- Between 1760 and 1914, the primary and secondary phases of the Industrial Revolution were the two commonly cited phases.
- The First Industrial Revolution began in England in 1760 and lasted until the mid-to early nineteenth century. The mass adoption of steam technology and iron and the transition from agriculture to an industry characterized this period.
- The Second Industrial Revolution began after the American Civil War and lasted until the outbreak of World War I. This epoch is distinguished by the development new technologies such as electricity, combustion engines, and steel.
- Even today, some countries have not yet experienced industrialization. These are commonly referred to as "third world" or "developing" countries.
- The concept of capitalism is inextricably linked with the Industrial Revolution. The human quality of life, wealth, life expectancy, and other factors such as literacy has increased exponentially since their start.
- The textile industry in the United Kingdom was initially the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. Improvements in this sector would eventually drive improvements in other industries throughout the UK.
- By the end of the nineteenth century, eight out of ten British people lived in cities. Before 1760, the population was self-sufficient in 85 percent of cases.
- The Earth's human population increased tenfold between 1700 and 2000.
- The global economy expanded 14 times during the twentieth century.
- Throughout the twentieth century, per capita income would increase fourfold over previous levels.
Social Effects of The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution had far-reaching and enormous social consequences. Rapid urbanization and ever-increasing labor demand drove large segments of the population to migrate from the countryside to the cities.
This movement of people resulted in severe overcrowding, disease, and poor sanitation before infrastructure caught up with needs. Injuries and deaths were also common in factories, which were dangerous places for men, children, and even women to work.
Social structures were also forever altered. People began to specialize in jobs. They take risks to start businesses, resulting in the emergence of new social classes.
This issue would lead to the rise of the industrialist (capitalist), middle class, and working-class (also known as the proletariat). Omit, the Industrial Revolution significantly improved the quality of life of a nation's population in unprecedented ways. But it created new swaths of problems to address, such as child labor, poor air quality, and disease.
Cultural and Social Structure During The Industrial Revolution
During the Industrial Revolution, social and cultural structures changed dramatically. Aside from the landed gentry and royalty, new social classes emerged, and society as a whole reformed into the following:
Labor System of The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution's labor system was much broader than at any other time in history. The considerable increase in productivity and the need for labor quickly swelled the populations of cities from the countryside, including people ranging from young children to women.
Although men, women, and children had been involved in some form of work since the dawn of time, the intensity, type of work, and concentration of workers in one place were all novel. Furthermore, the rise of "specialist" professionals and the formation of the middle class would result from the division of labor in the workforce.
Despite the period's less-than-ideal working conditions, many workers enjoyed a massive increase in and consistent supply of pay and living conditions compared to their agrarian forefathers.
Working Conditions During Industrial Revolution
Working conditions were deplorable during the Industrial Revolution.
During the Industrial Revolution, occupational health and safety were less than ideal. Work was often monotonous and, in some cases, dangerous.
Factories were often damp, noisy, filthy, poorly ventilated, and poorly lit. Long hours were standard for men, women, and children who were paid appropriately for their level of expertise.
These issues were partially addressed in the mid-nineteenth century when unions were formed to help improve a lot of workers. Early health and safety legislation was enacted during this period, but issues such as child labor persisted until the twentieth century.
The Standards of Living and Family Life During the Industrial Revolution
During the Industrial Revolution, family life and living standards varied depending on where people were placed in society. Living standards began to rise dramatically for the growing middle classes.
Compared to their forefathers, the increased availability of cheaply produced goods allowed some to live like kings.
Lower-income families working in factories and in crowded cities had very low living standards. Most workers were crammed into densely packed, hastily constructed housing with little regard for public health. These living conditions were ideal for the spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Education and Training During the Industrial Revolution
During the Industrial Revolution, education and training were widely available. But it was usually a paid service for children. While wealthy families could afford to homeschool their children with the help of a tutor, their children were also sent to private schools. Poorer students would be educated in Dame schools or Church schools.
