The Role The British Government Should Have Had During The Industrial Revolution - High Honors World History - Essay

883 words - 4 pages

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Zenna Lee
Mr. Donnelly
High Honors World History
2 November 2018
Benefits Come Later
The British government was right to remain capitalist as the country went through the
Industrial Revolution, which was a period when the foundations for modern technology were
developed, because although the revolution triggered serious social and welfare problems, the
long-term benefits of capitalism in Britain solved much of the situations rather quickly. Society
was supplied by the competition of the free market, resulting in faster development in many
studies such as technology and science which eventually led to a post-revolutionary period of
innovation that raised average quality life in all social classes.
As a result of liberalism, the consumer crowd of products in the free market were able to
purchase things thanks to the factory owners that mass produce products at a low price,
massively improving the living qualities as wages varied directly with standard of living. In like
manner, Adam Smith’s concept of the “invisible hand” described the free market economy as a
guide for individuals to produce the best welfare for society. Smith argued that self-interested
individuals working for their own goals created a wealthier, more prosperous society, essentially
creating a flow where every product made and sold by an independent that would benefit the rest
of society.
The fact that individuals can make the economic decisions was an advantageous privilege
for company and factory owners since they could control the profits and investments. These
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owners were also the ones that controlled the wages of their workers. This factory system
encouraged people to work harder for promotions, boosting the overall productivity of the labor
force, whereas in a socialist system, motivation would decrease in work with equal pay since
those that do work hard find that taxes rob them of profit. For this reason, high social classes
argued “laissez faire” or “let people do as they please”: that the system of capitalism is inherently
beneficial to society because it rewarded people who worked efficiently and took risks, albeit
resulting in low wages for workers. Involvement of the government would force factory owners
to pay higher wages, inducing non-competitive markets and failing businesses, bringing about
loss of jobs.
The Victorian values during that time stressed that self help and moral living would
eventually lead to success, which outlines that workers weren’t trapped in constant bad working
conditions. The free market allows anyone to sell or buy anything to/from anyone and allows
anyone to enter as competition in the market, so that a commoner can compete to gain wealth
and become an aristocrat. Richard Arkwright and Michael Fara...

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