From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. It began in Britain and spread throughout the world, a process that continues as industrialisation. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human social history, comparable to the invention of farming or the rise of the first city-states; almost every aspect of daily life and human society is, eventually, in some way influenced.
Mass media and the Industrial Revolution: While some have placed the origins of mass media in the Enlightenment era, I hold that it is a product of the Industrial Revolution and started in the 1830s with the arrival of advertising-supported cheap newspapers and mass literacy. See also: popular prints
Kitsch is a by-product of the Industrial Revolution which made it possible to mass-produce cultural artifacts. See also the introduction to this entry, explaining the relation between Baudelaire's views on art consumption and the idea of kitsch. Since the Industrial Revolution the Mona Lisa has become both high art (in its original form) and kitsch (in the numerous engravings and reproductions).
Concurrent with the industrial revolution there developed an intellectual and artistic hostility towards the new industrialisation known as the Romantic Movement. Its major exponents included the artist and poet William Blake, and poets William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats and Shelley. The movement stressed the importance of "nature" in art and language, in contrast to the 'monstrous' machines and factories. In Blake's words they were the, "Dark satanic mills" of his poem And did those feet in ancient time.
Socialism emerged as a critique of capitalism. Marxism began essentially as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. According to Karl Marx, industrialisation polarised society into the bourgeoisie (those who own the means of production, the factories and the land) and the much larger proletariat (the working class who actually perform the labour necessary to extract something valuable from the means of production). He saw the industrialisation process as the logical dialectical progression of feudal economic modes, necessary for the full development of capitalism, which he saw as in itself a necessary precursor to the development of socialism and eventually communism.
- Pre-industrial society
- Dialectics of progress
- Information revolution
- Commercial Revolution
- Scientific Revolution