Untold Facts about the Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution was a period from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Mechanization, industrial production, and social change developed rapidly.
Two stages of the industrial revolution
The first phase of the Industrial Revolution (1770-1870)-centered on the transfer of steam, water, iron and agriculture.
The second phase of the Industrial Revolution (1870-1914)-new technologies for electric power, development of gasoline engines, increased use of petroleum and cheap steel.
The main characteristics of the industrial revolution Demographic shift-transfer from rural agriculture to urban factory work.
Mass-produce merchandise, increase efficiency, reduce average costs, and achieve more production.
Rising steam power for steam trains, railways and steam powered machines.
Industrial and scientific discoveries revolutionized our understanding of the physical world.
Rapid industrialization has come at a price in terms of pollution and harsh working conditions.
Reasons for the Industrial Revolution
New technologies have greatly increased the speed of transportation of people and goods. The first intercity railway between Liverpool and Manchester was built in 1830. Rail allows more goods to be transported cheaply and quickly.
In 1700, the journey from London to Manchester took four days, and by 1870 it took four hours.
Application of steam engine. The development of the steam engine was crucial to the industrial revolution. It makes steam trains, as well as steam-powered pumps and machines possible, thereby increasing labor productivity.
The agricultural revolution enabled fewer farm workers to obtain higher food production, which resulted in excess workers being able to work in factories. This revolution in agriculture is due to new technologies such as crop rotation, breeding, economies of scale and better transportation on larger farms.
Global trade growth. Thanks to Britain’s effective transport capacity and empire, the latter is a source of raw materials.
Important discoveries/inventions in the Industrial Revolution
- Edmund Cartwright’s power loom (1787) enabled mass production of cloth.
- Steam engine (developed by James Watt 1760s) further transformed the cotton industry and later steam trains.
- Smelting iron. A new method of producing iron, developed by Abraham Darby (1678-1717). This new method used coke rather than charcoal and enabled higher production. Iron was used for building and railways.
- Steam train. Richard Trevithick invented the first working steam train 1806. George Stephenson’s Rocket 1829, important for convincing people of the potential of steam trains.
- Machine tools. Prior to the industrial revolution, metal was fashioned by hand, which was very labour intensive. Machine tools, such as cylinder boring tools and the milling machine, enabled mass production of things like cylinders for steam trains.
- Chemicals. Chemicals, such as Sulphuric acid and sodium carbonate was important in many industrial processes, such as bleaching cloth, and other products, such as soap, and paper.
- Cement. Portland cement was important in new engineering products, such as the Thames tunnel.
- Tarmacked roads. Thomas Telford and John Macadam developed better roads, with firm foundations, drainage and a smooth surface.
- Telegraph Wire – 1837 invented by Samuel Morse
- Bicycle – 1839 –
- See also: Famous inventions
Problems of the Industrial Revolution
- Pollution was a major problem in the industrial revolution, caused by burning coal, high population density and no regulations on factories.
- The West Midlands became known as the ‘Black Country’ because of its landscape of dark foundries, furnaces and smoky atmosphere.
- Average life expectancy in 1837 was in the high 30s(1). But, it was lower for those working in factories.
- Child labour. Many children worked long hours for very low pay. They were also susceptible to maimed limbs, poor health and early death.
- Higher concentration of workers in new mill towns led poor sanitation and outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as cholera.
- The slave trade. In the early part of the Industrial Revolution, some industries, such as cotton were still dependent on the slave trade.
Benefits of the Industrial Revolution
Although many people who work in factories pay very low and are in poor conditions. Throughout the nineteenth century, real wages did rise substantially.
The pay of agriculture is not high, while the pay of migrant workers is often low.
In the 19th century, life expectancy increased as certain diseases such as cholera were brought under control.
The first is government regulations.
The conditions of the Industrial Revolution encouraged governments to pass laws on child labor and introduce the first basic safety legislation.
Education and health care. The harsh conditions of the Industrial Revolution have spawned initiatives to provide more education and health care.
Your local school board is starting to provide your child with free education.
Movement of people. Before the Industrial Revolution, people rarely emigrated from their place of birth. The industrial revolution allowed people to go further.
Wealth contributes to charity. Some great industrialists who made a fortune from the Industrial Revolution (for example, Andrew Carnegie, J. Rockefeller, JP Morgan) and turned their philanthropists Wealth is used for charity projects such as libraries and health care.
Political movements of the Industrial Revolution
Marxism. At the height of the industrial revolution, Karl Marx wrote Das Capital and The Communist Manifesto. Marx argued capitalism was inherently unfair and he expected the workers (the Proletariat) to overthrow Capitalism.
Chartism. A working-class movement aimed at gaining political and voting rights for working-class men
Trade unions. The large workforces and unequal incomes helped create the trade union movement in all industrial countries. Trade unions campaigned for higher wages and better working conditions.
Suffragette movement. Not directly related to the industrial revolution, but the late Nineteenth Century saw the emergence of women’s groups seeking to gain political rights for women.
Luddite Movement. Not a political movement, but more a direct action movement (primarily 1811-1819). This involved self-employed craft workers smashing machines, such as weaving looms and spinning frames, which they felt threatened their own job.
Nationalist movements. The industrial revolution helped create stronger national movements. For example, the industrial revolution was a factor in changing Italian society and encouraging the growth of a united Italy, e.g. G.Mazzini)
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!
Thanks for reading and remember to share this post