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The modern revolution has positively impacted the world we know today although it also has its negative drawbacks. The modern revolution is all about new forms of innovation, technology, ideas, energy sources, and global exchange networks that have been generated over the last thousand to 500 years. While the rate of collective learning has accelerated and helped better our ways of life including communication, transportation, and the manufacturing of goods, these also have led to a negative impact on our world.
Just over the last 300 years, the life expectancy, birth rates, and total population size has changed dramatically. According to Ronald Lee’s, an economics professor at University of California, chart in Text 01 “Population Trends” in Investigation 9, the life expectancy age went up by nearly 40 years and our population size grew from under 1 billion to 7 billion from the 1700s to the 2000s. While it is a positive thing that people get to live longer, as our population continues to grow, the world must maintain this population and keep up with our needs.
Along with the growth in population, the Modern Revolution has helped move people living rural lifestyles to living in cities with a populations over 10 million people. Text 02 “Urban Population Growth” in Investigation 9 in Big History shows that “only 3 percent of the world’s population lived in cities when the Modern Revolution was beginning in 1800. About 200 years, more than half of the world’s population was urban” in a graph by the United Nations Publication. Urbanization plus overall growth could add 2.5 billion people by 2050 with 90% of them concentrated in Asia and Africa. Like previously stated in the paragraph above, it might be smart to take into consideration that our world may not be able to maintain that many people.
Another positive effect the modern revolution has on our world is the growth in people with literacy and education. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in Text 03 “Literacy and Education” in Investigation 9 claims that only 10% or 120 million in 1850 could read and write but today, nearly 80% or 5.1 billion people are able to read and write. However, women are less literate than men and most of the world’s adult illiterates mainly live in South and Southwest Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, the literacy rates have increased by a little more than 10% in these areas.
The last few major positive effects the modern revolution has on the world are its new inventions and discoveries and vaccines for disease prevention. The major inventions or discoveries made between 1800 and the present become more complex over the years, especially from the 1950s to now, making our lives more easier and giving us the opportunities to do more things. The first successful vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796 to help prevent smallpox. Since then, more vaccines have been developed to fight serious diseases and to save more lives. According to the chart modified by the National Centers for Disease Control in Text 05 “Vaccines and Disease” in Investigation 9, the number of cases of smallpox, polio, measles, and mumps have decreased dramatically and some by 100% in 2010. Still, the World Health Organization says that many children (as many as 1.5 million) without these helpful vaccines and modern medicine die each year. Many times over the years a drug has not been safe for humans since they are loaded with chemicals and could cause reactions.
Lastly, the Modern Revolution has provided our government with new powers of communication, transportation, and weapons but have used these powers to control their people and other societies. From 1816 to 1991, there have been a total of 353 wars and 169,202,000 total murders by governments from 1900 and 1989. Not only this, this power may cause certain people to act in certain ways such as everything we have learned about imperialism, capitalism, and democracy.
In conclusion, despite all of the negative impacts the Modern Revolution has had, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today. It has generally affected us with a positive force and has shaped our world with innovation, technology, ideas, energy sources, and global exchange networks so that our collective learning may accelerate.
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