Lower-income families frequently rank earning a living over obtaining an education, but this is not always the case.
The British government passed the "Factory Act" in 1883 to divide funds to promote education in schools and limit their working hours to nine hours per day. Donations were made to charities that would heavily subsidize tuition.
The government-established Ragged Schools Union focused on educating poor children in 1844. The Public Schools Act, passed in 1868, brought reform to the British public school system by establishing basic educational standards. A similar story occurred in the United States, where 50 schools were established in 1837.
Slavery and Colonization During the Industrial Revolution
Slavery and colonization began to decline during the Industrial Revolution due to the widespread use of machinery to replace human labor.
The increased demand for labor during the early stages of the Revolution did initially increase the demand for enslaved people, but this would quickly decline.
During this time, nearly full employment was achieved, and many people began to receive regular payments, which was a foreign concept at the time. This issue highlighted the clear distinctions between "free" laborers and indentured enslaved people, forcing society to consider the morality of the age-old practice of slavery.
By 1807, it was clear that slavery was a moral abomination, and it was abolished in the United Kingdom. Following this, the British Navy and government used "aggressive negotiations" to persuade other nations to follow suit, and the next 60 years were spent policing slave trade routes around the world.
Legal factory reforms had also limited the use of child labor by 1850.
Urbanization and Housing During the Industrial Revolution
During the Industrial Revolution, urbanization and housing were defining features. The cities' populations grew due to mass migration from the countryside.
Typically, the process would begin with the construction of a single or small number of factories in a single region. This would later serve as a "draw" or "magnet" for other supplementary enterprises that can directly supply the factory and its supply chain with goods or provide goods and services to the workers.
This exponential increase in job opportunities hastened the "draw" of people to the area.
These people would must some form of housing. Slums would become standard in cities throughout industrializing nations before large quantities of cheap and quick housing and tenements could be built.
Because there were so many people in one place, densely packed and cramped housing was built. These would be ideal locations for disease transmission as well as the formation of new social orders.
Housing would vary greatly depending on the occupant's financial situation. Those with money often lived in luxury, while poorer workers lived in cramped quarters with shared toilets.
Several public health acts were enacted, housing quality improved throughout the nineteenth century. These would include the construction of sewerage systems, restrictions on new home construction, and the clearing and improvement of slum areas.
Population Increase During the Industrial Revolution
Between 1700 and 1750, England's population remained relatively stable, with only minor increases. Because there are no official records for this period, precise figures are impossible to calculate. But, there was a population explosion after around 1750 AD.
Estimates vary, but most agree that the population doubled between 1750 and 1850. It is no coincidence that this is roughly the time of the first industrial Revolution.
This population increase was caused by various factors, including the Revolution itself. This included changes in the legal marriage age, advances in health and medicine that reduced child mortality, and an increase in the birth rate.
Interestingly, compared to the rest of Europe, Brits marry late, if at all. This issue changed dramatically in the second half of the 18th century. More and younger couples began to marry, resulting in a dramatic increase in birth rates.
This, in turn, was a direct result of the increase in relative income for a large part of the population during this period. In other words, people could afford to start families and have more children.
Even though cities had become filthy and disease-ridden, death rates had decreased. During the Revolution, diets, medicine, the establishment of hospitals, and general living conditions all improved dramatically.
Life of Women During the Industrial Revolution
Women's lives were like those of the rest of the population wherever industrialization occurred. Due to high labor demand, women would frequently enter the workforce, albeit in less physically demanding roles (for obvious reasons).
Many single and married women were forced to work outside the home due to financial constraints. Most of their jobs were domestic service, textile factories, and workshops. Some might even work in coal mines.
The Industrial Revolution provided some with independent wages, mobility, and a higher standard of living. Yet, for most people in the early nineteenth century, factory work meant a life of hardship.
Political Consequences of the Industrial Revolution
The political ramifications of the Industrial Revolution differed across the globe. As a general rule, massive technological advancements fostered a sense of national pride and identity wherever industrialization occurred.
