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Industrial revolution the social, economic and changes in human life cycle

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016


In this report, I will be concentrating on Industrial Revolution that happened in Britain between late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. However, the report will be based mostly on cotton as the part of the first Kondratiev Wave. This report is derived from Eric Hobsbawm’s book of Industrial and Empire, chapter three, the Industrial Revolution 1780-1840.

Industrial Revolution can be describe as the social, economic and changes in human life cycle that was compiled in written documentary evidence by some historians all over and around the global. No one knew exactly how cotton was grown. Britain’s Industrial Revolution was mainly cotton, from the observation from around hundreds industries in Britain. There are activities like, coal and irons.

Industry and Empire: The Industrial Revolution 1780 – 1840 by Eric John Hobsbawm.

Purchased from John Smith, UEL Docklands campus east building on ground floor.

The Industrial Evolution is development in human life cycle that was established between early eighteenth and late nineteenth centuries in city of Manchester in Britain. The early stages of Britain Industrial Revolution were mainly Cotton, which were turning into textile for making cloths. It was really booming at the time. No one knew exactly how cotton was grown. Cotton was producing in the family house as business before moving into factories. Women and children were employed in cotton factories business because they were cheap. There was other machinery like Iron work and coal mines. Production of cotton was break down into four group stages, preparation, spanning, weaving and finishing. Cotton was product in India and America. Britain import cotton from them before exporting them.

In 1838, Manchester and Salford has steampower engine at least three times as Birmingham.

Introduction of new technology was introduced into cotton industries in 1786. Britain cotton was the best in the world in it’s time and

In 1764, spanning Jenny was invented by James Hargreaves. Spinning Jenny

Lecture: 17 Origin of the Industrial Revolution in England by Steven Kreis. http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture17a.html

I used Yahoo search engine and keyword used is origin of the industrial revolution in England. I got 3,850,000 hits, it wasn’t bad search engine. I still think I preferred Google to any other search, may be because I’m used to it. Google is well structured and you don’t get all other junks website. You tell by the search results.

The Origins of the Industrial Revolution in England

The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries not only modernised and significantly increased productivity, raising the standard of living, but it also brought about social change which revolutionised the English way of life, having a profound effect upon the whole population. It later spread to Europe and then to America. The Industrial Revolution created the working-class from the peasant farmers, and also a new wealthier middle-class. It was the origin of modern Western capitalist society. Beginning with the Textile Industry, England became the first industrialised nation, declaring itself to be the “Workshop of the World”.

Men such as Frances Bacon (1561-1626) had had visions about the use of machines to release men from the constant labour of producing the necessities of life. These labour-saving devices would free man from toiling on the land and produce a new labour force. What we know as Science, would provide solutions to practical problems and this was the start of modern technology and a new social structure. A machine could do the work of many men in a fraction of the time. This gave rise to a great period of invention and progress. It also gave cash and making of profit, a new importance that often resulted in the exploitation of the workforce.

The Industrial Revolution brought about the great change from the traditional agrarian society to that of a modern industrial economy but this change was not as rapid as it would be today, but took place over almost a century. Some areas developed rapidly such as in the north of England where the textile industry expanded quickly due to advances in textile technology but other areas remained rural and engaged in subsistence farming for a long period.

A revolution in agriculture at the beginning of the 17th century preceded the Industrial Revolution and gave it impetus. For some time, farmers had been adopting new farming methods, experimenting with new crops, irrigation, fertilisation and the rotation of crops. Higher yields resulted and subsequently food prices were reduced. This meant that people had more money to spend on manufactured goods. Other factors contributing to the agricultural revolution were the invention of new technology and the adoption of machinery as well as the enclosure of land. Formerly, peasant farmers worked for their landlord and

rented strips of land for growing their own food. Landlords realized that the land could be better managed and produce a greater profit if all the strips of land and sometimes the common grazing land, was enclosed in large fields. They lobbied Parliament to pass the enclosure acts. These acts were strongly resisted but eventually their enforcement created a land- less working class who, forced out of the rural areas, migrated to the towns to find work in the new factories.

The industry that developed and expanded most rapidly during the 18th century was the textile industry. This started as a cottage industry known as the putting -out system whereby merchants would deliver raw materials to workers in their own homes. Wool and later cotton were cleaned and spun. The merchant would collect the yarn and then deliver it to the weavers. The system was well organised but a huge rise in population in the 18th century led to demand for textile goods outstripping supply. This shortage caused people to look for ways to speed up the process and resulted in the invention of new technology. James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny and Richard Arkwright invented the water frame which greatly improved the spinning process. Hargreaves invention was hand powered but the water frame required the purpose-built factories located by water supplies. These new factories employed hundreds of workers and output greatly increased. Cotton goods became cheaper and more readily available.

The invention of the steam engine developed by James Watt was a significant factor in the expansion of the textile industry. It replaced waterpower and had the advantage of allowing factories to be located anywhere. It was also used to develop the iron industry and the railroads. The railroads improved communication and the distribution of goods. With good infrastructure in place, England was able to develop commerce and began to export manufactured goods all over the world thus becoming the first industrialised nation.

Website is produced by The History Guide and I believe it is there for the usefulness of students, teachers and individuals which particular have interest in history.

The website has a high value of understanding for students, lecturers and individuals that are willing to learn more about history. However, It is very useful for IS1103 researchers.

Information on this web source is very reliable and useful for all. It is not like Wikipedia, that anyone can access and add own information onto it.

