The First Industrial Revolution's impact on society was greatly felt though urbanization and mechanization. Urbanization was a direct result of the factories that were developed in cities, a population shift that occurred from the farm lands to the cities. Cities, namely Chicago, grew at an unprecedented rate. The need for housing grew as well as services for the growing population which further led to terrible living conditions. The future workers migrated to the cities looking for jobs, causing overcrowding and pollution. .
Mechanization made way for another social consequence of the revolution. The revolution brought about the factories that mass produced goods. Most of the immigrants that migrated to the cities were unskilled laborers who were willing to work for low wages. Because of their skill level, they were expendable to the factory owners therefore, they tolerated horrible working conditions. The laborer was no longer a vital part in the production of goods the factory machines now played that role. Material produced was all uniform in nature, removing the once artistic nature of the laborer ("Biography," n.d.).
The First Industrial Revolution contributed to the rise of capitalism by offering opportunities to businessmen that weren't available prior to the revolution. These businessmen saw opportunities and were willing to risk their wealth on these new companies in an effort to become wealthy. "This was the kind of capitalism that Adam Smith, the Scottish economist, had called for in his master work, The Wealth of Nations." (Biography," n.d., p. 2). Smith said that if individuals were allowed to invest their own money for personal gain, the production of wealth would greatly increase (Biography, n.d.). The city of Chicago is a prime example of the rise of capitalism during the First Industrial Revolution. What was once public land and land belonging to the Indians was now being sold to the highest bidder because Chicago had no capital.