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Industrial Revolution

  • History of Methods of Production before Industrial Revolution
    • from Guild System to Putting-Out System to Factory System
  • Industrial Revolution happened first in England in mid-18th century
  • The industrial revolution is the revolution in the economic processes of production of goods in the economy, aided by the technological innovations, and their spread, which gave a boost to the pace at which goods could be produced.
  •  Why had Industrial Revolution born in England?
    • Events in England before 1750 that set such conditions:
      • the rise of capitalism after the end of Feudalism was crucial for Industrial Revolution because with capitalism came the desire to make more monetary profits,  And it could be achieved by developing new ways to produce more goods at lower costs.
      • Increased demand for manufactured goods due to the new ways of life in the growing towns and cities.
      • Village people were migrating to towns as workers for industrial production
      • Renaissance & Reformation with the focus on the power of reason had already made a psychological impact on the people to set out on a quest for new ideas.
      • aAcumulation of money from trade with the rest of the world ensured that there was money available for reinvestment for capital formation and for funding the activities of innovators.
    • Geography also played a role
      • Being an island, England had a natural barrier to protect it from the invasions.
      • Britain had very good natural harbours which allowed it to develop sea-ports
      •  England was rich in natural resources like coal and iron
      • It had a very good natural network of tributaries of rivers.
  • Components of Industrial Revolution
  • Textile Sector
    • Industrial Revolution started with revolution in the Textile Industry
      • n 1700s, the East India Company was earning a lot of profit, to the envy of British businessmen, by exporting the finished cotton cloth from India into Britain
      • It prompted the English businessmen to import raw cotton from India and convert it into finished cotton cloth in Britain
      • old machinery like spinning wheel and handlooms could not meet the demand,
    • New machines in the Textile industry aided faster spinning of raw cotton into thread
      • The impact of faster spinning machines was that they allowed the Textile factories to produce the thread that was much finer and cheaper to produce
    • In 1785, Cartwright developed the Powerloom, which truly revolutionised the production of cloth from the thread
      • term Horsepower has its origin in the Powerloom of Cartwright as this machine was driven by horses running in a circular motion
  • Steam Power
    • The most significant invention was the development of Steam Engine by James Watt in 1769.
    • It gave a big boost to production of goods
    • It is the real thing which led to mass production because machines based on manpower or hydropower were much less efficient. Soon, the Steam Engines were deployed
  •  Revolution in Iron Production:
    • Revolution was in Iron production, which ultimately led to increased and cheaper mechanisation of all industrial processes.
    • Steam power had led to demand for more machinery
  • Revolution in Transport & Communication
    • The development of transport corridors in form of rail and road network across the length and breadth of England and consequently in colonies of British empire allowed the British industry to hasten the supply of raw material and finished goods.
    • Steam Engine was modified for use in Railways by George Stephenson in 1814
  •  Agriculture Revolution
    • Another aspect generally missed in the Industrial Revolution is the Agriculture Revolution that started before the former
    • It involved the production of more cash crops to meet the demands of the British industry.
    • The new farm machinery like steel plough and harrow for breaking the ground, mechanical seed drills, horse-drawn cultivator that replaced horse and machines for reaping and threshing reduced the labour requirement in the Agriculture sector
    • New farm practices like intensive manuring and crop rotation increased the soil fertility and ensured food security of Britain
  • Impact of Industrial Revolution
    • Britain’s economy came to be dominated by the Industrial sector,
    • Higher GDP boosted textile exports and raw material imports by the British businesses
    • The industrial revolution led to the emergence of Britain as the top ranking Industrial economy.
    • the impact on the people was not very positive.
      • increased migration from the villages to the cities in search of employment
      • More people now lived in cities and worked in factories and this population was not connected to the land
      •  the downside of this process was the crowding in cities, which led to problems of housing and sanitation
      • urban area was now divided into two contrasting components of the slums on one side and the luxurious homes of the businessmen and the manager class on the other side
      • Migration caused social stress in form of dissolution of social bonds and the moral restraint that the village life generally places on its inhabitants
      • Clubbed with poverty this resulted in an increase in crimes in the cities.
      • industrialists saw the workers as a cog in the machine and as just another factor of production.
      • Little was done for the social security of the workers and the working conditions in the factories where unsafe machines maimed many
      • Child labour and participation of women in labour force increased, as they were available at cheaper wages. The working hours were as high as 15 to 18 hours per day
      • Environmental pollution was also on an increase.
    •  development of resentments and many worker movements like of Luddites and Chartists developed after the Industrial revolution in England. It is pertinent to remember here, that it was the negative side of the Capitalism of post-Industrial revolution era, which hastened the arrival of Socialism. Karl Marx
    • Industrial Revolution increased the penetration of democracy in England.
      • Gradually, with passage of four acts, the right to vote was extended to many sections of the society including the workers and by 1929, Britain adopted Universal Adult Franchise
      • Trade Unions were legalised in 1824 and series of factory Acts were passed, like in 1802 and 1819, which brought in age and working hours restrictions and regulated the employment conditions, especially of Women and Children.
    • Industrial revolution also resulted in increased contact between Industrialised and non-industrialized world
      • contact was not based on equality

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