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James Choi | Kate Sheblak | Taiga Shirai | Sara Thiessen

1/21/15 7th
Industrial Revolution: Demographic Shifts
The demographic transition model is commonly used to illustrate and explain the effects
of the Industrial Revolution on the population of the time. This theory includes five stages of
different demographic situations and highlights the reasons each change occurs, but only the first
two are necessary in explaining the effects of the Revolution. In Stage One, which is typical of
18th century Britain before the Industrial Revolution, birth and death rates are stable and
population growth is slow. Death rates are constantly high because of high levels of disease,
famine, and lack of clean water, sanitation, and health care. Small communities are independent
in food production, so a bad crop season in one part of the country would mean little food for
those families. The quantity of children are beneficial to families over quality, primarily due to
the high need for household labor in rural settings (where most of the population lived). There
are few educational opportunities, especially for families without significant wealth. Children are
the major contributors to family income and the primary form of insurance for their parents. In
Stage Two, which is typical of 19th century Britain after the onset of the Industrial Revolution,
birth rates remain stable while death rates decline dramatically, causing a population increase.
Improved food production and transport, health care, and sanitation regulation due to more
scientific research and technology leads to better living conditions and less death from early
illness or starvation. As more people move into the growing urban areas and take on skill-based
jobs, quality of children over quantity begins to become more important. The increased
population is made up of a higher percentage of young people, who became essential in
continuing the advancements of the period.
The Industrial Revolution changed family dynamics; people started to move away from
the traditional family. Before the revolution, men worked in traditional farms or in family

James Choi | Kate Sheblak | Taiga Shirai | Sara Thiessen


1/21/15 7th
businesses while the women worked in along in family businesses that consisted of textiles and
took care of the children. Children also worked in the field in order for families to further the
source of income. With the introduction of factories, more and more people resorted to urban
areas, making farming and conventional methods of raising money less prevalent. While men
worked in the factories, women also started to become more and more integrated in the factory
life alongside with men. Since both parents worked, kids were no longer seen as needed to
provide for the family, so, as a result, they started to go to school, which significantly differed
from previous times. Men and womens tasks started to become more blurred as men started to
help women with household chores and women helped with the income. With factories becoming
a large and integral part of society, small family owned businesses started to go out of business
and rather became unpopular. With the textile industry starting to become more efficient in
factories, women also lost their jobs because machines were soon replacing the manual jobs of
theirs. With women in the work industry, divorce rates started to increase, which could be part
due to womens increasing sensation of sovereignty or from mens desire for a more traditional
women who stayed home and not worked. However, when young unmarried women got married,
they would quit their jobs. With the industrial revolution, dynamics started to change, women
began to work more, children went to school and more families were becoming accustomed the
urban life.
Cities in Europe became hubs for manufacturing and industry. This caused more and
more people to move to cities, the source of all jobs. However, cities could not keep up with the
rapidly urbanizing cities as a result of the Industrial Revolution, and this made them become
highly unsanitary. In the 1840s, people realized that unsanitary conditions lead to many deadly
diseases like cholera and typhus, which created a public health movement. In the following

James Choi | Kate Sheblak | Taiga Shirai | Sara Thiessen


1/21/15 7th
years, sewage lines were installed, improving the health of the cities. The percentage of people
living in cities increased from 17% to 35% between 1801 and 1851. The results of urbanization
were mixed and the people who moved to urban areas to work in factories greatly raised the
standard of living in the long run. On the other hand, many cities in Western Europe such as
Manchester, London, and Antwerp became overcrowded, leading to unsanitary conditions and
extreme poverty for the poor working class.
As the Industrial Revolution is commonly and primarily linked with the socioeconomic,
technological, and cultural changes, the unavoidable growth of cities was also one of the most
defining features of the Industrial Revolution. In the 1830s and 1840s, after witnessing great
success within Great Britain, various European states encouraged and facilitated the growth of
railroads and the mechanization of manufacturing. At the same time, and due in large part to
industrialization, urbanization and the growth of cities rapidly increased and as a result, emerged
a plethora of issues such as overpopulation. A number of major areas were teeming with rising
numbers by the 1850s as, for instance, half the population of England and Wales was living in
towns. Urban growth was spurred by massive rural emigration, rather than births to women
already living in cities, and despite the agricultural improvements, there were limited
opportunities for living and employment in rural areas. Urban life became a new source of refuge
for many were impoverished from poverty and hunger, including migrants from other lands such
as the Irish, the Italians, and the Poles. More and more cities gradually incorporated parks
cemeteries, zoos, etc., in place of rather obsolete buildings. However, housing itself expanded
considerably slower than urban population and severe overcrowding worsened the already dire
conditions and eventually fostered the rise of devastating outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.
Epidemics soon revealed the underlying social tensions of urban life as the middle and upper

James Choi | Kate Sheblak | Taiga Shirai | Sara Thiessen


1/21/15 7th
classes, living in well-appointed apartments or houses, grew increasingly disparaging of the
lower class of their unsanitary conditions and thought them to be morally degenerate. There was
an alarming rise of infanticides and the number of abandoned babies in the early 19th century,
which adequately demonstrated the growing resentment for raising a newborn child and the
insufficient resources they had to properly look after one. As a result, there gradually became a
widening separation between the rich and poor and a growing sense of antagonism between
different classes.

James Choi | Kate Sheblak | Taiga Shirai | Sara Thiessen


1/21/15 7th
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