon as the area becomes industrialized, the urbanization process continues for a long period, impacting economic and social reforms. In the developing countries, urbanization is linked with industrialization that presupposes the production of manufactured goods.

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General Research Objectives

The research will be designed to meet the following objectives:

  • to provide a broader overview of the industrialization process and its influence on the threads and patterns of urbanization;
  • to examine the nature of the industrial revolution.
  • to identify the impacts of the industrial revolution associated with urbanization;
  • to analyze the factors that impacted industry development;
  • to investigate the working condition in the industrialization era.

The Relevance of the Topic Question in Economics Course

The research question related to the economic course. The discussion of the topic question will help students get a better understanding of the role industrializations has played in the theory of society. In addition, it provides a deep insight into the role of the industrial revolution in the establishment of the modern society. Moreover, the topic under investigation assists in comprehending the combination of the elements that contributed to the broader evolutionary transformation. The understanding of how the industrial revolution led to urbanizations enhances the realization of the factors that describe urbanization and their contention to the industrial revolution.

Furthermore, the research enables to understand the role of innovation, technology development, and industrial products in driving the urbanization process. It helps integrate industrial and technological development ideas into urban development for the effective and efficient sustainable urbanization promotion. Moreover, it contributes to the apprehension of the presence relevance of sustainable industrialization in the provision of strong finance sustainable urbanization support. Finally, the paper shows the idea of the impact of the industrial revolution on urbanization and it is particularly essential for the economic course participants as it helps understand the spatial planning of economic zones.

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The Nature of the Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution has undergone four main stages. The first stage followed the period of proto-industrialization at the end of the 18th century – the beginning of the 19th century (Christov, 2019). Mechanization was the biggest change that impacted industries. It was the reason why agriculture began to replace the industry at the societal economy backbone. This period is associated with the invention of the steam engine that enhanced the creation of a new energy type. The second stage of the industrial revolution began in 1870 (Possehl, 2019). Hence, it started at the end of the 19th century with the significant technological advancements in the industry fields that helped the emergence of a new energy source such as gas, electricity, and oil. This stage gave rise to the development of chemical synthesis, telephone, telegraph, automobile, and plane. The third stage dates back to 1969. It was the time of the nuclear energy emergence, as well as the rise of telecommunication, electronics, and computers. In addition, it is associated with the invention of robots and programmable logic controllers (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). The final stage is happening right now. The internet is in the center of this stage, accompanied by the virtual reality.

The nature of the industrial revolution is multifaceted (Possehl, 2019). It marked a sudden and violent change that impacted different spheres of life. Innovations, inventions, and technological developments caused dramatic changes in the social and economic structure. Moreover, it enhanced the large-scale machine production and great economic specialization (Possehl, 2019). These processes occurred worldwide, but with different intensity. Hence, the industrial revolution enhanced material production, labor patterns, wealth, and the distribution of global population. Although many rural areas remained farming communities, people’s lives in the cities significantly changed. The new industrial labor opportunities resulted in the population shift from the countryside to the cities (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). At that time, child labor and the unsafe working conditions became an issue at many factories. The principles of management during the industrial revolution were directed towards the improvement of productivity, the increase of product quality, cost decrease, the improvement of the employee-manager relationships, as well as the efficiency increase.

Factors that influenced the Development of the Industry

Research indicates that there are many factors that impact the development of the industry development. First, it is easy access to raw materials. It has enhanced rapid production and contributes to the social well-being. The development of trade routes and building strong relationships with partners positively impacted industrialization as it provided the opportunity exchange the material, products, and get experience collaboration with partners. In addition, increased government stabilities and stable monetary system are the factors that contributed to industrial revolution (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). Education made people more knowledgeable and increased people’s ability to innovate and invent. Therefore, the industrial revolution is associated with a number of developments and innovations that have improved people’s lives (Possehl, 2019). People have gained the ability to relocate the workforce.  Other factors include capital investment, labor input, technological progress, financial investment, trade orientation, competition, international exchange rates, capital intensity, and others. However, the impact of these factors differed in terms of region.

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Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Urban Development

The presence of industry boosted the creation of a large crowd of job seekers, who later settled around the factories. Industrialization caused economic growth, increased the demand for education and the public work agencies have become the main characteristic of urban areas. This demand is associated with new technology and increased productivity and the attraction of skilled workers. As soon as the area is industrialized, the urbanization process continues for a long period of time as the area undergoes several phases of social and economic reform. It has provided a higher level of environmental, social, and economic prosperity achieved through government intervention, education, and social reform.

Also, human population led to the construction of many buildings that provided people with settlement (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). It made urban areas attractive to people from rural areas as they could find better living conditions and jobs. Finally, they got an opportunity to improve their life and get extended chances in life (Christov, 2019). However, it increased populating density. Constantly increasing population density contributed to the establishment of social amenities.  People began to build relationships that were beneficial. They exchanged experiences, learned from others, and made friendships. Contently, they began to develop different transport means to commute from work to home (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). It gave rise to the development of a complex transport network that made people’s lives easier and more comfortable.

Moreover, there was a need to transport the industrial products to the stores and to the market. It enhanced the development of railway and water transport (Humphries, & Schneider, 2018).  As a result, people received the opportunity not only to transport their goods, but also travel around the globe, learning new areas, and becoming equipped with new knowledge and skills. It led to the economic improvement that was related to the increases of the working-class population. Hence, the industrial revolution enhanced urban development and initiated a number of developments.

Impacts of Industrial Revolution and Urbanization

Both the industrial revolution and urbanization impacted human life. The industrialization enhanced economic growth, while urbanization expanded people’s opportunities. They got the chance to increase their education, find employment, and improve their living standards because of the presence of social amenities (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). In addition, the question of the reduced food insecurity was hotly debated. At the same time, employment is associated with the poverty levels. Intermarriages and slavery gained popularity. Urbanization caused the rapid growth of cities. Consequently, some people began to live in horrible living conditions as they found that cities would provide them with better life chances. However, for the majority of the factory workers, cities were extremely dirty, and crowded places often experienced epidemics. People began to sleep only six hours that they were busy, had to commute to the factory, and perform many other tasks.

Working Conditions

The early factory workers had to work under poor working conditions. The mines created a number of health risks, and there was no injury compensation for workers. Moreover, there was a frequent occurrence of machinery accidents, including leg and arm injuries, burns, amputations of limbs and fingers, and even death. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, workers spent an entire day tending a machine in increasingly crowded and very noisy rooms (Aminbakhsh, & Gass, 2017). The individuals who worked in steel mills, coal mines, railroads, and slaughter houses worked in dangerous conditions and experienced increased health-related risks. Most employees for low wage and typically worked 12 hours a day (Humphries, & Schneider, 2018). The factory owners did not spend much money on the improvement of comfort and safety of their employees. The discipline of the employees directly influenced with productivity and the profit of the factory. Therefore, the employers developed strict rules and punishment to those who disobeyed.


Industrialization created economic growth and job opportunities that attracted people from rural areas. Hence, it led to urbanization that is the result of many people to find work and improve their wages. Therefore, more and more people began to move to cities to find better work and life opportunities. Consequently, people gained more food, better clothing, and could effort buying more goods. The concentration of people in cities implies extended chances in terms of political and social life. The research results indicate the relationship between the industrial revolution and urbanization process that generated wealth. Thus, the main impacts of both industrialization and urbanization were positive as they enabled people to find work, learn, and getter opportunities in life. However, these processes presented issues such as child labor, work risk, exploitation, slavery, and many others.

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