Chapter 19 Revolutions Chapter Preview

Changes in the Rural Population

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Changes in the Rural Population

Before the 1700s, the lives of most people in Great Britain and Europe had remained unchanged in many ways for hundreds of years. Most peasants spent their time getting enough food to eat and providing themselves shelter from the weather. They lived on farms or in small villages, and built their own houses from the wood, stone, or earth around them.

Beginning about 1700, new advances in farming methods made food production more efficient. In Great Britain, people began to study farming as a science. They began mixing different types of soil and growing different types of crops. As farming became more profitable, large landowners began to separate and enclose land that had been shared by small farmers.

The changes in farming made it easier to produce more food. As food became more widely available, the population of Great Britain and Europe rose quickly, almost doubling between 1700 and 1800. The larger populations increased the demand for goods such as textiles, woven or knitted cloth used to make clothing, blankets, or other goods. Merchants who produced textiles began looking for better ways to make their products. At this time, textile workers produced their cloth on spinning wheels and looms in their homes.

In the 1760s, new spinning machines were invented that could make textiles much cheaper and quicker than before. Merchants built factories, large buildings in which many workers worked at the same time, to house these new machines. The new factories were so successful that merchants opened more factories. In Great Britain, the first textile factories appeared in the 1740s. Soon, textile factories shot up all over Great Britain. By the 1780s, England and Scotland had more than 120 textile mills.

The success of the textile mills had a significant impact on merchants in Great Britain and Europe. Merchants who made other products began developing new machines and creating factories to increase their profits. These new developments began a rapid and important change called the Industrial Revolution.

Reading Check How did British farmers use science to improve the way they grew food?

A loom such as the one pictured above may have been operated in a factory during the Industrial Revolution.

Recognize Nonliteral Meanings

The phrase shot up is used figuratively in this sentence. What is another phrase you could substitute for shot up?


Focus On

The Mill Girls

In the mid-1800s, they left their family farms—many of them for the first time—to work in textile factories throughout New England. There they worked from dawn until past dark. These young women were known as the mill girls. Although the work was difficult, most mill girls gladly chose factory life over farm life. One mill girl wrote to her sister, " [A]nother pay day has come around.... I like [the work] as well as ever and Sarah don't I feel independent of everyone! The thought that I am living on no one is a happy one indeed to me."

Working in a Textile Factory In the mid- 1800s, Lowell, Massachusetts, was an important leader in the textile industry. Child labor was used at textile mills during this time, but most laborers at Lowell and similar mill towns were single young women from rural areas. These women, about 15 to 25 years old, usually worked in the mills for about four years.

Workers' lives were strictly regulated. Factory bells woke them up in the morning, sent them to and from meals during the day, and rang them home again at night. The mill girls ate and slept at company-owned boardinghouses and agreed to strict rules, including regular church attendance and a 10 P.M. curfew. During their precious free time they might attend lectures, shop, or read books.

As the textile industry grew, working conditions declined. Factory owners cut wages and made employees work faster. By the 1860s, fewer and fewer native-born women worked at the mills. They stayed at home or searched for better opportunities.


Spinning Room

The French Canadian girl at the right worked in the spinning room of a Massachusetts mill, where thread was spun onto bobbins. As fewer native-born women sought work in the mills, the jobs were filled by new immigrants, and increasingly, by immigrant children and men

Power Looms

These machines wove thread into fabric. Loom operators earned more money than the mill girls in most other jobs.

Weaving Room

This room was hot, humid, and filled with cotton dust and fumes from oil lamps. The noise made by the looms was deafening.


Identify Who were the mill girls?

Predict How do you think a farm girl's life changed when she began to work in a textile factory?


Great Britain Leads the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1760s. Britain had several advantages over other European nations, including large deposits of coal and iron. Coal powered the early industrial machines, and iron was used to build machines, support large buildings, and later, to build railroads.

By the early 1700s Britain had established a powerful empire, with colonies that provided raw materials and a demand for finished goods. The country also had money to invest in new ideas, machines, and systems of manufacturing.

The Steam Engine In 1698, an English inventor patented the first practical steam engine, which was used to pump water from mines. In 1769, Scottish inventor James Watt made the steam engine practical for other uses. In 1803 another English inventor, Richard Trevithick (RICH urd TREV uh thik), invented the steam locomotive. In 1825 the world's first steam railroad went into service in England.

