technology and society

industrial revolution

Few technologies have impacted society as greatly as the powerful steam engine developed by Scottish inventor James Watt in 1775 (see Figure 1.1). Watts steam engine was soon being used to power all kinds of machines. It started a revolution in industry. For the first time in history, people did not have to rely on human or animal muscle, wind, or water for power. With the steam engine to power machines, new factories sprang up all over Britain. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain the late 1700s. It eventually spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and many other countries. It marked a major turning point in human history. Almost every aspect of daily life was influenced by it in some way. Average income and population both began to grow faster than ever before. People flocked to the new factories for jobs, and densely populated towns and cities grew up around the factories. The new towns and cities were crowded, and soot from the factories polluted the air. You can see an example of this in the Figure 1.2. This made living conditions very poor. Working conditions in the factories were also bad, with long hours and the pace set by machines. Even young children worked in the factories, damaging their health and giving them little opportunity for education or play. Q: In addition to factory machines, the steam engine was used to power farm machinery, trains, and ships. What effects might this have had on peoples lives? A: Farm machinery replaced human labor and allowed fewer people to produce more food. This is why many rural people migrated to the new towns and cities to look for work in factories. Steam-powered trains and ships made it easier for people to migrate. Food and factory goods could also be transported on steam-powered trains and ships, making them available to far more people.


how technology affects society

Important new technologies such as the wheel have had a big impact on human society. Major advances in technol- ogy have influenced every aspect of life, including transportation, food production, manufacturing, communication, medicine, and the arts. Thats because technology has the goal of solving human problems, so new technologies usually make life better. They may make work easier, for example, or make people healthier. Sometimes, however, new technologies affect people in negative ways. For example, using a new product or process might cause human health problems or pollute the environment. Q: Can you think of a modern technology that has both positive and negative effects on people? A: Modern methods of transportation have both positive and negative effects on people. They help people and goods move quickly all over the world. However, most of them pollute the environment. For example, gasoline-powered cars and trucks add many pollutants to the atmosphere. The pollutants harm peoples health and contribute to global climate change.

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technology can have both positive and negative effects on people.

-->  a. true

b. false

how did the industrial revolution affect society?

-->  a) new cities grew up around factories.

b) living conditions in cities improved.

c) average income decreased.

d) population size decreased.

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