The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – SYNOPSIS
PART ONE – WHY ENGLAND FIRST???
The Agricultural Revolution
1)English farmers started using a crop rotation system, so that soil did not
became depleted of nutrients. Farmers also used fertilizer from livestock
on the soil to further boost farm production.
2)Jethro Tull invented a new, mechanical seed drill to aid farmers.
It deposited them in rows, instead of scattering them wastefully.
3)The enclosure system created larger farms which could be cultivated more efficiently.
4)British Parliament facilitated enclosures through legislation.
5)Farm output rose. less workers grew more food through the enclosure system.
6)Many farmers were forced to give up farming and move. Jobless farm workers
migrated to towns and cities.
7)Migrant farm workers formed a growing labor force for the coming
8)In summary, the “Agricultural” Revolution preceded the “Industrial” Revolution.
9)Britain’s advantages were various. They included a surplus of workers.
10)Britain was a relatively small island. To improve their fortunes, their inhabitants were
forced to look outward.
11)Britain also possessed natural resources. These included coal for energy, iron ore,
rivers and ocean for transportation and harbors for merchant/trading ships.
12)The British also had a thirst for technology.
13)The British developed a banking-finance system. “Capital” for investment energized economic development.
14)Political stability also aided economic and industrial development.
Parliament passed laws to increase business expansion.
15)These combined factors of production enabled Britain to industrialize
sooner and faster than its neighbors.
PART TWO – TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES
16)The textile industry (clothing) played an important part in the development
17)In 1733, John Kay developed the flying shuttle, a boat-shaped piece of
wood that sped back and forth on wheels. It doubled the amount of thread a
weaver could make in a day.
18)Richard Arkwright’s “water frame” was invented to keep up with the threading
capacity of the Flying Shuttle.
19)The “Spinning Mule” was invented in 1789. It used water power to drive
spinning wheels, combining the Spinning Jenny and water frame.
20)All these machines were big and expensive. English merchants would set up these
machines in large buildings called factories. These were located near an energy
source to power the machines – water streams.
21)Sheep provided wool for the British textile industry. Cotton grown in
Britain’s American colonies also fed British textile factories.
22)The cotton gin invented by the American Eli Whitney eliminated the time-
consuming task of picking out the seeds of cotton by hand. As a result, the
increased demand for “king” cotton helped lead to the growth of slavery in the U.S.
Ironically, technology would also help to eventually end slavery, making the owning
of human slaves too expensive and “obsolete”.
23)In 1790, America produced 1.5 million pounds of cotton. In 1810, 85 million pounds
was produced. Britain’s colony of India would become a rival to U.S. cotton
24)James Watt’s steam engine provided a power source away from water streams.
Factories could now be moved out of the rural countryside to the urban cities.
25)The steam engine also improved transportation. American Robert Fulton
developed the first commercially successful steamboat that ferried people on
New York’s Hudson River.
26)In England, man-made waterways helped transport goods. By the mid-1800s,
over 4000 miles of waterways helped transport goods. Land roads also increased. 27)Eventually, railroads would transport mass quantities of mass produced goods and
revolutionize life in the rapidly industrializing western Europe and the U.S.
28)The Bessemer Process was the first cheap method of making steel.
29)In addition to the Cotton Gin, American Eli Whitney introduced the idea of
interchangeable parts to musket-making. This increased efficiency
led to more production.
30)Cyrus McCormick’s reaper (1831) boosted American wheat production.
31)Samuel B. Morse developed the telegraph, using electric signals to
comunicate over long distances.
32)Scottish-born American Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone
to further improve communication.
33)I.M. Singer (1851) used a foot treadle to power an improved sewing machine.
34)American Thomas Edison helped develop inventions that would revolutionize
human life .
35)Edison’s first great invention developed was the tin foil phonograph.
36)Thomas Edison’s greatest challenge was the development of a practical incandescent,
light bulb. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t “invent” it,
but improved upon a 50-year-old idea.
37)In the 1880s. Edison helped create the modern electric utility industry.
One of Edison’s former employees, Nicola Tesla would develop an
“alternate current” (AC) that could move electricity over long distances.
38)Thomas Edison helped develop the kinetescope, which captured motion pictures,
and worked with the George Eastman to develop film for cameras..
39)Electricity was dangerous. Residents of Brooklyn had to avoid shocks from wires
hanging from electric trolley tracks. Their baseball team was called the Dodgers.
40)German George Daimler was the German pioneer of the internal-combustion engine
and automobile development.
41)American Henry Ford dreamed of mass producing an automobile that was reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient. He combined precision manufacturing, standardized
and interchangeable parts, and a division of labor, to make a moving assembly line. A “Model T” was made every 24 seconds.
The Industrial Revolution – Part Two
Urbanization and Migration
1)The Agricultural Revolution enabled people to move off farms into cities. Relatively
cheap food and heat and the growth of factory jobs drove people to migrate to cities.
