Notes- ch 26: The Industrial Revolution and Social Reforms

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NOTES- ch 26: The Industrial Revolution and Social Reforms
Main Idea – Industrial Revolution started in England and soon spread to other countries

Significance Today: Changes that began in Britain paved the way for modern industrial societies
Industrial Revolution – the greatly increased output of machine-made goods that began in England (Britain) in the middle 1700’s.
Agricultural Revolution:

  • Paves the way for industrial revolution

  • Enclosures –

    • One of the fenced in or hedged in fields created by wealthy British landowners on land that was formerly worked by village farmers

    • Landowners experimented with more productive seeding and harvesting methods

    • Results of enclosure –

      • Landowners tried new agricultural methods

      • Forced small farmers to become tenant farmers or move to cities

  • Jethro Tull

    • Seed drill invented in 1701

      • Allowed farmers to sow seeds in well spaced rows at specific depths

  • Robert Blakewell

    • Increased mutton (sheep meat) output by allowing only his best sheep to breed

  • Results of Agricultural Revolution

    • Food supplies increased

    • England’s (Britain) population increases

    • Increased population increased the demand for food and goods (such as cloth)

    • As farmers lost their lands to large enclosed farms, many became factory workers

Why the Industrial Revolution Began in England:

  • Large population of workers

  • Extensive natural resources

    • Water power and coal to fuel the new machines

    • Iron ore to construct machines, tools and buildings

    • Rivers for inland transportation

    • Harbors from which merchants ships set sail

  • Expanding economy to support industrialization

  • Political stability

  • Factors of production

    • Resources needed to produce goods and services

      • Land

      • Labor

      • Capital (wealth)

Industrialization – the process of developing machine production of goods
Inventions Spur Industrialization –

  • First industry to be transformed was textile industry

  • Inventions:

    • John Kay’s “Flying Shuttle” – a shuttle that sped back and forth on wheels;

    • James Hargreaves’ “Spinning Jenny”

      • spinning wheel that allowed one spinner to work eight threads at a time

    • Richard Arkwright’s “water frame”

      • this machine used waterpower from rapid streams to drive spinning wheels

    • Samuel Crompton ‘s “spinning mule”

      • combined features of spinning jenny and water frame

      • made thread that was stronger, finer and more consistent than earlier spinning machines

These inventions were bulky /expensive and took the work of spinning/weaving out of the house and into large buildings called factories.
Eli Whitney – American invented the cotton gin in 1793

  • this invention increased the amount of cotton that could be cleaned

  • England’s cotton game from the American South so this impacted the textile industry in Britain (England)

Improvements in Transportation

  • Watt’s Steam Engine

    • James Watt (1765) figured out way to make steam engines work faster and more efficient

  • Robert Fulton

    • American who built a steamboat called the Clermont; used steam engine from Watt (and Boulton)

    • Clermont ferried passengers up and down New York’s Hudson River

  • Canals

    • Human-made Waterways; by mid-1800’s in England, 4,250 miles of inland channels slashed the cost of transporting raw materials and finished goods

  • Roads

    • John McAdam, Scottish engineer

      • Equipped roads with layer of large stones for drainage, then placed a layer of smooth layer of crushed rock on top (“macadam”)

        • Made wagon travel easier because they could travel over new roads without sinking in mud

    • Profit investors

      • Formed companies that built roads and operated them for profit

      • Called turnpikes or turnstiles

Entrepreneur a person who organizes, manages, and takes on the risks of a business
Railway Age Begins:

Steam driven machinery powered English factories in the late 1700’s; Railroad locomotive drove English industry after 1820

  • Richard Trevithick – 1804

    • Won bet by hauling ten tons of iron over nearly ten miles of track in a steam driven locomotive

  • George Stephenson - 1821

    • Starts work on first railroad line

      • To run 27 miles from Yorkshire coal mines to port of Stockton on North Sea

      • Completed in 1825

  • Liverpool- Manchester Railroad

    • 1830 – Connected the Port of Liverpool with the inland city of Manchester

Major effects of railroads in Britain:

  • Spurred industrial growth by providing manufactures with a cheap way to transport materials and finished products

  • Created hundreds of thousands of new jobs for railroad workers and miners

  • Boosted agricultural and fishing industries

  • Easier travel encouraged people in country to take jobs in distant cities

Main Idea: The factory system changed the way people lived and worked, introducing a variety of problems.

