The industrial revolution

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 I.       Nature of the Industrial Revolution:  the event defined

A.   Identifies the vast economic changes noted in many nations in the 19th century

1.     Term was coined by Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), British historian

2.     Term used to describe the speed up of technological development, change to the factory system, rise in commercial trade with industrially produced goods and the introduction of more sophisticated banking and credit systems

3.     Featured a period of unparalleled economic growth especially in western Europe

B.    Preceded by the Agricultural Revolution

1. Caused by the application of scientific methods to agriculture

2. Brought a dramatic increase in food production while reducing the required labor

a.     Increased agricultural output

b.     Improved animal husbandry

c.      New agricultural methods such as crop rotation and the discovery of crops that replenished soil  (e.g. clover and turnips)

d.    Use of chemical fertilizers began in 19th century

3.     Allowed the support of an expanded population

a.     Greater agricultural output per acre

b.     Healthier, more fertile population helped cause rapid expansion of the population

c.      Less land used for agriculture expanded land use for living space

4.     Metallurgy developments made iron available for tools and machines

5.     English enclosure movement drove peasants from the country to the city making them available as cheap labor

a.     Enclosure Acts allowed eviction of tenants from village commons

b.     Large-scale farming was more efficient:  It raised crop production and wool production

c.      Became basis of surplus available for export as England expanded its trade

C.    Basic requirements for industrialization:  Conditions were met first in Great Britain which became the first nation to industrialize and the early leader

1.     Technological skills of the population

2.     Raw materials:  There was an early importance on the supply of iron ore, coal, cotton, oil, and wool

3.     Need for a cheap labor supply

a.     The enclosure movement forced rural poor off land making wool production more efficient

b.     Cheap labor pool was available in cities

4.     Large supply of investment capital

a.     Numerous fortunes were made in the Agricultural and Commercial Revolutions

b.     The development of joint-stock companies with government-granted monopolies and limited liability encouraged and enabled investors to pool capital for expansion

5.     Expanded markets were needed to absorb the increase in production

a.     Large growth in population of the period was due to improved medicine and sanitation together with increasing food production

b.     Improved transportation made longer range shipment possible

c.      Colonial empire, the navy and the merchant marine enlarged the available market

D.   Key developments leading to the Industrial Revolution

1.     Increased use of power driven machinery; the earliest machines were driven by moving water

2.     Cheaper steel and oil were made available through the Bessemer process and Drake's oil well drilling

3.     Transportation and communication grew to meet new demands

4.     Banking and credit institutions expanded and new systems and methods were developed

5.     Factory system replaced the domestic system

6.     The increasing population created growing consumer demand

 II.    Role of the machine

A.   Mechanical inventions preceded industrialization

B.    Textile industry was first to be industrialized: it served as the example for other industries

1.     John Kay's Flying Shuttle (1733) speeded up the weaving process

2.     James Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny (1767) produced yarn faster for weaving

3.     Richard Arkwright's Water Frame (1769) used water power to produce thread faster

4.     Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule (1779) used steam or water power to spin thread or yarn faster

5.     Edward Cartwright's Power Loom (1785) speeded up weaving process using steam or water power

6.     Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin (1793) speeded up the process of cleaning raw cotton.  The “gin” allowed growing more sturdy species of cotton in new areas

C.    Steam engine changes the manufacturing system

1.     Thomas Newcomen and James Watt refined and perfected the ancient principle of steam power for machines

2.     320 steam engines being used in Great Britain by 1800

3.     Steam engine removed the dependence upon swift streams for water power This allowed the movement of the factories to the cities as population centers


III.  Coal, Iron, Steel, and Oil   key production

A.   Industrial expansion increased the demand for iron and steel which in turn stimulated coal production

1.     Abraham Darby, Sr. and Jr., perfected the smelting of pig iron with coke by 1712

2.     Henry Cort perfected the “puddling” of molten iron ore (1784) for wrought iron and the rolling mill (1786) for sheet iron

3.     Benjamin Huntsman of Sheffield produced quality steel for cutlery (1750)

4.     Henry Bessemer (England) and William Kelly (U.S.) perfected the process of using compressed air jets to eliminate impurities in iron ore greatly lowering the price of steel (1856)

5.     Sir William Siemens (England) and Pierre Martin (France) developed the open hearth process for steel production, 1865

6.     The cost of steel dropped 50% between 1856 and 1870

B.    Steel production and coal mining increased

1.     Leading industrial nations required increasing amounts of steel and coal

2.     Leaders:  Great Britain, United States, Germany, Belgium, France

C.    Oil (petroleum) production increased greatly after Edwin Drake's first modern drilled well in Pennsylvania, 1859

1.     Oil used as alternative or addition to coal for power

2.     Leaders:  United States, Russia, Rumania

 IV. Improvements in transportation and communications

A.   Transportation

1.     Road construction

a.     Roads of 1800 were totally inadequate for industrialization and the expansion of trade:  They could not handle the heavier loads or the increased traffic.

b.     Paving and drainage were used to improve roads; bridges were improved with the use of iron and steel

2.     Canal construction

a.     Dutch and French had an old, already developed system

b.     British expanded their system greatly in the early 1800's

c.      Large scale canals for major trade routes were built:  Suez Canal, 1869; Kiel Canal, 1895; Panama Canal, 1914

