The Evolution of a Revolution The Industrial Revolution and The Arts and Crafts Movement Then and Now
The following thesis contains both historical and theoretical information. The historical portion deals with the emergence and effects of the Industrial Revolution in England and the movement that opposed it. The theoretical portion centers on four changes that are presently occurring in relation to changes that happened during the Industrial Revolution. These changes link with the original opposition to the Industrial Revolution known as the Arts and Crafts Movement. First, controversial ideas that were raised during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by those opposed to industrialization are currently showing their renewed validity through the movement away from the standards that were set during the Industrial Revolution. Some standards that were instilled during the time the Industrial Revolution took place were what we know today as the "blue-collar job", division of labor, standardized goods, and the impact of factories on the environment. Second, factories are adjusting their methods to meet demands for change. As we near the end of the twentieth century, employers are finding that what is known as the traditional "job" is losing its worth. They are discovering that they need to make changes in the way they view employees to keep up with society. In utilizing their talents to develop a career rather than secure a job, our contemporaries are retracing the steps of the pre-Industrial Revolution craftsmen. The movement of employment from factory to service jobs has given employees more freedom to express individuality. Third, consumer demands have become more specialized and the demand for a higher quality in products has increased. The demand for mass-produced, standardized products lowers as individuals obtain more wealth. With increased spending power consumers demand diversified products with higher quality. Finally, a concern that has carried forward from the Industrial Revolution and Arts and Crafts period is the environmental effects of factories. Greater awareness has increased concerns about the atmosphere and the environment. These general shifts have strayed from the patterns that originated in the period of great development known as the Industrial Revolution that met with enlightened opposition from the Arts and Crafts Movement.