Looking back: Industrial Revolution

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The Industrial Revolution changed the economic systems of the world. Without this transition in technology, our military wouldn't be the same today. Europe was the first to thrive in this new revolution through economic and social reforms starting in the 1850s and quickly spread around the world. People became richer and people were able to work less strenuous work as they put their minds more toward education and less toward basic survival. There were people who still struggled but the balance between people who suffered and people who thrived had greatly changed for the better.

With the start of the Industrial Revolution brought new technologies the world had never dreamed of before. They built machines to make their work less strenuous. One of the major inventions was the creation of the steam engine, which was developed by James Watt, a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer and chemist. The steam engine uses coal and wood as fuel and the fire produces heat that turns water into steam which is then used to turn the wheels in the engine. Engines grew in popularity because it was energy efficient.  It soon became the engine that everyone used to power railroad locomotives, ships, the first automobiles, and led to Orville and Wilbur Wright inventing the first powered airplane.

From the stand point of someone living in 2015, you realize just how far we've come.  With leaps and technological bounds, we now see smart phones in everyone's hands. We have fast cars and creations like the F-35 Lightning II flying overhead daily. Today, the sky is no longer the limit. We went from struggling to get off the ground to breaking the sound barrier. The F-35 has the most robust communications suite of any aircraft built to date. Being able to use systems such as Distributed Aperture System which gives the capability for full situational awareness, warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats, makes it hard to believe there was once a time our military only had feet in the air, unable to fly.

The Industrial Revolution came and changed the world. Based on simple facts everyone can agree that the world wouldn't be like it is today if not for the Industrial Revolution. There wouldn't be any of the technology we have today; military tactics wouldn't be as advanced as they are, keeping our military members as safe as possible. Without the industrial revolution there would be no major gains for our military. Some may be looking into the future wondering what's next. How to know, who to ask? Only a simple answer is needed, "We can only achieve a better future if we have a more comprehensive understanding of our past. Only by recognizing the role of geography, can we begin to overcome today's problems." Professor of Environmental History Jared Diamond continues, "Because while geography and history may give us our start at life, they should never dictate our destiny."