Importance Today : Many less-developed countries are undergoing the difficult process of industrialization today.
Urbanization – the growth of cities and the migration of people into them

Middle class – social class made up of skilled workers, professionals, businesspeople and wealthy farmers
Industrialization Changes Life

  • 1800’s – people could earn higher wages in factories than on farms

  • Population shifts from rural areas to cities

    • Factory system – where the manufacturing of goods was concentrated in a central location

    • Most of Europe’s urban areas doubled in population, some quadrupled

      • London – Europe’s largest city; Period of urbanization

  • Factories

      • Develop in clusters; built near energy sources

      • Leeds/Manchester – textile manufacturing; Birmingham/ Sheffield – iron-smelting centers

  • Living Conditions

    • England’s cities grew rapidly

      • No development plans, sanitary codes or building codes; lacked adequate housing, education, police protection

      • Most unpaved streets had no drains and garbage collected in heaps on them

      • Workers lived in dark, dirty shelters, families often crowed into one bedroom

        • Sickness widespread; cholera epidemics in slums of Great Britain

      • City life expectancy (1842 study) 17 years for working class; 38 years for rural areas

    • Wealthy merchants and factory owners often lived in luxurious homes in suburbs

  • Working Conditions

    • Average worker worked 14 hours day, 6 days a week

    • Factories often not well-lit or clean

    • Machines injured workers ( no government assistance if injured)

    • Coal mines most dangerous

      • Often employed children and women

Class Tensions Grow

The Industrial Revolution created enormous amounts of wealth in the nation. Most of this new money belonged to factory owners, shippers and merchants (middle class).

  • Middle class – transformed the social structure of great Britain

    • Landowners no longer the wealthiest; looked down on those who made money in the “vulgar” business world

    • Upper middle class – government employees, doctors, lawyers, managers of factories-mines and shops

    • Lower Middle class – factory overseers and skilled workers – toolmakers, printers and mechanical drafters

  • Working class – laborers

    • Saw little improvement in their living and working conditions; saw livelihoods disappear as machines replaced them

      • Attached whole factories in northern England beginning in 1811

      • Outside mobs of workers rioted mainly because of poor living and working conditions

Positive Effects of the Industrial Revolution

  • Created jobs for workers

  • Contributed to wealth of nation

  • Fostered technological progress and invention; increased the production of goods and raised the standard of living

  • Healthier diets/better housing

  • Cheaper mass produced clothing

  • Demand for engineers, clerical and professional workers

    • Labor unions (eventually labors won higher wages, shorter working hours, better working conditions)

  • Long term effects

    • Most people today in industrialized countries can afford consumer goods that used to be luxuries

    • Working conditions are better today than in the 19th century

    • Increased tax revenues from profits of industrialization

Industrial Development in the United States:

Other countries began to industrialize after Great Britain. The United States was one of the first. Like Britain, the US had a great deal of coal and water to create power. There was also plenty of iron. In addition, the immigrants that came to the US created a large supply of workers. The US also benefited from conflict with Britain. During the War of 1812, Britain stopped shipping goods to the USA. As a result, American industrialists began to make many of the goods that Americans wanted.

In the United States, industrialization began in the textile industry. In 1789, Samuel Slater, a British worker, brought the secret of Britain’s textile machines to North America. Slater built a machine to spin thread. In 1813, a group of Massachusetts investors built textile factories in Waltham, Massachusetts. Just a few years later they built even more factories in the Massachusetts town of Lowell. Thousands of workers, mostly young girls, came to these towns to work in the factories.

