A Revolution is defined as ‘a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving’ (Julian 173). One would also say a revolution involves basic changes in power or organizational structures which take place in a relatively short period of time. The Scientific and Industrial revolutions were both a change of life, and changed the way that jobs were created along with how people created different theories regarding different approaches to creation and nature (Julian 173).
The Scientific Revolution was a period of time that included great men of the Middle Ages such as Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) to Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Historians may argue that the time frame for the Scientific Revolution started in the High middle ages or around 1277. Some believe it began via the ‘modern area’ via the fourteenth century or it could have been the Italian renaissance that may have been the rebirth of science (Hauptman 87).
A revolution does not always occur in the form of a revolt against a government or violence towards a certain type of government by a certain type of people. Prior to the scientific revolution, the Catholic Church had preserved the acceptance of a system of beliefs based on the teachings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. With these teachings and beliefs, they incorporated them into their own religious doctrine (Hauptman 87). Copernicus went against the grain in regards to the fact that the earth was comprised at the center of the universe and really replaced the old way of thinking with his new way of thinking, saying that the earth was just one of many planets orbiting around a bright yellow ball of fire called the sun. (Hauptman 88)
The system of beliefs that the Catholic Church had place went back to the ancient time of the Greeks and the fact the questioning of this theory endangered the church’s credibility. Galileo’s findings showcased dark spots on the sun, which for that he had concluded that the sun itself was revolving (Hauptman 87). This can be further exemplified by relating it to the definition of a revolution which changes the way of thinking and behavior among the masses of the population. Galileo was doing this by going against the grain of the Catholic Church, declaring a theory contrary to what had previously been widely accepted. Galileo was eventually forced to withdraw his theories on his observations of the moon as well as his theory of gravity and the church forced him to recant his theories. The Inquisition forced Galileo to sign a recantation and condemned him to house arrest for the last nine years of his life (Hauptman 88).
The Industrial Revolution was a period of time from the 18th century right up until the end of the 19th century (Julian 175). Major changes were going on with regards to the way industries produced items and the way agriculture was produced and transportation occurred. Before the Industrial revolution, all of the energy used to create and produce these goods and services came from organic power such as human and animal muscle power and the burning of fire wood and other plant products (Julian 176). This was not a sudden type of revolution though; it was a slow and steady process, as much technology was back in this time frame. This concept of the gradual adaption of technology still applies today. This can be demonstrated by the application of video conferencing instead of the traditional telephone call. Video conferencing has been adopted slowly and steadily. This type of technology has been in place for a few years now but its use is not widespread yet. However, it is being adopted slowly first by the business community and increasingly by private individuals. The network infrastructure needed to support this technology is not available to all but upgrades and modifications are already being developed so as to make this technology accessible to all. Eventually, this technology will be available to the masses and the people will adapt to it similar to the way people adapted to the idea of an automobile instead of a horse drawn carriage (Julian 188).
The Industrial Revolution brought about a cascade of events. The boom that saw all these different technologies really evolve was in this period but much of the basic forms of technology were already in place and had been in place since the middle ages such as water wheels, allowing for a new type of energy source (Julian 189). However, they were not as powerful as some other newer wheels that were produced within the height of the industrial revolution. As time went on, water wheels were mostly replaced by steam engines, which allowed for more powerful types of machinery. Having more powerful types of machinery allowed for the setting for factories to set up and take shape. The railroad allowed for shipments of goods to arrive much faster, days instead of weeks, minutes instead of hours depending upon how far you were away from your final destination. Everything was changing over the course of this time period. Industrialization allowed for many workers to work under one roof producing the same goods that everyone else was producing. Although machinery was not needed in some industries according to Julian, (193), a sewing factory had skilled workers sewing clothes together by hand. The invention of machinery saw production double and profits increase. There were a vast number of industries and businesses set up because the ability to create and move products was improved with the invention of items such as the loom, or power loom which was invented in 1785 (Julian 193). Power tools were also new and popular in the revolution such as the lathe. All of these products were more or less produced by previous knowledge about scientific advances being used to implement new ideas. Without the spread of information regarding these scientific advances, The Industrial Revolution might not have happened.
The age of information as it is today can really be traced back to both the Industrial revolution and the Scientific Revolution. This Information Age has definitely changed the way activities are carried out. In the past, businesses and establishments relied heavily and solely on paper files and manual recording of transactions (Mannings 24). This was a tiresome and time consuming task. The advent of the computer saw businesses slowly move from paper records to electronic records which were much more convenient. Today, the computer is a basic staple, and its use is continuing to be widely adopted even among poor and developing countries (Hopkins 51). The use of computers has also been advanced by the internet. The World Wide Web has turned the world into one global village (Berners-Lee 80). In the past, long distance communication would take a long time, sometimes up to several months for the delivery of a simple message. Today, the internet has ensured that this information can be transmitted in a matter of seconds, and can allow people in different countries to converse as if they were in the same location. The internet also acts a store and treasure of information (Berners-Lee 84). It is fast replacing libraries and has become an addition or alternative to libraries in schools. Businesses are also reverting to the internet for their various functions including marketing their goods and services. Indeed, the internet has become a market place in itself, with millions of financial transactions taking place every second (Mannings 23).
I believe that we are in fact in the middle of a revolution which may be called the Information Age. The use of the computer and the internet has transformed the way activities are carried out (Hopkins 51). This transformation has been taking place over a period of time, and continues to be widely adopted globally. It has also changed the way the masses think and behave, because the computer has evolved from being a preserve of an elect few to being a basic requirement of great necessity (Berners-Lee 84).
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