Impact of Second Industrial Revolution
The second industrial revolution also acknowledged as the technological revolution was a period where great industrial revolution took place. It is well-thought-out to have begun in the 1860s during the introduction of Bessemer steel and ended in the early times of mass production, electrification and production line. It followed on from where the first industrial revolution that had begun in Britain in the later 18th century and spread to north America and western Europe. Hence, great changes were being experienced in United States, Germany, France, Low Countries and Japan.
During the second revolution, new technologies like electricity, internal combustion engine, new materials and substances such as alloys and chemicals and communication technologies like radio and television were evident. In essence, there are distinguished effects of the second industrial revolution to the world and they include;
- New sources of energy were searched – Coal gas was produced during the manufacture of bright lights making it easy for companies to operate for longer hours without any complications and regardless of the duration. The discovery of electrical current was a great step as it proved to be a great catalyst for the second industrial revolution.
British scientist Michael Faraday in 1831 proved that electrical current could easily pass between a coil of wire and a magnet to produce more energy. The first electrical generator was built in 1832 and the driving force was in lighting. By 1870s, the first electric motor was built and industries could now easily use electricity instead of steam.
- Changes in transportation- A lot of changes were made in the transport industry. The fastest mode of transport during the first industrial revolution was railway for long distance and horse and carriage for short ones. During the second revolution phase, horses were replaced with oil and electric-powered vehicles. On the hand, electricity replaced steam-power.
Belgian engineer J. Lenoi built the first internal combustion engine and gas was used as fuel and was fitted into a vehicle in 1862. Karl Benz built the first petrol fuelled motor vehicle- had three wheels. Electricity was then applied in rail industrial and by 1863 the first trains run in Britain. By 1886, the first four-wheeled vehicle was built by Daimler and more designed came on the way on mass production.
- Changes in communication- With discovery of electricity in second revolution, a lot was expected to change in the communication sector. For example, the first electric telegraph was made by Sir Charles Wheatstone. By 1838, communications were changed forever when code of dots and dashes were invented by Samuel Morse as they could be transmitted with telegraph.
In 1876, Alexander Bell invented the telephone to transmit and receive sound over long distances. Discovery of electromagnetic waves or radio waves was the other great innovation by Heinrich Hertz and this led to development of wireless telegraphs that were equivalent to toward radios.
Great economy growth was experienced during and at the end of the second industrial revolution. Living standards were improved in many countries as there was an increase in productivity although this caused unemployment as machines replaced many laborers. More so, changes occurred in sanitation and public health, hence deaths were reduced significantly.
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