Canals were developed for industrial revolution. The products had to be moved and roads couldn't simply handle the weight and the vehicles needed to move the products did not exist. These man-made rivers were made for barges to move product. Canals had improved life then and now because back then they needed improved transportation for products and people. It improved life today because with how much industrial products we make we need a bigger transportation for products and people and with these canals they have easier transportation. The canals have caused problems because shipping across waters takes longer than roads, causing problems for the people shipping the products.