Industrial Revolution Economy

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Cotton, Steam engine Pages: 10 (3852 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Industrial Revolution Economy
2005 – What do you understand by the term, industrial revolution? How do you account for its varying pace in Britain, France and Germany? 2006 – Highlight the variation in the pattern and pace of industrialization in Britain France and Germany between 1830-1914. 2009 – Describe the various factors which determined the divergent pace and pattern of industrialization in the 19th century. 2010 – In what ways was the experience of industrialization different for European countries which industrialized after England in the 19th century? (Fr and Gr) Introduction:

The Industrialization of Europe, occurred between 1780 and 1914, starting in Britain, and was marked by three phases, each associated with a different region and technology. The Industrial revolution refers to structural changes in the economies of certain European countries in this period, which were as follows- (1) a reduction in the contribution of the agrarian sector to the economy and an increase in industrial and commercial sector’s contribution, (2) discovery and use of new sources of power which revolutionized production, (3) a subsequent shift to manufacturing on a large scale-in factories, (4) technological innovations and new types of investment. Clive Trebilcock, delineates the three phases of industrialization- the first phase (1780s-1820s)was pioneered by Britain, the second phase (1840-1870) saw France, some areas of the German States and U.S.A. industrializing, while the third phase (late1890s-1914) saw Japan, Italy, Russia Sweden, parts of Spain, Hapsburg empire and Hungary industrialize. CAUSES: Prior to the mid-18th century all European economies were marked by a large agrarian sector and craft manufacturing carried out by manual household labour, within the house, for local or regional markets. Such manufacturing required little capital and was labour intensive. By 1700, Peter .N. Stearns says Western Europe was an advanced agricultural society with an unusually large commercial sector. In the 18th century John Merriman says, it began to register three main changes which accelerated manufacturing and constitute the causal factors/preconditions for the Industrial Revolution- (i)Firstly Europe witnessed a population explosion from the 18th century peaking in the mid 19th century. Between 1800 and 1850 Europe’s population increased by 43%, with greatest increase in industrializing regions.(a) This was because mortality rates fell in this period as vaccinations for small pox etc were developed, eradicated many fatal diseases and sanitation and pure water facilities improved. (b)With this life expectancy of women also increased. (c)A period of relative peace during the 18th century also aided population growth. (ii)Secondly introduction of new agricultural methods and expansion of the agrarian base, to sustain the increase in population contributed to industrialization. (a)Potato, a calorie rich and disease resistant crop was introduced in France, Prussia and Ireland and this supported the growing populations. (b)In England and Holland, new drainage systems, led drainage of swamps and increase in land under cultivation, with nitrogen fixing crops being planted here. This increase meant an increase in agrarian output. (c)We also note the consolidation of small agricultural plots, into large farms, especially in Britain. (e.g. between 1750 and 1850 1/4th of all cultivable land was incorporated into larger farms in England). Consolidation of plots meant an increase in food supplies which supported the growing population. Consolidation some historians hold also led to ‘proto industrialization’, as it freed up agrarian labour, which then sought employment in the domestic manufacturing sector, whose output thus increases. This increase in manufactured goods, met the growing demand of the rising population. John Merriman says on the Continent, despite lesser consolidation of land, German agrarian...
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