The steam locomotive made it possible for people to travel much greater distances in less time. They could also transport goods quicker and farther than they could by carrying them in a cart or wagon.

Other Nations Industrialize The success of British industries made the country a world economic leader. To protect its position, the government passed laws forbidding the export of machines, skilled laborers, and new manufacturing methods to other countries. However, British merchants exported these new ideas and techniques. Belgium industrialized when two Englishmen, William and John Cockerill (WIL yum and jahn KAHK ur ul), opened machine shops in that country around 1807.

Industrialization came more slowly to other countries. Government instability prevented France from rapidly developing its industry. Only after the rule of Napoleon did large industries develop. Most other European countries lagged far behind Britain, Belgium, and France. Outside Europe, Japan began aggressively industrializing in the late 1800s. The United States achieved a level of industrialization that eventually made it a world power.

Reading Check How was coal used?

The Steam Engine

Watt improved the steam engine by providing it with more insulation and a system to pump the steam into a condensing chamber. Above the illustration is a reproduction of a steam engine built in the late 1800s. Identify Effects How did the steam locomotive affect transportation?


Industrial Expansion in the United States

At the time of the American Revolution, one third of all British ships were manufactured in the American colonies. The colonies, and later the United States, gave birth to many other industries. In the early 1800s, the governments of the United States and Britain became friendly, and the common language and culture the countries shared meant that ideas could be easily exchanged. The United States also had many of the same industrial advantages as Great Britain, including large supplies of natural resources such as coal and iron and a stable government and economy.

Around 1800, Eli Whitney, a gun manufacturer, demonstrated a new technique he had developed, interchangeable parts. Previously, guns had been made one at a time, and a part from one gun likely would not fit another. Whitney developed a process for manufacturing all of the same parts of a product to be identical in size, shape, and quality so that any part could fit in any gun. By making the parts interchangeable, companies could begin making and assembling products in much greater quantities. Whitney's technique led to a rapid growth in industrial production, especially of textiles and light metals, in the 1820s in the United States. His approach was used to produce sewing machines, revolvers, farm machinery, and many other products.

Industrialization spread rapidly throughout the United States beginning in the 1830s, especially in the northeast. By 1860, more than half of all the miles of railroad track in the world were in the United States. When the telegraph was invented by American Samuel Morse, it was quickly installed along railroad lines so that people could communicate quickly across many miles as well. Americans also led the way in discovering new, efficient ways to mill grain and produce gasoline, kerosene, and other products made from oil.

Reading Check How did the development of interchangeable parts help the United States industrialize?

Morse Code and the Telegraph

The telegraph sent coded messages over wires by means of electricity. As shown on the card below, Morse code used an alphabet of dots and dashes. A dot is a very brief depression of the telegraph key. A dash is three times long as a dot. Apply Information How would a telegraph operator send the message SOS?


Workers in a steel forge

Effects of Industrialization

Countries that industrialized were greatly affected by it. The Industrial Revolution changed city life, changed working conditions, and increased wealth.

Growth of Industrial Cities New factories of the Industrial Revolution drew large numbers of workers to fill the jobs. Cities grew rapidly, and workers often lived in slums. Sanitation, pollution, and disease became big problems in cities.

Harsh Working Conditions Factory workers often worked long hours under harsh conditions. Women and young children often performed the worst jobs. Many of the new machines were not safe and were often very loud. The air in textile mills was filled with dust from the cloth.

Growing Wealth Despite these problems, the standard of living for the working class in industrialized countries improved. The general prosperity led to rising populations, and cities assumed a new importance in industrialized countries.

Reading Check Why did new cities grow so quickly during the Industrial Revolution?

Section 4 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the Key Terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

Find the phrase gave birth on page 555. Use context clues to figure out its meaning.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Explain How did changes in farming methods affect population?


(a) List List two advantages Great Britain had that helped it lead the Industrial Revolution.

(b) Draw Conclusions How did James Watt's steam engine help the Industrial Revolution?


(a) Explain How did Great Britain lay the groundwork for industrialism in the United States?

(b) Compare and Contrast What features did the United States share with Great Britain that allowed industrialism to develop rapidly?


(a) Make Generalizations What were working conditions like for many factory workers?

Writing Activity

You are a child who has moved from a small village in Great Britain to a new city. Your whole family now lives in a small room and works in a textile mill. Write a journal entry that describes some of your feelings about the changes in your family's life.


