History 104 Western Civilizations
August 27, 2012
The Spread of the Industrial Revolution and its effect on Society
The Industrial Revolution spread across the globe as it fostered tremendous social and economic changes in every country fortunate enough to participate. As many countries witnessed the birth of Industrialization, dramatic social and economic changes took place that significantly altered the makeup of society, business, culture, labor, laws, cities, manufacturing, and many other factors, some of these changes contributed to a higher standard of living while at the same time severely curtailed living standards in unforeseen ways. As the world experienced the spread of the Industrial revolution tremendous change brought about great opportunities for some and terribly unfortunate circumstances for others. The Industrial Revolution propelled much of the developing world into the modern age, raising the standard of living for some while spiraling others into events of woeful misery. If observed as a great vehicle of change and momentum rather than the cause of great misfortune, the Industrial Revolution moved much of the world further down the road to progress in one hundred years than any other historical event prior to 1750.
Information, resources, and techniques of industrialization were first present in just the right amounts to foster the spark of innovation among British business owners who’s long held innovative ideas were mingled with an abundance of coal that fueled Iron factories that produced ample amounts of iron and then steel. These materials came to be fashioned into thousands of other products sending a wave of innovation into business owners, industries, and cities across England. The rapid growth of the technology blanketed Europe with many new methods for producing goods and providing services. In 1759, Josiah Wedgwood developed a process where he used a division of labor and the use of molds to mass-produce pottery. The Cotton industry was transformed dramatically through various methods such as the Spinning Jenny (1764), the Water Frame (1769), and the Mule (1785). (Comanor, 2005) Each of these devices increased cotton outputs and reduce production costs. In the early 1700s, the Newcomen steam engine for water pumps and the Watt engine in 1769 dramatically revolutionized manufacturing and greatly reduced travel time, as steamboats were greater utilized in Europe and the Americas. In the early 1800s, the introduction of the steam engine to move locomotives along rail lines rapidly connected all of Europe and America by 1850s. By 1837, the telegraph was utilized to send a rapid sequence of dots and dashes known as Morse code. This new form of communication increased communication speeds and improved decision-making information. All of these rapid changes within such a short time had the most profound impact on society. The combustible and contagious innovations were a closely guarded secret by some however the desire to capitalize on these techniques proved to be the fuel that ignited an unquenchable firestorm of growth across England, throughout Europe, America, China and Japan. Industrialization and the information surrounding it began to spread from Britain to other countries, like a stone tossed into a pond, knowledge of growth and technology became the unstoppable spark that was to become the Industrial Revolution. Britain eagerly tried to maintain a monopoly of its discoveries and skills, laws prohibiting the emigration of craft-workers and the export of machinery until 1843. (Freeman, Louca, 2001) Despite the legal mandate, skilled workers and manufacturers left Britain, taking the highly marketable knowledge of industrialization with them. Some manufacturers in the England permitted inspections of their factories by foreigners. Eager business owners from Europe and America traveled to...