The Little Engine That Could Essay Research — страница 2

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power led to a reshuffling of the wealth and political authority. The steam engine caused a growth in the expansion of the new class of urban workers. The construction of the railroads and steam-powered factory work created a healthy demand for labor. Many peasants and farm laborers went into the railroad construction business for a temporary job, but stayed in the town or city because life was considerably more interesting. However, some people felt threatened by the new form of power. They believed that their jobs would be replaced by steam-power, but this was far from the truth. The power created wealth, which eventually almost everyone benefited from. In 1800 approximately 85% of the British population was at or approaching the poverty line. A century later, less than

one-third of the British population was in poverty (Gordon 144). Thomas Malthus wrote about how the increase the middle class changed politics, Money, of course, is easily translated into political power, and by 1832 this new class had become powerful enough to force a massive redistribution of the seats in the British Parliament. (Gordon 144). Indeed, what all the world did desire was power. This power transformed the way that virtually everyone lived and worked. By significantly altering the way people lived, it also changed the way people thought. The steam engine made manufacturing cheap, and made goods available to a wider range of people. The steam engine sparked the creation of the railroad, and consequently made transportation accessible to more people. By being a main

player in the Industrial Revolution, the steam engine helped rearrange the wealth and power in the favor of a new middle class. The steam revolution revealed that the possibilities of inventions were limitless. In the words of Robert H. Thurston, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, In the days of the steam engine, change moved more slowly than it does today, but still, within a lifetime, steam power transformed the world (Stephens).