The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1850
The Industrial Revolution transformed human life by changing methods of manufacturing, the way people made a living, and the products available to them. The Nature of the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution took place in England in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was made up of four sets of changes: first, the introduction of new technology; second, the use of new mineral sources of energy; third, a concentration of workers in factories; and fourth, new methods of transportation. The New Industrial Technology
The Industrial Revolution introduced machines to textile manufacturing, iron, printing, papermaking, and engineering industries. The most significant machines were steam engines and the machines used to make cloth. A.1. Textile Machinery
Until the eighteenth century, the manufacturing of cloth was done by hand. In 1767, James Hargreaves introduced the spinning jenny, which increased the amount of cotton yarn that could be spun. In 1769, Richard Arkwright introduced the water frame, which produced stronger warp yarn. A decade later in 1779, Samuel Crompton combined the jenny and the water frame into one machine called the mule. The mule could produce 300 times as much yarn as a person on a spinning wheel. These machines produced more yarn than weavers could handle until 1787, when Edmund Cartwright invented the power loom. Because of these machines and improvements made to them, English weavers were working 200 times more cotton in 1850 than they had in 1780.
A.2. The Steam Engine
Another key invention of the Industrial Revolution was the steam engine, invented by James Watt in 1763, to pump water out of mines. The steam engine was used to raise minerals from mines, provide heat for smelting iron ore, and drive machines in textile mills. B. Mineral Sources of Energy
Until the eighteenth century, transporta tion of goods was powered by humans or animals. Organic sources of fuel were wood, charcoal, or water power. Beginning in the eighteenth century, the Industrial Revolution began to rely on coal to produce the high temperatures needed to smelt iron. Eventually it also became a source of heat for the steam engine. C. The Growth of Factories
One of the major developments of the Industrial Revolution was the large factory. In the sixteenth century, businessmen began employing families in the countryside to spin and weave. This was known as the domestic system, and all members of the family participated in the production. The businessman provided the materials and was responsible for the marketing. The introduction of machines in the late eighteenth century led to the development of the factory system. The large factory was more cost effective because it allowed the concentration of machines and workers in one place. It also reduced transportation costs and allowed for greater quality control. The factory owner had greater control of the work force and enforced much stricter discipline. It also made possible what the economist Adam Smith called the "division of labor," whereby each person was responsible for one stage of production, allowing for great increase in total production. The workers needed no special skills to operate the machines. D. New Methods of Transportation
As industry expanded, so did the transportation network needed to move raw materials and finished products. Thousands of miles of canals and all-weather roads were built in the eighteenth century. The main innovation in transportation of the nineteenth century was the railroad. The railroads were driven by coal-burning, steam-power locomotives and provided quick, cheap transportation to places inaccessible by water. The construction of railroads created a demand for iron and for large numbers of workers and became a large industry in its own right. Unlike manufacturing, railroad networks usually involved a combination of private and public investment. II. Conditions Favoring...
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