Technological Transformations - W5 R2 JT

timer Asked: Nov 27th, 2016

Question description

Please analyze the paragraphs below and provide feedback in one or two paragraphs.

  1. The following quote from Jaques Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence addresses the railroad. Discuss the impact of the railroad on daily lives or on the Industrial Revolution. In what ways did locomotion create a technological transformation for humanity as a whole - at least in the areas where it existed?
    • "At first, machinery affected only those who organized its use and the men and women who worked in factories. But by 1830 a different type of machine came into being that changed the life and the minds of all peoples. The memory of it is nearly gone, but it was the completest change in human experience since the nomadic tribes became rooted in one spot to grow grain and raise cattle; it was in effect a reversal of that settling down. Locomotion by the force of steam, the railroad, uprooted mankind and made of it individual nomads again." (Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), 539)

Jacquez Barzun's quote explains how the creation of some technology only affected the people that were directly connected to it, whether that was the people who made the item, or the people who actually used it in factories. He goes on to praise the railroad as a completely different form of technology, one that affected the whole world, basically a world changer. That's exactly what it was, it altered life completely where it's use was prevalent, and sped up the progression of countries worldwide. Exactly how much "revolution" was brought by the railroads is controversial, but there's no arguing the world would have been different without this technological invention.

Before you look into how the railroad's newfound mobility affected the world, you have to take a deeper look on what this invention created. The railroad system created many new jobs and opportunities where it was used, even though these weren't the safest jobs and raised many issues that the working class brought light upon. Other than the jobs it created, it also affected the economy as a whole. Goods were transported at a rate and size that was not previously possible. This new system was the backbone to many communities so it became a very powerful asset. Like proven many times, all change is not positive, because as the power of the railroad system became more obvious, more and more people started to take advantage of it.

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