Industrial Revolution by Joseph A. Montagna, http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/2/81.02.06.x.html

I used Google search engine and the key word used is Industrial Revolution in Britain (cotton) site:.edu. I received 11,500 hits. I found google very useful, and it is the most common search engine used by lot of people. It is good engine for moral and academic research.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution takes up to a period of nearly a century of great evolution in England’s social history. Beginning in 1760, mainly rural and agricultural population eventually became urban and industrialised. Banking on discoveries made long before, advancements in agriculture, manufacturing and transportation led to new economic policies and a new social structure. New techniques in agriculture led to an increase in the supply of food and raw materials for manufacturing and new technology led to increased production and increased commerce both in England and overseas.

Before the Industrial Revolution, most people were engaged in farming for food production and some raw materials, mainly wool, for the textile industry. The enclosure of common land and improved practices of crop rotation led to greater fertility of the land resulting in increased yields. Wooden farming implements were replaced with stronger metal ones and people began to use new farming methods and study new ideas about the breeding of animals, control of pests, irrigation and the production of new crops. Horses replaced oxen as a more efficient source of power. The result was that food was produced more abundantly and effectively enabling or forcing many people to leave the countryside and find work in industry.

Before the start of the Industrial Revolution, the production of textiles was a cottage industry carried out part time by people in their own homes. The various production processes such as sorting, carding, dyeing, spinning, weaving and finishing were often done by women and children. Wool was obtained locally but cotton and silk were imported. The merchants had to distribute the raw materials to workers scattered all over the countryside so the industry before mechanisation was inefficient.

By the early 1700s, new inventions, resisted at first by the workforce, began to modernise the textile industry. The flying shuttle invented by John Kay, allowed one person to do the work of two and the roller spinner made spinning more efficient. By 1760, many other inventions including James Hargreaves spinning jenny had been introduced. Richard Arkwright built a factory at Cromford using water power. It employed 600 people, many women and children who were paid lower wages. It was a model for other factories which sprang up around the countryside.

Coal mining was very dangerous in the 18th and 19th centuries. One particularly dangerous job was that of the fireman who had to crawl through the tunnels with a lighted candle to explode any gases which accumulated. Coal was removed from the mine in baskets carried by men, women and children. Later, the use of ponies and carts on rails speeded up the process. Improved ventilation in the tunnels, better transportation and the use of safety lamps eventually led to improved working conditions. Another advance was the use of gunpowder which was a more efficient means of blasting the coal seam and led to increased production.

Abraham Darby was able to use coke to smelt pig iron. Formerly, charcoal had been used causing much of the country’s’ forests to be cut down. Darby’s method produced iron which was brittle and impure but new techniques were discovered which resulted in high quality iron for use in building and manufacturing.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, canals and rivers had been used to transport goods and raw materials but with the rapid growth of industrial centres, faster, more efficient ways were needed to transport raw materials, finished goods, food and people and also keeping down costs and improving communication. By the middle of the 18th century, merchants and industrialists financed the building of canals linking the industrial centres. Soon after, the canals were superseded by the railways.

Between 1804 and 1820 engineers were involved with the development of the steam engine. Famous among them was George Stevenson who built the first public railroad between Stockton and Darlington. In 1829, Stevenson’s steam engine, the “Rocket” won a competition sponsored by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to find the best locomotive. The railroads began to expand rapidly overtaking the canal system, and technological advances in the used of steam-power was one of the greatest achievements of the period. James Watt invented the steam engine which replaced water powered machinery in industry as well as the railways.

The 18th century saw a period population growth partly due to improved diet. People were able to move about and began settling around the factories providing a labour force. This attracted more factories for steam power meant they no longer had to be situated where there was a source of water to drive the machinery. Rapid growth of towns without proper planning meant that they were overcrowded, dirty and lacking sanitation. Industrialisation brought about great wealth which was no longer solely in the hands of the aristocracy. Lack of credit facilities caused cash flow problems for the industrialists eventually leading to the establishment of a banking system for the country. Factory workers and their families lived and worked in appalling conditions, often working for up to fourteen hours a day. Eventually, Factory Acts were introduced to regulate and improve conditions but it was many years before the workers united to form trade unions to establish and protect their rights.

Website was built by The Yale- New Haven Teachers Institute. It is very educational for both teachers and students, even for an individual who wish to learn and understanding social and cultural development.

It is very suitable for this course; I will recommend it to my fellow colleague students for their research. The website also points and directs you to go to other sites and books for more Information you need to know.

Website is very in a way that you can not make any alteration or changes to it. I believe information’s on it are all up-to-date and was compiled from one of the top historian writer ‘Charles Dickens’.


There are many significant and different ways to compare both book and web sources. Books are very good for colleges and universities research.

  • Advantages are: books are well compiled in writing evidence by series historians and writers, and can not be altered without owner’s permissions. Owner will be notified, and if any slight changes corrections will be included in the next editions.
  • Disadvantages will be, carry lot of books around and if barrowed from library and got lost or damage, you will have to take up the consequences and responsibilities.
  • Advantages of the internet will be, easy browsing and navigating from one page to another, well structured and easy to access anywhere in the world provided there is broadband provider.
  • Disadvantages of the internet will be easy access for anybody to make alterations and changes. It may also delay course work, if there is a problem with broadband line. Website can go down at any time or the website that was accessed yesterday may go down due to domain subscription to service provider etc.

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