Russia was one of the first industrial nations on earth. The Industrial Revolution literally changed the face of the world. The pace of industrialization in Russia was far quicker than in any other country in Europe at the time. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there were a handful of factory workshops dotted around the country. Many of these were started by ambitious peasants who were tired of working for the landlords and were looking for something better.
However, rapid industrialization didn’t lead to prosperity for the Russian people. Industrialization almost led to the demise of the peasantry. When towns grew too big to support them, they were crowded into them and there were no places for the people to live. This is exactly what led to unrest and revolution in that period of time.
The peasant population was simply exhausted by the rate of exploitation of their labor. They had no way of supporting their families. When they complained, they were beaten, robbed, or even killed. As the Industrial Revolution reached its zenith in the late 1800s, there were already millions of workers in America, Canada, and Britain. Slavery was rife at that time as well, and many died on the labor-intensive farms.
This led to massive unrest in England and Scotland, where large crowds of people took to the streets in the name of a “workers’ revolution”. This came to a head in 1832 when there was a strike in Glasgow. The workers went on strike, demanding an improved life for themselves and an improvement of conditions for the working class overall. This lead to more strikes and unrest. The people in the cities turned out en masse to the factories and railroads, which provided them with much needed work.
Why did industrialization in Russia result in such an enormous rise in the birthrate? One reason is that the population had more education than the populations of many other countries at that time. With access to books and the internet, more people were learning. Those who could read learned to read for money while those who could not were forced to work in factories. This increased the skills of the entire population, making them better able to endure economic unrest and political turmoil.
Industrialization also made medical advancements that would prove helpful in the future. Dental implants and a host of other technologies were born out of the need for better teeth and gums. Life was much easier for people as they had access to proper dental care. Industrialization also changed the diets of Russian citizens.
By the end of the 19th century, the food market in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain was completely different from what it is today. Oftentimes, people living in the colder northern regions of these countries favored food from the southern hemisphere. In the United Kingdom for example, the English were known for their love of “lamb-cooked beef pies”. The Canadian government has tried to reverse this trend, but it has been a trying task.
Where does this leave us today? As it stands now, we have a number of problems with food supply. It is commonly known that too much obesity, alcoholism and drug use are widespread. What is less widely known is the impact industrialization in Russia had on the country’s economy. Without proper industrialization, it would be difficult for the Russian people to purchase manufactured goods. Today, the U.S. and Canada enjoy free trade arrangements with their neighbors.
Without industrialization, it would be difficult for grain and agricultural products to make it to far northern areas of the country. When those products did reach these areas, they often took longer to arrive than they currently do. Additionally, transportation costs increased, thus affecting the overall price of food. It is clear that without industrialization in the Russian economy, the country’s food supply would not have reached the level it does today.
Industrialization also brought about the modernization of agriculture. Before this point, farming depended on local plants and animals for food. Modern industrialization allowed crops to be processed quickly and efficiently. With this new knowledge came the ability to produce food products that were more abundant and cheaper. This allowed farming to flourish even when harvests were small.
The benefits of industrialization in Russia are all good things. Today, the U.S. and Canada enjoy an abundance of resources thanks to industrialization. However, many question whether the changes led to negative results in the country’s economy. Some also wonder if the same would have happened if the country was a smaller size.