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The Industrial Revolution was a time of dramatic change, from hand tools and handmade items, to products which were mass produced by machines. The success of the Industrial Revolution was inevitable because it brought about greater productivity and high profits for factory owners. The original beneficiary of the Industrial Revolution was the middle class, however the impact has affected the lives of all people throughout history and today.

The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain because the British put innovations into practice more quickly than other people. Other nations were slow to follow Britain's lead primarily due to high costs and government regulations.

Technology at this time was not intended to replace English workers, but to make their work more precise. Meanwhile, in sparsely populated America, the needs of a new nation required rapid and simple means of production. Machines augmented the scant work force. In England, machines served to make talented artisans better. In America, machines served to make entrepreneurs more productive.

New machines and mechanization, as well as a great increase in the supply of iron, were the two of the most dynamic contributors to industrialization during this period. In addition, the invention of the steam engine and its resulting changes made a huge impact on society. Watt's steam engine differed from previous devices in that it could be used anywhere, and because there was an abundant supply of coal available.

The population boom of the nineteenth century was probably due to not only a more reliable food supply but more resistance to disease. Both of these improvements were, of course, due to the incredible technological advancements that had been made. In the 1850's, vaccinations were discovered and administered. X-rays were also discovered and provided doctors with a faster way of diagnosing medical problems.

Unfortunately, while technology was expanding, women were being reduced to a menial involvement in the process. Women generally worked in textiles just as they had traditionally, and were paid from one-third to one-half of the wages paid to men.

The Industrial Revolution shaped modern society into what it is today. The changes that took place were not only in technology but in attitude. The government, the arts, literature, music, architecture and man's way of looking at life were all substantially altered during this period.