Industrial Revolution in Victorian England

Topics: Victorian era, Victoria of the United Kingdom, Social class Pages: 10 (3804 words) Published: May 1, 2013
The Industrial Revolution in Victorian England was a period of time in history when new inventions and technology changed the way people lived and worked. It impacted how they communicated, the way products were manufactured, and created new forms of cheaper and faster transportation. Innovations resulted in changes that were previously unheard of. The invention of the steam engine revolutionized the way people and things were transported. Manufacturers were able to ship their goods more quickly by rail and reduce their expenses. Railroads allowed people to travel faster and farther than in the past. The Industrial Revolution created new sources of employment, with mills and factories attracting labor from farms to cities (Victorian Web).Manufacturing created new jobs but also contributed to the pollution and overcrowding in cities where factories were located. The development of Morse Code by Samuel Morse in 1837, allowed soldiers to send messages more quickly, and revise their battle plans based on this communication. The invention of the typewriter changed how people were educated. Textbooks became available to more students, and professors were now able to produce their own written materials. The steam engine led to new factories being built with improved manufacturing processes. Pasteurization killed bacteria and made food safer. Inventions played a major role in the development of Victorian England’s way of life by influencing where people lived and worked how people and products were transported, availability of education, and their quality of life.

Queen Victorian ruled England from 1837-1901, and this time was known as the Victorian era. During her rule she was responsible for England becoming a more prosperous nation. She was the driving force that led England into a new era of technology and manufacturing. What exactly was the Industrial Revolution? “The Industrial Revolution marks the most fundamental transformation of human life in the history of the world recorded in written document” (Sakolsky 4). Before the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers found it hard to produce large quantities of goods quickly or cheaply. New technology, such as the steam engine, allowed factories to use machines, which could take the place of workers. The machines produced goods faster and cheaper than the workers they replaced. This translated into higher profits for the factory owners. The growth in factories also led to a shift in the labor force as people left farms and moved to cities looking for manufacturing jobs and higher wages.

In Victorian England, the population was growing rapidly which led to increases in the production of goods and services to meet their needs. “Between 1680 and 1820, the ‘long’ eighteenth century England’s Population grew by 133 percent”(Brown 34). Also, “during the eighteenth century life expectancy rose from 32 years to 39 years, an increase of a little over 20 percent” (Brown 36). The growth in population required innovations that would provide for a new generation of people. One reason that the population spiked so sharply was because of the Great Potato Famine in Ireland. During this time, the main food that the Irish relied on, potatoes, became diseased and many people starved to death. Because of this, many Irish settlers immigrated to England. New “manufactories” (Outman 7) were needed to produce manufactured goods. “Manufactories were an early form of the word factories. The word manufacturing meaning literally ‘to make by hand,’ even though machines had come to be involved”(Outman 7). As new mills and factories were built, they needed to hire workers. People moved to find jobs and needed to locate housing near their employer once they were hired. Large cities started to develop around factories.

With the growth in population and increasing number of workers in factories, new concepts for housing were needed. Thus the development of row...
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