As we discussed the Industrial Revolution in class, I began to see parallels between the first industrialized country, Britain, and the United States in today’s world. Both societies were and are deeply affected by the new technology they developed. In Britain, the steam engine completely revolutionized transport and relations between different parts of the isle. Contact between people was facilitated, and the isle became more unified geographically. Goods were more easily transported, as were people. Culture was altered: phrases like “go off the track” and “toot your own whistle” became common figures of speech and many artists such as Claude Monet were impressed with the new technology, and strove to capture its majesty in art form. Today, mobile phones and computers encourage unity on a bigger scale. Now, anyone with a phone can call anyone else in the world. Anyone with a computer can essentially access information on the Internet about any country, any person, and any culture anywhere in the world. With one quick search, a person can immediately become more knowledgeable about a subject, too. People can also communicate with others through social networking sites easily as never before seen to man. Similarly, today’s culture has been altered: people can just “google it”, “tweet” about it, or “friend” or “follow” someone. Technology directly affects society. Do you agree? Do you find industrial Britain and the modern US similar and in what ways?
Access the following link for an example of Claude Monet’s work was inspired by the new technology (Gaire Saint Lazare, 1877): http://tahsina.qwriting.org/2010/10/20/the-revolutionary-machine-of-the-age-the-steam-engine/