3.     Steamship

a.     Allowed ships to function without wind power

b.     Robert Fulton (U.S.) demonstrated the steamship for river travel, 1807

c.      First steamship crossed Atlantic in 1838 but steamships were slower than sailing ships for another 40 years

d.    First steel ship powered by steam crossed Atlantic, 1882

4.     Railroads:  necessary for heavy transport over long distance

a.     First steam powered locomotive invented c. 1800 but it attracted little attention

b.     George Stephenson reduced the weight, improved the efficiency, and helped to build the first railway in Great Britain, 1825

c.      Great era of railway construction in Great Britain, on European continent, and in United States came after 1850

5.     Automobile

a.     First patent was issued to Daimler, 1886

b.     Henry Ford began mass production of automobiles, 1908, reducing the price

c.      Suitable highway construction was begun during and following World War I

6.     Airplane

a.     Wright Brothers (U.S.) made the first flight, 1903

b.     English Channel was crossed by Bleriot (France), 1909

c.      Airplane used mostly for observation during World War I until 1917 (Most of early bombings conducted from dirigibles)

d.    Lindbergh's trans Atlantic flight, 1927, began the modern era of air transport

B.    Communication

1.     Telegraph: transmission of electric impulses through a wire

a.     Samuel F. B. Morse invented the telegraph (1844)

b.     Reuter's, the first news agency, was established in 1861

2.     Undersea cables linking areas across large bodies of water: Cyrus Field laid trans Atlantic cable (1867)

3.     Telephone: Alexander Graham Bell patented (1876) (transmission of the voice through as wire)

4.     Wireless   Radio (no wire connection necessary)

a.     Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio (1895)

b.     First trans Atlantic radio message was sent, 1901

 V.   Banking and credit expansion

A.   The expanding need for capital for equipment, buildings, site locations, raw materials and manpower kept most early businesses small

B.    Accumulation of capital in Great Britain allowed for its early leadership

1.     Limited liability laws encouraged joint stock companies (corporations)

2.     Private merchant bankers operated in London

3.     By 1750, London had replaced Amsterdam as world banking leader

C.    Growth of banking was retarded in France by the wars of Louis XIV, reaction to the Mississippi Bubble scandal, and the French Revolution

D.   Growth international banks in 19th century

1.     Appearance of the great banking houses of Europe:  Baring in London and Rothschild in Paris, London, Vienna, Frankfurt and Naples were leading international banking houses

2.     Central banks won the right from government to issue notes as legal tender for international and domestic business

3.     Banks were allowed to issue notes in excess of specie

VI. Spread of Industrialization

A.   First nations affected: Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan

B.    Consequences of industrialization

1.     Rise in the standard of living for industrial workers and entrepreneurs

2.     Urbanization and its consequences

a.     Urban poverty and crime

b.     Sanitation problems and pollution

c.      Basic problems of the crowding of a large population in a small area: the city

C.    Rapid growth of population

1.     Lower cost goods due to mass production with a resulting lower quality

2.     Imperialism:  race for overseas raw materials and markets

3.     Bourgeoisie (the middle class) replaced the landed nobility as the dominant class in national affairs after industrialization

4.     Agitation for increasing political power by the masses, middle and lower classes, grew dramatically

5.     Demands by industrial workers for governmental relief from problems of industrialization grew



 Reasons given to explain Europe as the first area to industrialize:

1.     The continent was relatively free from nomadic invasions after the Germanic tribes settled in the early Middle Ages.   Mongol and Hun invasions  continued in Eastern Europe much later.

2.     Europeans placed a high value on curiosity and rationality and rewarded such qualities.

3.     Political pluralism created a competitive nature between the nation-states.

4.     The secular and religious power structures of Europe were divided after the Reformation.  Religions did not retard technological progress to the same extent.

5.     European society believed in the concept of individual rights, including both property rights and the individual ownership of ideas, in opposition to the ruling power .  Individuals could profit from their own inventiveness and initiative.


Roots of the European Industrial Revolution:

1.     The Commercial Revolution, 1400 1700

2.     The rise of the Middle Class, 1400-1900

3.     The Age of Discovery and Exploration, 1450-1770

4.     The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, 1453-1792

5.     The Agricultural Revolution, 1700-1850

6.     The population explosion of the late 18th and the 19th centuries, 1720-1850


Reasons for Great Britain industrializing first:

1.     There was a large accumulation of capital from expanding trade that was available for investment by entrepreneurs.

2.     There was a large dispersion of wealth in the population creating a mass market and a commercial society.

3.     There was a dedication to commercialism as the best way to both individual success and national progress.

4.     There was an enthusiasm for science and technology and the advancements they brought as the best way to improve society.

5.     There was a basic supply of the necessary raw materials.  Britain had native sources of coal and iron ore and an empire to provide the raw materials it lacked.

6.     There was support from government for the process of industrialization.  This is found in provisions for government loans, the encouragement of the growth of a reliable system of banking and credit in the private sector, the creation of a beneficial tax structure for business, the passage of patent, limited liability  and other laws that protected and benefited the business community.

7.     There was a great social value placed on technological and financial achievements by individuals.  Success was rewarded both through material means and societal honors.

8.     Cheap labor became readily available after the Agricultural Revolution.

9.     Britain was free from invasion.  (The last successful invasion was the Norman Conquest of 1066.)

10. Britain had secure financial institutions.  Banking and credit institutions modernized to meet new demands.

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