http://socyberty.com/history/causes-of-the-early-industrial-revolution Population Growth:
The English civil war and the end to Feudalism contributed to the increasing population. People became immune to diseases and this immunity spread to children, enabling them to combat getting infected with illness. Young adolescents married early which lead to an increased birth rate, so the population makeup composed of a large young population because of these adolescents. These young adolescents comprised a majority of the labor workforce in Britain and Europe. Several people migrated to cities and created labor jobs in factories.
Agricultural Revolution: Agricultural Revolution began before the 18th century when new crops were presented to Europe. One of Britain’s main staples included potatoes. The Columbian exchange was a significant part in introducing new goods into Europe from the New World. The colonial workforce (slaves) for intense labor conditions (sugar and cotton production). The cattle industry as well as the cattle production was increased so more alternative foods (dairy products) were mass produced. The enclosure movement by wealthy landowners in Britain led to more privatization of land instead of open grazing lands used by the commons. Thus the tragedy of the commons was avoided at the same time, the profits and fruits of the land were more exclusive to the landowner. It also gave rise of tenant workers and landless laborers throughout Britain. Such people began to move into cities to seek better employment opportunities as more food enabled specialization to develop in the various aspects of society.
Trade and Inventiveness: The driving force behind all of this development was demand. It is often said that “necessity is the mother of all inventions” but that can readily be rephrased as “Demand is the mother of all inventions.” Thus the increased demand for goods leads to increased stresses for more production. This was a contributing factor in slavery for cash crop production as well as the technological invocations such as the assembly line, replaceable parts and factory style intense labor system that developed in the cities. The development of the “Putting out system” or a form of subcontracting work where certain elements of labor was given to various individuals to do at their own facilities (usually at home or within your factory or workshop) was in full swing. In general, Europe was fascinated by technology and driven largely by the Enlightenment principles to understand the world and solve social problems through technology and scientific methods.
Conditions in Britain and continental Europe: Britain was most unique in this time period. As wars raged throughout Europe, Britain finished its civil war and ended the Feudalistic system to the replaced by a constitutional monarchy and thus peace was relatively existent throughout Britain. This led to large economic growth as a strong merchant marine class developed in Britain. The population growth also enabled a larger workforce and gave rise to various new ideas for further social development. The social structure was also well established with a lot of fluidity for success and rise in wealth. Britain, since it was a island, has to establish good naval and water transportation systems so when it came to the industrial revolution, this well established water transportation system played a large role in helping to trade with nations in Europe and into Asia (as well as Africa) and contributed to acquiring the various natural resources needed to manufacturing. Thus the highly developed commercial system marked by Mercantilism and foreign trade was essential for the industrial development in Britain. Continental Europe only began to catch up with Britain and develop the same industrial progression as Britain much later. This was largely due to the wars that plagued Europe from 1789 to...