2)Between 1800 and 1850, the number of European cities over 100,000 people
grew from 22 to 47. (more than doubled)
3)New urban industrial centers sprang up. London, England became the largest city in
the Western world.
4)Manchester, England became the center of the textile (clothing) industry. The port city
of Liverpool exported English goods around the world. It was connected to
Manchester by railroad.
5)In industrial northern England, many migrant workers felt displaced. Many came to
form a “bond’ with their new home by indentifying with the local “football” team.
6)In the United States, immigrants arrived in waves. They provided “cheap” labor for
7)Wave #1 of American immigrants were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (W.A.S.P.s)
from northern and western Europe. Wave #2 were Africans. The first African
arrived in the Americas in 1619, a year before the “Pilgrims” landed on Plymouth rock.
8)Immigration Wave #3 included the Irish and Chinese during the 1840s, both escaping
famines in their native lands. Both these groups helped to build American railroads.
9)Wave #4, from 1880-1920 were from southern and eastern Europe.
Over 35 million immigrants came to America during this time period.
10)Today’s “wave” (1980-today) came mostly from the Americas and Asia.
Immigrants historically have provided “cheap” labor for American industry.
11)Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania became known as America’s “steel city.” Chicago, Illinois
became a railroad hub of” middle” America and center of the meat-packing industry.
12)Cities grew haphazardly, with no central planning. Sewage and lack of clean water
led to health hazards. Cholera was a deadly water born disease. Tuberculosis was a
dangerous air borne disease. Pollution and crime were other social problems.
13)Lack of building and planning codes or laws led to overcrowding, Many crowded into
high-rise apartment buildings called tenements.
14)Workers worked long hours, an average of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
15There were many unregulated work-place dangers. Power ‘boilers” might explode
or machines might take-off body parts. There were poor working conditions
for women and children. Children were used to work in dangerous mines.
Response to Industrialization – Romanticism
16)Romanticism was a reaction against the “modern” and “cold” nature of machines and
technology.. Enlightenment thinkers emphasized order, harmony, reason and
emotional restraint. Romanticism appealed to emotion rather than reason.
17)Romantic literature included simple, direct, intense feelings and a glorification of nature. Romantic “heroes” included mysterious, sad characters who “felt out of step” with “modern” society. They often had “secrets” that led to a tragic destiny or end.
18)Romantic music tried to stir deep emotions. Painters broke free from the discipline and strict rules of “classical”painting, trying to capture the beauty and power of nature
19)A famous Romantic painting is Frenchmen’s Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading
“the People”, with the “goddess” of liberty carrying the revolutionary “Tricolor” flag as French citizens rally towards “liberty” with violent energy and emotion.
The Rise of “Capitalism”
20)Mercantilism involved the government regulation of business for the state’s interests.
21)Adam Smith’s book The Wealth of Nations (1776) promoted economics by “natural
law”. He defended the ideal of a “free market” driven by the “invisible hand” of
individual consumer supply and demand. Industry would make (supply) what
people wanted (demanded) to buy
22)This ”laissez-faire” (from the French “let it be”) economic system was called
“capitalism”. Laissez faire implied no “interference” from government (i.e. taxes and
regulation) with privately owned industry and business.
23)Economic freedom (from government) resulted in massive economic growth.
The expansion of commerce around the world helped create a “global” economy.
24)Economic growth (“progress”) brought “problems”, such as economic inequalities.
The Effects of Capitalism – Economic Inequalities
25)David Ricardo’s 1817 book “Principles of Political Economy and Taxation” reasoned
in a free market system with many workers, labor and resources would be cheap.
This worker “oversupply” would lead to a perpetually poor “underclass”.
26)Ricardo opposed government efforts to help poor workers. Government regulation
would upset the free market, lower profits and undermine the wealth and prosperity of
collective society. Ricardo thought an individual’s hard work and savings was the
best solution to inequalities of wealth.
Response to Capitalism – Communism
27)In 1844, German Friedrich Engels observed the working class districts of
Manchester, England. In “The Condition of the Working Class in England”,
Engels described the filth and misery where workers lived.
28)Engels teamed up with another German, Karl Marx, to produce a critique of the
effects of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution.
29)Marx and Engels’ social philosophy stated that economics was the driving force of
history. (not race, politics, nation or religion) History was primarily the
economic struggle between “haves” (industry owners and the “middle” class)
and “have nots”, the “proletariat” working class exploited by the “haves”.
30)Marx hated capitalism for creating prosperity for only a few and poverty for the many.
31)The Communist Manifesto (1848) by Marx and Engels asked, “workers unite to overthrow your oppressors.” After violent, worldwide revolution, a utopian, class-less,
“communist” society would eventually end economic inequality and exploitation.
32)A “dictatorship of the proletariat” would eventually emerge to rule the world.
33)For Marxists, elimination of private property and total state ownership/regulation of
industry by a state-run “command” economy would eliminate economic injustices.
34)Eventually communist Marxism would come to clash with laissez faire Capitalism.
(e.g. The “Cold War”). This war of economic systems continues to this day.