Other political changes included increased colonization of less developed countries like Africa. European nations' technological superiority allowed for far easier expansion into the continent than possible during the Middle Ages.
This idea was mirrored in the United States, where European Americans' technological superiority enabled them to spread quickly and efficiently from East to West across the country. Frequently to the detriment of indigenous peoples.
In Japan, the traditional feudal system was abandoned to align their politics with those of European nations.
Other significant political changes include:
- A significant increase in literacy and education increased public political awareness. This would eventually lead to new political theories ranging from democracy to anarchism to socialism and communism.
- The Industrial Revolution paved the way for enslaved people and female emancipation. Women's increased labor force representation would eventually fuel political movements for fairer representation in political spheres.
- The abolition of slavery was most likely the most fundamentally crucial political change during this period.
- Nationalism gave rise to the concept of the citizen rather than the subject. This would eventually lead to the abolition of feudalism worldwide.
Innovations of the Industrial Revolution
The Agricultural Revolution refers to the dramatic farming changes that began in the 1600s. The "open-field system" of cultivation transformed the spread-out, shared farms into more compact but larger farms.
The many issues associated with open fields, such as animal overgrazing, difficulty in reaching consensus for change, and single herds that had resulted in the spread of animal diseases and uncontrollable breeding, had all been resolved.
Farmers discovered a crop rotation system that prevented them from leaving up to half of the land fallow or unused between plantings. Animal husbandry is becoming more popular. This was only the beginning of the change, and many key players were able to develop other farm innovations that would change the way farms worked.
The Band Jethro Tull (1674 - 1741)
Jethro Tull was a crucial figure in introducing and popularizing root vegetables. His two significant contributions to the Agricultural Revolution were the seed drill and horse hoe. The seed drill was an invention that allowed it to plant seeds deep into the earth rather than on top, where the majority were washed away or otherwise lost.
The machine was drawn by horses and consisted of rotating drills or runners that planted seeds at a predetermined depth. His other revolutionary invention, the horse hoe, allowed for much more efficient planting by allowing a horse to pull the plow quickly.
Townshend, more than Tull, was a key figure in popularizing root vegetables. Others called him "Turnip" Townshend because he grew turnips and clover on his Norfolk estate. He pioneered the four-course crop rotation, which helped keep the ground suitable for farming almost yearly. Wheat, turnips, oats, barley, and clover were all part of this cycle.
Bakewell, Robert (1725–1795)
Bakewell was the first and most prominent farm animal stock breeder. Bakewell was able to breed significantly more livestock by breeding only animals with specific characteristics.
He kept meticulous genealogical records on his valuable animals and carefully maintained his stock; he was well-known for his success with sheep. His stock breeding principles were widely practiced by the end of the eighteenth century.
England's agricultural output increased roughly three and a half times during the Agricultural Revolution. More people could leave the farms and move to the city as farms became more productive and workloads became lighter. This sizeable available workforce enabled the increased production required to spark the Industrial Revolution.
Key Innovations and Inventors of the Industrial Revolution
Technology, arguably the most critical aspect of the Industrial Revolution, can be reduced to a few different innovations and inventors, most of whom were inspired by a single product. Cotton was the first product to undergo the "revolution" from the cottage industry to the mechanized age.
Britain had a large wool trade at the time. Wool exports were nearly thirty times those of cotton in 1760. Demand for cotton increased as upper-class fashion changed, and Britain began to allow more cotton production. Cotton production soon became insufficient to meet demand. This demand inspired the following four inventions:
The "Flying Shuttle" of John Kay
The flying shuttle was invented by John Kay, a mechanic from Lancashire. A single weaver could operate the shuttle on the loom with one hand by using cords attached to a picking peg.
It took four spinners to keep up with one cotton loom with this invention and ten people to prepare yarn for one weaver. So, while spinners were busy, weavers frequently waited for yarn. As a result, the flying shuttle effectively doubled a weaver's cloth production.
