The earliest periods of human history are defined by the archaeological evidence for fundamental changes in the ways in which people made objects, and the importance of conserving and studying the evidence of these changes is universally accepted. From the middle Ages, innovations in Europe in the use of energy and in trade and commerce led to a change towards the end of the 18th century just as profound as that between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, with developments in the social, technical and economic circumstances of manufacturing sufficiently rapid and profound to be called a revolution.
The Industrial Revolution was the beginning of a historical phenomenon that has affected an ever-greater part of the human population, as well as all the other forms of life on our planet, and that continues to the present day. Industrial Revolution during the 1700s and early 1800s, great changes took place in the lives and work of people in several parts of the world. These changes resulted from the development of industrialization. The term Industrial Revolution refers both to the changes that occurred and to the period itself. It really started around 1850 with the invention of the spinning weave.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain during the 1700s. It started spreading to other parts of Europe and to North America in the early 1800s. By the mid-1800s, industrialization had become widespread in Western Europe and the northeastern United States. The Industrial Revolution created an enormous increase in the production of many kinds of goods. Some of this increase in production resulted from the introduction of power-driven machinery and the development of factory organization. Before the revolution, manufacturing was done by hand or simple machines. Most people worked at home in rural areas.
A few worked in shops in towns as part of associations called guilds. The Industrial Revolution eventually took manufacturing out of the home and workshop. Power-driven machines replaced handwork, and factories developed as the best way of bringing together the machines and the workers to operate them. The Industrial Revolution is the name given the movement in which machines changed people’s way of life as well as their methods of manufacture. Changes That Led to the Revolution:
The most important of the changes that brought about the Industrial Revolution were (1) the invention of machines to do the work of hand tools; (2) the use of steam, and later of other kinds of power, in place of the muscles of human beings and of animals; and (3) the adoption of the factory system. It is almost impossible to imagine what the world would be like if the effects of the Industrial Revolution were swept away. Electric lights would go out. Automobiles and airplanes would vanish. Telephones, radios, and television would disappear Most of the abundant stocks on the shelves of department stores would be gone.
The children of the poor would have little or no schooling and would work from dawn to dark on the farm or in the home. Before machines were invented, work by children as well as by adults was needed in order to provide enough food, clothing, and shelter for all.
The Industrial Revolution came gradually. It happened in a short span of time. However it grew more powerful each year as new inventions and manufacturing processes added to the efficiency of machines and increased productivity. Indeed, since World War I the mechanization of industry has increased so enormously that another revolution in production is taking place. The Industrial Revolution around the World:
After the first appearance of industrialization in Britain, many other nations eagerly pursued similar changes. In the 19th century the Industrial Revolution spread not only to the United States, but also to Germany, France, Belgium, and much of the rest of Western Europe. Often, skilled British workers and knowledgeable entrepreneurs moved to other countries and taught the manufacturing techniques they had learned in Britain.
Change happened somewhat differently in each setting because of varying resources, political conditions, and social and economic circumstances. In France, industrial development was somewhat delayed by political turmoil and a lack of coal, but the central government played a more active role in development than Britain’s had. Both countries created railroad networks, for example, but the British did so entirely through private companies, while the French central government funded much of its country’s railways.
Craft production, in which people make decorative or functional items by hand, also remained a more significant element in the French economy than it did in Britain. In some industries, such as furniture manufacturing, the extent of mechanization was not as great as it had been in Great Britain. In Germany the central government’s role was also greater than it had been in Great Britain. This was partly because the German government wanted to hasten the process and catch up with British industrialization.
Germany used its rich iron and coal resources to develop heavy industry, such as iron and steel manufacture. It also proved to be an environment that encouraged big businesses and cooperation among large firms. The German banking sector, for example, was dominated by a few large banks that coordinated efforts to increase industry. In Russia, the government made repeated efforts to enable industrialization, sometimes hiring foreigners to build and operate whole factories.
On the whole, however, industrialization spread more slowly there, and the Russian economy remained overwhelmingly agricultural for a long time. Even in largely industrialized areas, such as Western Europe and the United States, some areas lagged behind in industrial development. Southern Italy, Spain, and the American South remained largely agrarian until much later than their neighbors. In Asia, industrialization varied, although as a whole it came much later than Western European development.
In Japan, the first industrial Asian nation, the central government made industrialization a national goal during the late 19th century. Industrialization in some areas of China began in the early 20th century and increased near the end of the century. Other Asian and Pacific Rim countries, such as South Korea and Taiwan, began to industrialize after the 1960s. In Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and much of Latin America—areas that were colonies of Western nations, or that were dominated by other nations for long periods—industrialization was much more delayed than in many other areas.
The legacies of colonialism made widespread change difficult because the society and economy of colonies were heavily controlled by and dependent on the parent country. Although different cultures produced distinctive variations of an industrial revolution, the similarities are striking.
