The Industrial Revolution

BEGINNING OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:

  • The revolution started in Great Britain earlier than in other European countries.

  • From 1750 to 1850 British Industry underwent great changes.

  • There was a fundamental and drastic change in the industrial methods of England.

  • Before the Industrial Revolution, goods were produced by human hands and so limited quantities were produced.

  • After the revolution goods were produced in large quantities by machines in factories.

CHANGES IN INDUSTRIES DURING THE REVOLUTION:

IN TEXTILE INDUSTRY:

  • The textile work was done in cottages by people engaged in agriculture.

  • In cottage textile all men, women and children engaged in works by hands.

  • Weaving was done by men, straighten fibers were spun into continuous yarn by women and carding was done by children.

  • The system had many defects.

  • Therefore, some changes were necessary in the method of spinning if production was to be increased.

  • In the course of time a series of inventions made an entire transformation in this field. They are:

  1. John Kay’s flying shuttle – first mechanical invention- made in 1733.

  2. James Hargreaves’ spinning-jenny – helped to speeding up the making of yarn- made in 1764.

  3. Richard Arkwright’s the water-frame- changed spinning-jenny better with water-power- made in 1769.

  4. Samuel Crompton’s mule- he combined jenny and water-frame in this machine- made in 1779.

  5. Edmund Cartwright’s the power-loom- helped in increasing the speed of weaving- made in 1785.

IN IRON AND COAL INDUSTRY:

  • In 1779, the world’s first iron bridge was made spanning the River Severn.

  • The development of iron trade was closely associated with coal industry because a new method of smelting iron with coal was devised.

  • These industries were developed high in places were both are found together like South Wales, South Yorkshire and Tyneside regions.

  • Inventions under these industries include:

  1. Newcomen’s Steam Engine – to pump water out of coal mines- made in 1705

  2. James Watt- a mathematician- perfected this steam engine- in 1763.

IN TRANSPORT INDUSTRY:

As the result of Industrial Revolution goods were produced large in number the need for transporting goods to cities and seaports became necessary.

1. ROADS:

  • After 1750 hundreds of roads were made and many turnpike trustees formed.

  • By 1840- 22,000 miles of good turnpike roads were formed in England and nearly 8,000 tollgates.

  • Telford- made many miles of roads.

  • Macadam- taught the art of road draining and perfected the surface of the roads- in 1815.

2. NAVIGATION:

  • The first half of 18th Century was a period of much activity in deepening the navigable rivers.

  • The second half of 18th century was a period were the construction of new artificial waterways was made.

  • The Duke of Bridgewater- known as the father of inland navigation- connected his collieries with Manchester by canal.

  • This hastened the overseas trades.

3. RAILWAYS:

  • George Stephenson- invented -first Locomotive; the first railway line between Stockton and Darlington (which was opened in 1825).

  • Liverpool and Manchester- linked by railway in 1830.

  • London and Birmingham in 1838.

  • The first successful steamboat- Bell’s Coment – began to run between Glasgow and Greenock- 1822.

  • A service was established between Dublin and Holyhead- 1820.

  • The first steam-boat reached Liverpool from America 1825.

  • Two vessels steamed from the British Isles to New York 1838.

EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:

  • The population of England increased to a very great extent.

  • Many new industrial towns like Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester and Leeds developed rapidly.

  • Clustering of people together in places with no sanitation caused many diseases.

  • Though the revolution lead to great increase in wealth, it did not give happiness or comfort.

  • The old personal relationship of the employer and the employee which kept them in friendly terms disappeared.

  • England became the workshop of the world.

  • The production of goods on a large scale let the prices fall.

  • This led to increased demand for goods and in the end employment opportunities became high.

Sources:

Social History of England by Louise Creighton

An Introduction to the Social History of England by A.G.Xavier

A Short History of Social Life in England by M B Synge

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