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Social, Political and Economic Impacts on New Energy Sources

Autor:   •  May 31, 2016  •  Coursework  •  1,284 Words (6 Pages)  •  427 Views

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1 June 2016

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The key new energy sources for the industrial revolution were water (hydro), coal, and oil. What were the social, political and economic impacts of these new energy sources?

When the industrial revolution began, there were only two sources of power, which were wind and water. Water was the oldest power source as its wheels have been used since the Roman era. In the 12th century, windmills gained recognition is being used for power generation. The mills needed a constant supply of water, however, the people starved because these mills were not able to grind flour, because the water level was too low and the wills froze in cold winters. Thus, this created the need for more power sources and that is how the need and use of coal and oil was recognized.

The reason why these sources of energy gained so much popularity was because they were being used for empowering the economy. These sources of energy were used in transportation, war and industries, which is why as time passed by, their demand increased. The economic impact of coal, oil and water was that it was used in machineries in the industry and coal was also used to develop a steam engine, which made transportation easier. The economic benefits were such that the production of coal, through mining, was encouraged. Oil was particularly used for economic purposes, as fertilizers, ammonia and lubricating oil could be made from it. Oil was also used as a fuel and it was also used in lamps, to light streets at night. This gives it a social purpose, as people would benefit from the lighting system; London was particularly known to be shining in the night because of the lamps that were lit by oil.

Another economic impact of these sources was the fact that it gave growth of business and changed the shape of the economy. People drilled oil by buying potential fields and then these fields were used to drill oil and the oil was sold in barrels.

The exploration and discovery of new sources of power, also had a political impact as more and more companies came into being, drilling for oil and there was strict competition in the market. Due to competition and mass production of oil, companies started lowering down their prices, which became the reason why the government had to intervene and control prices, as well as the oil market. There was also a scandal of Standard Oil Company, which was a quite successful company of its time and was flourishing; it expanded quite quickly under the rule of Rockefeller (Thackeray & John). The company had a competitive advantage as it made its own barrels; however, the company was blamed to have secrets and was also painted as evil in the eyes of the public, which is why they were charged under the anti-trust laws. Another economic benefit gained from the discovery of natural resources was the fact that, it gave rise to the automobile industry.

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