Mechanization and urbanization were central to each area in which the Industrial Revolution succeeded, as were accompanying tensions and disruptions. In most societies, the truly revolutionary changes came during the first 75 to 100 years after the process of industrialization began. After that, factory production dominated manufacturing, and most people moved to cities. Costs and Benefits:
The modern, industrial societies created by the Industrial Revolution have come at some cost. The nature of work became worse for many people, and industrialization placed great pressures on traditional family structures as work moved outside the home. The economic and social distances between groups within industrial societies are often very wide, as is the disparity between rich industrial nations and poorer neighboring countries.
The natural environment has also suffered from the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Pollution, deforestation, and the destruction of animal and plant habitats continue to increase as industrialization spreads. Perhaps the greatest benefits of industrialization are increased material well-being and improved healthcare for many people in industrial societies. Modern industrial life also provides a constantly changing flood of new goods and services, giving consumers more choices.
With both its negative aspects and its benefits, the Industrial Revolution has been one of the most influential and far-reaching movements in human history. There are some examples about the Technological developments that happened like, Metallurgy and it major change in the metal industries during the era of the Industrial Revolution was the replacement of organic fuels based on wood with fossil fuel based on coal.
And Steam power the development of the Stationary steam engine was an essential early element of the Industrial Revolution; however, for most of the period of the Industrial Revolution, the majority of industries still relied on wind and water power as well as horse and man-power for driving small machines.
And Glass Making a new method of producing glass, known as the cylinder process, was developed in Europe during the early 19th century This advancement allowed for larger panes of glass to be created without interruption, thus freeing up the space planning in interiors as well as the fenestration of buildings.
The Crystal Palace is the supreme example of the use of sheet glass in a new and innovative structure. And there is Gas lighting the process consisted of the large scale gasification of coal in furnaces, the purification of the gas (removal of sculpture, ammonium, and heavy hydrocarbons), and its storage and distribution. The first gas lighting utilities were established in London ‘between’ 1812-20.
They soon became one of the major consumers of coal in the UK. Gas lighting had an impact on social and industrial organization because it allowed factories and stores to remain open longer than with tallow candles or oil. Its introduction allowed night life to flourish in cities and towns as interiors and street could be lighted on a larger scale than before. That’s just some of the Technological developments in the Industrial Revolution there are a lot more but that is the important ones nowadays to know. Changes in Society:
The Industrial Revolution also had considerable impact upon the nature of work. It significantly changed the daily lives of ordinary men, women, and children in the regions where it took root and grew. Growth of cities one of the most obvious changes to people’s lives was that more people moved into the urban areas where factories were located. Many of the agricultural laborers who left villages were forced to move.
Beginning in the early 18th century, more people in rural areas were competing for fewer jobs. The rural population had risen sharply as new sources of food became available, and death rates declined due to fewer plagues and wars. At the same time, many small farms disappeared. This was partly because new enclosure laws required farmers to put fences or hedges around their fields to prevent common grazing on the land. Some small farmers who could not afford to enclose their fields had to sell out to larger landholders and search for work elsewhere.
These factors combined to provide a ready work force for the new industries. New manufacturing towns and cities grew dramatically. Many of these cities were close to the coalfields that supplied fuel to the factories. Factories had to be close to sources of power because power could not be distributed very far. Effects on Labor The movement of people away from agriculture and into industrial cities brought great stresses to many people in the labor force. Women in households who had earned income from spinning found the new factories taking away their source of income.
Traditional hand-loom weavers could no longer compete with the mechanized production of cloth. Skilled laborers sometimes lost their jobs as new machines replaced them. In the factories, people had to work long hours under harsh conditions, often with few rewards. Factory owners and managers paid the minimum amount necessary for a work force, often recruiting women and children to tend the machines because they could be hired for very low wages. Soon critics attacked this exploitation, particularly the use of child labor.
The nature of work changed as a result of division of labor, an idea important to the Industrial Revolution that called for dividing the production process into basic, individual tasks. Each worker would then perform one task, rather than a single worker doing the entire job. Such division of labor greatly improved productivity, but many of the simplified factory jobs were repetitive and boring. Workers also had to labor for many hours, often more than 12 hours a day, sometimes more than 14, and people worked six days a week.
Factory workers faced strict rules and close supervision by managers and overseers. The clock ruled life in the mills. By about the 1820s, income levels for most workers began to improve, and people adjusted to the different circumstances and conditions.
Finally, looking back at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it is difficult to realize how what took place then is having such complicated and vast effects today, but that is the principle of environmental unity – a change in one system will cause changes in others.
Certainly, the seeds of progress – and the ramifications of that progress – were planted then. And with the very same mechanisms and effects that brought about both the progress and the indelibly connected results of that progress to our ecology the good, the bad and the ugly over the last 250 years, we will enter a new era of sustainability.