"Spinning Jenny" By James Hargreaves
In 1764, James Hargreaves invented the "spinning jenny," a device that allowed one person to spin many threads at once, allowing a worker to produce more finished cotton.
One could now spin eight threads at once by turning a single wheel, a number that was later increased to eighty. Unfortunately, the thread was usually coarse and weak. Despite this shortcoming, by 1778, over 20,000 machines were in use in the United Kingdom.
"Water Frame" By Richard Arkwright
In 1764, Richard Arkwright invented the "water frame" to speed up yarn production. The "Spinning-Frame," as it was before, was too large to be operated by hand. He decided to use the power of a water wheel after experimenting with other power sources, and his machine became known as the water frame. Rollers make yarn of the appropriate thickness while spindles twist fibers together. The engine produced a thread far more potent than any other available.
"Crompton's Mule" By Samuel Crompton
In 1779, Samuel Crompton combined the spinning jenny and the water frame to create "Crompton's mule," a machine that produced large quantities of fine, strong yarn.
The yarn had effectively become industrialized with the arrival of these inventions. By 1812, the cost of producing cotton yarn had decreased by nine-tenths, and four-fifths had reduced the number of workers required to make wool yarn.
Introducing these inventions into the workforce shifted the emphasis from production to the supply of raw cotton. In just 35 years, more than 100,000 power looms with 9,330,000 spindles have been installed in England and Scotland. Britain preyed on the availability of new cotton in the Americas, using it to help absorb demand.
By 1830, raw cotton imports had increased eightfold, and refined cotton accounted for half of the British exports. The order was high enough at this point to inspire what is probably the most well-known invention of the Revolution: the steam engine.
The "Steam Engine" of James Watt
James Watt patented the steam engine in 1769, effectively creating a new power source. Early-model steam engines were introduced to drain water and raise coal from mines, but using steam for power was a game changer.
Thomas Newcomen built the first steam engine, which Watt later improved and patented. The original concept was to place a vertical piston and cylinder at the end of a pump handle, then fill the cylinder with steam and condense it with a spray of cold water.
The vacuum created allowed atmospheric pressure to push the piston down, but Watt converted it to a reciprocating engine, giving birth to the actual steam engine.
The "Steamboat" of Robert Fulton
In 1807, Robert Fulton used steam power to build the first steamboat, which changed the way and speed with which materials could be moved between Britain's colonies. The ship was initially more expensive to build and operate than sailing vessels, but it had some advantages. It could take off on its own and be more stable during storms.
The "Steam-Powered Train" of Stephenson
Finally, in 1814, Stephenson used the steam engine to build a steam-powered train, which would eventually allow for increased communication and trade between before considered too distant locations.
The steam-powered train quickly became a symbol of success all over the world. Britain encouraged the construction of railroads in other European countries, with British capital, equipment, and technicians frequently used. Railroads became a standard British export.
A suitable product generates a slew of inventions that will propel other areas of commerce and production toward industrialization. These early innovations significantly impacted the era's fundamental elements, including agriculture, power, transportation, textiles, and communication.
The advancement of the textile industry was a critical development in the industrialization of Britain. As a result, it was this industry that pioneered the factory system. The raw materials used were essentially the same as those used in the domestic system, primarily wool and cotton, but machines were now used to transform the natural product into the fabric.
It was possible to make enormous amounts of material in less time and for less money using machines and an "assembly-line" approach. While advancements in this industry resulted in huge profits and were thus very beneficial to the economy, there were many issues with how factories were run.
Young children were employed and were paid pitiful wages. They were also forced to work extremely long hours in hazardous conditions, and they were beaten to keep them working. It wasn't until the late 1820s that critics began questioning how factories were run.
Finally, in 1832, Michael Thomas Sadler chaired the "Sadler Commission," a parliamentary committee on child labor. Even when legislation aimed at protecting workers was enacted, it was rarely enforced. Powerless workers eventually formed unions to oppose profit-hungry factory owners.
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