American industry first grew in the Northeast. In the last decades of the 1800s, industrial growth spread to other areas of the nation. This boom was fueled by large supplies of coal, oil, and iron. New inventions, including the electric light, also helped. As in Britain, a railroad building was also a big part of American industrial growth. Businesses needed huge sums of money to do big projects. To raise money, companies sold stock. Stocks are shares of ownership in a company. All those who held stock were part owners of the company. This form of business organization is called a corporation.

Industrialization Reaches Continental Europe:

Industrial growth also spread from England to the European continent. Belgium was the first to industrialize. It was rich in iron and coal and had good waterways. Germany was divided politically until the late 1800s. As a result, it did not develop much industry at first. However, the Ruhr Valley in Western Germany was rich in coal. The Ruhr Valley eventually became a leading industrial region. Across Europe, small areas began to change to the new industries. Industrial growth did not occur in France until after 1850. The government then began to build a large network of railroads. Some countries, such as Austria-Hungary and Spain, faced transportation problems that supported them from industrializing.

Industrialization in Japan:

With the beginning of the Meiji Era in Japan in 1868, the central government began an ambitious program to transform the country into an industrialized state. It financed textile mills, coal mines, shipyards, and cement and other factories. It also asked private companies to invest in industry. Some companies had been in business since the 1600s. But new companies sprang up too. Among them was the Mitsubishi Company, founded in 1870 and still in business. The industrializing of Japan produced sustained economic growth for the country. But it also led to strengthening the military and to Japanese imperialism in Asia.

Worldwide Impact of Industrialization:

The Industrial Revolution changed the world. Countries that industrialized gained more wealth and power than those that did not. The countries of Europe soon began to take advantage of lands in Africa and Asia. The Europeans wanted to use these lands as sources of raw materials for their factories. European merchants saw the people on other continents as little more than markets for European goods. The European nations took control of the lands in many areas of the world outside of Europe. This practice is called imperialism.

Effects of the Industrial Revolution




  • New inventions and development of factories

  • Rapidly growing industry in the 1800s

  • Increased production and higher demand for raw materials.

  • Growth of worldwide trade.

  • Population explosion and expanding labor force.

  • Exploitation of mineral resources.

  • Highly developed banking and investment systems.

  • Advances in transportation, agriculture, and communication.

  • Increase in population in cities.

  • Lack of city planning.

  • Loss of family stability.

  • Expansion of middle class.

  • Harsh conditions for laborers, including children.

  • Workers’ progress vs. laissez-faire economic attitudes.

  • Improved standard of living.

  • Creation of new jobs.

  • Encouragement of technological progress.

  • Child labor laws to end abuses.

  • Reformers urging equal distribution of wealth.

  • Trade unions formed.

  • Social reform movements, such as utilitarianism, utopianism, socialism, and Marxism.

  • Reform bills in Parliament and Congress.

Laissez Faire- economic theory that argues that government should not interfere with business affairs.

Capitalism- economic system in which people invest money to make a profit.

Socialism- belief that businesses should be owned by society as a whole.

Communism- a form of socialism in which all production is owned by the people.

Utilitarianism- a belief that an idea is only as good as it is useful.

Union- organized groups of workers that bargain with business owners to get better pay and working conditions.

Collective Bargaining- negotiations between workers and their employers.

Strike- an organized refusal to work.

Adam Smith- a philosopher who defended laissez faire economics.

Karl Marx- an economic thinker who wrote about a radical form of socialism.
Impact of Industrialization:

  1. Shifted the world balance of power.

  2. Promoted competition among industrialized nations.

  3. Increased the poverty level in less developed nations.

Philosophers of Industrialization

  1. Laissez-Faire Economics

  • Criticized the idea of nations getting rich by taxing foreign goods.

    • Government regulation would interfere with the production of wealth.

