The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and technology had a tremendous effect on the social economic and cultural conditions starting in the Great Britain, then subsequently spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. Reasons
The Industrial Revolution, one of the most vital periods of change in Great Britain, occurred because of the stable economic, social, and political stance of the country, as well as brought lasting effects in Britain in each of these areas. With its fast growing monopoly on ocean trade, its renewed interest in scientific discovery, and its system of national banks holding tight to its financial security, Britain was, at the time of the Industrial Revolution, ripe for change.
The detailed reasons are as follows: First of all, its domination of the seas via a strong military force gave it control of ocean transportation and trade. Secondly, Britain’s national banking system provided it with capital from investments and a surplus of finances for which to use in commerce on the international scale. New inventions of the time included John Kay’s "flying shuttle" and George Stephenson’s "Rocket" railway train. Each of these improvements aided both the production and transportation of products and materials used for trade and in industrial factories.
Thirdly, Great Britain was also rich in natural resources such as water and coal. These could provide an ample energy supply for trains, factories, steam ships, and other devices which increased transportation and also the movement of workers and new industrial ideas as well. In fact, Britain’s American colonies played an important role in providing the country with such vital raw materials.
Last but not the least, As a result of the enclosure movement, an influx of unemployed farm workers was created, adding to Britain’s strong labor force in cities. An increase in the number of workers in industry meant that factories could run more efficiently and produce more goods than ever before, helping to manufacture a much greater amount of new machinery. Process
The First Industrial Revolution began in the textile industry and was marked by a series of inventions. They were the Spinning Jenny, the water frame, the power loom and the steam engine. These inventions completed the mechanization of the textile industry and prepared the way for a new system of production: large scale industry. With these developments came a need for a cheap means of transportation.
To meet it, entrepreneurs invested in digging canals to ship goods to market. In 1814, the steam locomotive was invented. The first railway was completed in 1825. By 1850, Great Britain had established a railroad system encompassing over 10,000 kilometers of track. Meanwhile, it had also built a large merchant fleet, which carried British-manufactured goods to all parts of the world. By the middle of the 19th century, The Industrial Revolution was accomplished in Great Britain.
The First Industrial Revolution had forever changed Great Britain, and later the world. After 1871, however, Europe was experiencing tremendous material growth produced by the Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution. The Second Industrial Revolution gave rise to new inventions and products, markets and larger factories, and a new leader in the competitive industry. In this period, Great Britain invested less in technological research than the U.S. and Germany, which caught up. Significance
The Industrial Revolution brought about dramatic changes in nearly every aspect of British society, including economy, politics, social structures and institutions. First, The Industrial Revolution had made Great Britain the wealthiest country in the world. Its Industrial productivity increased dramatically. Thus, Great Britain became the most advanced industrial country and also the financial center in the world.
As Britain’s incoming finances grew and increased, citizens were able to move up the rungs of the social class ladder in British society, thus improving their financial and educational statuses. Alongside new inventions came exciting discoveries in medicine, providing for better treatments of diseases and thus promoting the overall health of British society. Meanwhile, in Britain, roads made of longer-lasting surfaces and canals connected all parts of the nation.
A mining engineer, George Stephenson, developed the first steam-powered locomotive, opening the way for the building of railroads. Railroads and steam-powered ships improved transportation around the world. In 1837, an American inventor, Samuel F.B. Morse, devised the telegraph, which revolutionized communications. In a word, all these new inventions made people’s life more convenient. Second, with the growth of factories, people were drawn to metropolitan centers.This result in an increase in population and urbanization.
By 1850, the urban population was half of the whole population in Britain. The country also underwent a process of mass urbanization. Many new cities sprang up, such as Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield. Third, The Industrial Revolution also created changes in class structure. The capitalist class replaced the old nobility as the most important force in the country. Meanwhile, a large proletariat class came into being, who owned neither the means of production nor the products. The Industrial Revolution had its good side. But there was a saying that every coin has two sides. Obviously, The Industrial Revolution also had its bad side.
Due to the factory system was largely responsible for the rise of the modern city, as large numbers of workers migrated into the cities in search of employment in the factories. In the large number of workers, there was a particular worker group, the child labours. They were forced to work in relatively bad conditions for much lower pay than their elders.
There once was reported that, children as young as four were employed. Beatings and long hours were common, with some child coal miners working from 4 am until 5 pm. Conditions were dangerous, with some children were severely injured and sometimes killed when they dozed off and fell into the path of the carts, while others died from gas explosions.
Many children developed lung cancer and other diseases and died before the age of 25. At the same time, Industrialization has brought factory pollutants and greater land use, which have harmed the natural environment. In particular, the application of machinery and science to agriculture has led to greater land use and, therefore, extensive loss of habitat for animals and plants. In addition, Industrialization and urbanization have also created some new social problems.
For example: divide between rich and poor, overcrowding, living conditions were unsanitary, as well as cramped and impoverished and other defects. Overall, the advantages of The Industrial Revolution far overweigh the cons. And, to some degree, the Industrial Revolution was, indeed, revolutionary.