As a complex network of intricate biological systems, the human body is indeed quite an intriguing aspect of nature. The origin of this elaborate design is an area of hot debate; however, as of late, increasing support has been given to biological-evolutionary theory. According to this theory, it is understood that with the passage of vast amounts of time, humanity and its predecessors have undergone a multitude of adaptations to better survive and proliferate themselves throughout the world. The human organism is clearly as efficient as it is elaborate; it is most certainly a testament to the hundreds upon thousands of years predating its existence. Even so, as alluring as the human body may be, the evolution of humanity has not been entirely biological in nature. Perhaps a consequence of this biological evolution, humanity has developed a very powerful tool to ensure the survival its species: Society. Described by Aristotle as social animals, humans are notorious for organizing themselves into groups to better overcome their environment and to meet their needs. In effect, over many thousand years, humanity's greatest invention has proven to be as organic and adaptive as its creator. Society, like the human, has also undergone great changes and adaptations through selective forces and the innovations of its constituents. Perhaps the most well documented and best known instances of societal evolution at work can be seen in the Industrial Revolution. While, historically, societal changes have taken many thousand years to progress, the Industrial Revolution was relatively quick and, as a result, quite interesting.
[...] At the eve of the Industrial Revolution, agrarian society was quite remarkably established and very well developed. In contrast to earlier societal types, the population of a given agrarian society was greater by many orders of magnitude with numbers ranging from millions to hundreds of millions. In light of this, in terms of economy and the division of labor, occupations were highly specialized in terms of region and community now more than ever before. Entire regions, and in some cases mere villages, would be dedicated to producing certain goods to be exported to other parts of a given society. [...]
[...] As you can see, the autonomous command economies of monarch ruled agrarian society gave way to democratic market economies. The nature of the Industrial Revolution is by no means thoroughly covered here, as there are many other contributing factors and effects that would require much more discussion. However, it should be quite clear that these changes occur fluidly; that is to say that the change in one area produces change in other related areas that results in feedback effect that may ultimately change the entire system. For example, the change in economic ideology toward capitalism brought [...]
[...] This system promotes social continuity, and the manner in which this is overcome and societal evolution progresses is sparked by what is considered one of the prime factors required for social progress. Innovation, one of the leading forces promoting change in any given society, was greatly hindered during the agrarian era; especially from an economic standpoint. In a typical command economy, those who serve to gain from innovation (the governing class) are generally not involved with the production process and are not in any position to innovate (unlike the peasantry). [...]
[...] While it is useful to conceptualize human societies using these systems of classification, one can get the false impression that the societal timeline has definite turning points where change occurs. For example, using classification based upon subsistence technology, the changes from the nomadic hunting and gathering societies to the more sedentary horticultural societies are not clearly defined and were far from sudden. In this case, societal evolution occurred over many thousand years and, understandably, the changes were very gradual in nature. [...]
[...] Where in agrarian societies, the family was the basic unit of economic organization, in industrial societies the basic unit is simply the worker. With a greater emphasis on the individual's marketability in the work force, the cohesion of the family unit from an economic standpoint was no longer lucrative and, therefore, not as useful. As a result, family sizes have become increasingly smaller, as children turn into financial liabilities rather than extra pairs of hands to work the fields. Perhaps the change in the importance of the family unit is best exemplified the manner in which an actual unit is created. [...]
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