    • Governments should allow free trade so the economy can prosper.

  • Adam Smith- professor at the University of Glasgow in Scotland

  1. Capitalism

  • Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)

    • argued that the population increased quicker than the food supply and that most people are poor.

  • David Ricardo wrote Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817)

    • workers and abundant resources make labor cheaper; wages would be forced down as the population increased.

  • Opposed government efforts to help poor workers

  • Minimum wages and better working conditions would upset the free market system, lower profits, and undermine businesses.

Rise of Socialism

  • Other theorists believed that the government SHOULD intervene/regulate business

  • Wealthy people and government must take action to improve people’s lives

  1. Utilitarianism

  • Jeremy Bentham- English philosopher

    • People should judge ideas, institutions, and actions on the basis of their usefulness

    • Governments should promote the GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE.

  • John Stuart Mill- philosopher/economist

    • Policies are needed to help ordinary people

    • There should be more equal division of profits

    • Supported the co-op system, agriculture, and women’s rights

    • Pushed for legal, prison, and education reforms

  1. Utopian Ideas

  • Robert Owen- British factory owner who improved working conditions for his employees

    • Built houses with low rents

    • Provided free schooling

      • Did not allow children under the age of 10 to work in the factory

    • In 1825 he founded a co-op community in New Harmony, Indiana as a “utopia”

  1. Socialism/Marxism

  • Believed the government should actively plan the economy rather than relying on free-market capitalism.

    • The government should control factories, mines, and railroads so that everyone could share in the wealth.

  • Karl Marx- German journalist who wrote The Communist Manifesto

    • Human societies have always been divided into two opposing classes, the “haves” (employers-bourgeoisie) and the “have nots” (workers- “proletariats”)

    • The rich get richer and the poor get poorer while doing all of the work.

      • Believed the capitalism system that spurred the Industrial Revolution would destroy itself

      • Factories would drive out small artisans and only a small number of manufacturers would control all the wealth.

      • The proletariats would revote and seize control of the factories/mills

        • Workers would then share the profits equally.

        • The workers would control the government.

        • The state/government could fade out and a new “classless society” would develop.

  • Marx’ beliefs are often called “pure communism”

    • 1900s- Marxism inspired revolutions in Russia (Lenin), China (Mao Zedong), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) and Cuba (Fidel Castro).


  • By the 1800s, workers began forming unions in order to get better pay and working conditions.

    • They used the strategies of collective bargaining and strikes to accomplish their goals and get what they wanted.

  • They had a slow start in Great Britain and the USA because the government/employers saw unions as a threat to social order.

    • 1866- several small American unions joined together to form the American Federation of Labor (AFL), a very large, powerful union.

Reform Movements

  1. Work Reform

  • Factory Act of 1833 (GB)- made changes to child labor.

    • Made it illegal to hire children younger than 9 years old

    • Children between 9 and 12 years old could only work 8 hours a day

    • Children between 13 and 17 years old could not work more than 12 hours.

  • 1842 Mines Act (GB)- prevented women and children from working underground.

  • Ten Hour Act of 1847 (GB)- limited the workday of all women and children factory workers to 10 hours.

  • National Child Labor Committee 1904 (US)- banned child labor and established maximums for working hours.

  1. Abolition and Slavery

  • A fight to end the practice of slavery on both moral and economic reasons.

    • USA- abolished in 1864

    • Puerto Rico- abolished in 1873

    • Cuba- abolished in 1886

    • Brazil- abolished in 1888

  1. Women’s Rights

  • Factory work allowed women to work outside of the home.

    • Women who worked earned more money than the women who worked from the home, but generally made only one-third what men made for the same job.

    • 1850s: all-women unions were formed

  • Women who joined other reform movements began fighting for more rights for themselves

    • 1848- Seneca Falls Convention in NY (Declaration of Sentiments)

    • 1888- International Council for Women; attended by women from 27 countries

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