The Big Woods

The big woods is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife in Minnesota. But, according to Jim Williams, author at the Star Tribune, a recent sale of 30 acres of this land means the “removal of some trees that are 200 years old.” The serenity of this land will be replaced by construction as it is developed for new homes, roads, and driveways.

At first glance, this new story may seem to have no historical significance. But, this development can be linked back to the Industrial Revolution.

Going back to the mid-1700s, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the world population grew to 700 million. That is nearly a 57% growth! But, population growth did not stop there. In an article about the impacts of the Industrial Revolution, the author, Eric McLamb, states that “The birth of the Industrial Revolution altered medicine and living standards, resulting in the population explosion that would commence at that point and steamroll into the 20th and 21st centuries.” Thus, the effects of the Industrial Revolution are still very much visible today.

Therefore, this continual growth in population helps to explain the need for the development of more houses. Correspondingly, the need for developing land can be linked back to the impacts of the Industrial Revolution. In addition, as the article stated, this population growth isn’t stopping anytime soon. So, this need for more land to develop upon will be an increasingly important issue in the many years to come (since there is only so much undeveloped land remaining).

Cool, huh! An event that occurred hundreds of years ago can be linked back to a local issue occurring in 2015.

Looking back at all of this information it is easy to see why industrialization mattered and continues to matter. In the 1700s, industrialization impacted everyone’s life. McLamb notes that “This exponential population growth led to the exponential requirements for resources, energy, food, housing and land, as well as the exponential increase in waste by-products.” Thus, industrialization mattered then because it altered numerous aspects of one’s life. Today, the industrialization period continues to matter as we look for more and more land on which to develop new industries, buildings, homes, and stores. Likewise, most aspects of one’s life can be linked back to industrialization. Industrialization is everywhere, in everything we do, and is part of who we are as a country. What would we be without it?


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