The Industrial Revolution a new kind of revolution Introduction

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The Industrial Revolution

  • A new kind of revolution


  • What was revolutionary about the Industrial Revolution?
    • It changed the way people worked!
  • The Industrial Revolution is the era when power-driven machinery was developed.
    • What power-driven machines do you use in your everyday life?

Causes of the Industrial Revolution


  • The Agrarian Revolution
  • A population explosion
  • A revolution in energy

Agrarian Revolution

  • Famers improved livestock breeding and created better varieties of crops
  • Jethro Tull invented the seed drill
    • Made planting grain more efficient
  • Enclosure movement
    • Wealthy farmers bought up land and combined small fields to created larger, fenced-in fields
    • Allowed for more efficient farming methods
    • Kicked poor famers off their land
  • Crop rotation
    • Rotated crops to prevent a field from losing all of its important minerals

Population Growth

  • Greater food supply led to a population boom
  • Poor famers moved into cities
  • Human numbers through the ages

The Energy Revolution

  • From the beginning of history, the physical labor of humans and animals provided energy for work
  • This all changed when we began to harness the power of water and coal
  • In 1769 James Watt developed the steam engine powered by coal
    • This invention would run the machines of the Industrial Revolution
  • James Watt and his steam engine design

Britain starts the Industrial Revolution

Britain leads the way

Exploration and colonization

  • Exploration and colonization
    • Colonies around the world provided raw materials
    • Colonies also became new markets for finished goods
  • Geography
    • As an island, Britain had many natural harbors and rivers that could be used for trade, transportation, and a power source for factories.
    • Britain also had an abundance of coal and iron.

Political stability

  • Political stability
    • Britain had a strong, stable government that supported businessmen. The powerful British navy also protected overseas trade.
  • Growth of private investment
    • Because of their huge overseas empire the British had a very strong economy. Wealthy middle-class Englishmen invested their money in mines, railroads, inventions, and factories.

Factors of Production

    • Great Britian had all three factors of production:
      • Land
        • Natural resources like coal, rivers, harbors, etc.
      • Labor
        • A growing population that made a willing workforce
      • Capitol
        • Funds for investment from wealthy citizens

Advances of the Industrial Revolution


  • Before the Industrial Revolution, spinners and weavers made clothing at home by hand. Cotton was spun into thread, and then woven into cloth. Later the cloth was dyed by an artisan.
  • This was known as the cottage industry, or domestic system, which was very slow.

Textiles: Inventions

  • The old ways of making cloth were completely transformed with industrialization
    • Flying shuttle- John Kay
    • Spinning Jenny- James Hargreaves
    • Water frame- Richard Arkwright
    • Spinning Mule- Samuel Crompton
  • Flying shuttle- John Kay
    • Hand-operated
    • Wove cloth more quickly
  • Spinning Jenny- James Hargreaves
    • One person could spin 16 threads at once
  • Water frame- Richard Arkwright
    • Faster, water-powered spinner

Spinning Mule- Samuel Crompton

  • Spinning Mule- Samuel Crompton
    • Fastest of all, produced the best thread


  • Because the spinning mule needed water power to function, producers set up factories with water wheels along streams.
  • Factory – place where workers and machines are brought together to produce large quantities of goods.

Mass Production

  • The system of manufacturing large numbers of identical items
    • Made possible by interchangeable parts and the assembly line
      • Interchangeable parts: identical, machine-made parts
      • Assembly line: production moves from worker to worker, items made more quickly


  • In the early 1800s George Stephenson developed steam-powered locomotives to pull carts along rails. Railroads increased trade and industry, and connected Britain from one end to the other


  • In 1807 Robert Fulton, an American, used Watt’s steam engine to power a boat up the Hudson River.

Effects of the Industrial Revolution


  • During the Industrial Revolution, people moved from villages and towns into cities
  • Urbanization: movement of people to cities
  • Garbage filled overcrowded city streets and disease spread

“It was a town of red brick, or brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but, as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black, like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves forever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal, and a river ran purple with ill-smelling dye.”

  • “It was a town of red brick, or brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but, as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black, like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves forever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal, and a river ran purple with ill-smelling dye.”
          • Charles Dickens, Hard Times

Poor Working Conditions

  • Factory conditions were very harsh. Men, women, and even children worked 12 to 16 hours a day
  • Work was monotonous and boring, and could also be dangerous and unhealthy
  • Women were hired because they could be paid less than men
  • Children were hired by textile mills and mines because of their size

New Class Structure

  • Upper class: rich, industrial business owners
  • Upper middle class: professionals like doctors and lawyers
  • Lower middle class: teachers, shop owners, office workers
  • Working class: factory workers

New Class Structure

  • Impact on Women
    • Middle class women
      • Enjoyed more economic opportunities
      • Greater access to education
      • Affected by idea of “separate spheres”
    • Working-class women
      • Separated from families
      • Found jobs because more people could afford to hire them
      • Some or no improvement to status

New ideas about economics

  • The problems caused by the Industrial Revolution caused many to look for solutions. While some believed the market would eventually fix the problems, others believed there should be a change in government.

Laissez-faire Economics

  • The idea that government should not interfere with business- “free to do”
  • Adam Smith
    • Wealth of Nations
    • Father of economics
    • Promoted laissez-faire capitalism (means of production privately owned for profit)
  • Smith argued that free market forces of supply and demand would produce more goods at lower prices
    • It would also encourage investors to invest money in new ideas
  • Claimed that the “invisible hand” of capitalism would lead individuals to work for their own good and the good of the entire community
  • Thomas Malthus
    • In his 1798 Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus predicted that population growth would outpace food supply
    • Warned that the poor would suffer from starvation and that the only option was to have fewer children
    • His predictions didn’t come true: food supply grew faster than the population


  • A system in which the people as a whole rather than private individuals own all property and operate all businesses


  • Socialists claimed that industrial capitalism had made a large gap between the rich and the poor


  • Socialists cared less about individual ownership rights, and more about the interests of society

Utopian Socialism

  • Sought to create self-sufficient communities where all property and work would be shared, and fighting would end
  • Robert Owen set up a utopian community in Scotland
    • Provided housing fair wages, education


  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels promoted “scientific socialism” in their work The Communist Manifesto


  • A form of socialism that sees class struggle between employers and employees and inevitable
  • History was a class struggle between the bourgeoisie (wealthy capitalists) and the proletariat (working class)


  • The proletariat would eventually revolt and create their own classless society
  • 1917 revolt in Russia set up the first communist state

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