Chapter 19 Review and Assessment

Chapter Summary

Section 1: The Enlightenment

• Scientific discoveries in the 1500s and 1600s led people to believe that science could improve their lives.

• Enlightenment thinking spread across Europe and encouraged people to look for natural laws in the world around them and in how people were governed.

• Some people began to think that kings did not have a divine right to rule and a few rulers made changes that gave serfs and peasants more freedom.

Section 2: Political Revolutions

• The American colonies fought a war against Great Britain so that they could have a more representative government.

• The French people revolted against their king in hopes that they could have more influence in their government and be treated more fairly. However, the French Revolution resulted in the execution of thousands of people and did not create a strong government.

Section 3: The Age of Napoleon

• Napoleon took control of the government when it was weak.

• Napoleon fought wars throughout Europe and built a huge empire by conquering other countries.

• Napoleon reformed many laws and government systems in France and Europe.

• Most countries in Europe fought alongside Great Britain to defeat Napoleon.

Section 4: The Early Industrial Age

• Farming improvements led to a population increase in Great Britain and Europe and increased demand for consumer goods.

• Great Britain led the world in the Industrial Revolution.

• The United States quickly used British industrial methods and made improvements to become the leading industrial nation by 1850.

• Factories were often dangerous and many of the new cities around the factories were unhealthy places to live.

Key Terms

Match the key terms below with the sentences that follow.

a. scientific method

b. natural laws

c. democracy

d. blockade

e. exiled
1. One way to influence a country during a war is to use a _____.

2. A person who is _____ has been forced to leave his or her home country forever or for a specific period of time.

3. In a _____, people vote for their representatives.

4. To discover how high different types of balls bounce, you might use the _____.

5. To explain why balls bounce, your explanation might include _____.


Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Explain How did Galileo's explanation of the solar system and how planets moved differ from the Catholic Church's explanation?

(b) Predict If people believed Galileo's explanation, how might they have reacted to other Catholic Church teachings?


(a) Recall Why is the Enlightenment sometimes called the Age of Reason?

(b) Analyze How did Catherine the Great's reform efforts reflect Enlightenment ideas?


(a) Sequence Sequence the events leading to the Boston Tea Party.

(b) Make Generalizations How did the Boston Massacre lead colonists into war with England?


(a) Identify Identify the different groups of people that made up each estate in France.

(b) Cause and Effect How did the ineffectiveness of the estate system help cause the French Revolution?


(a) Recall What title did Napoleon take for himself after expanding his empire?

(b) Summarize How did the countries of Europe react to Napoleon's rule?


(a) Note Why were factory jobs especially dangerous during the Industrial Revolution?

(b) Make Inferences In later years, workers formed groups to demand better working conditions. What do you think some of their demands were?

Skills Practice

Problem Solving In the skills activity in this chapter, you learned how to solve problems.

Review the steps you followed to learn this skill. Then reread the section called The American Revolution on p. 538. Use the problem-solving steps to identify a possible solution other than armed conflict for the dispute between the colonists and the British government.

Writing Activity

Do some research on the Scientific Revolution. Choose a scientist or inventor not mentioned in this chapter. Write a summary of his or her work and describe how this person changed people's lives.

MAPMASTER Skills Activity

Place Location For each place listed below, write the letter from the map that shows its location.

1. France

2. United Kingdom

3. Moscow

4. Russia


Standardized Test Prep

Test-Taking Tips

Some questions on standardized tests ask you to analyze a reading selection. Study the passage below. Then follow the tips to help you answer the sample question.

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves ...The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army—our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission ... We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.

—from George Washington's orders to the Continental Army on July 2, 1776, near the beginning of the Revolutionary War

TIP Use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar phrases.

Pick the letter that best completes the statement.

Based on the context, the best meaning of the most abject submission is

TIP First, cross out answers that you know are wrong. Then, consider each remaining choice before selecting the best answer.

A defeat

B quick action

C compromise

D victory

Think It Through The context clues tell you that the speaker is strongly contrasting the most abject submission with brave resistance. Answer D is a possible result of brave resistance, not its opposite. Answer B is a possible course of action, but quick action could be consistent with brave resistance. Answer C could contrast with brave resistance, but it is not the strongest possible contrast among the answer choices. Defeat contrasts strongly with brave resistance, so A is the correct answer.

Practice Questions

Use the tips above and other tips to help you answer the following questions.

1. What is the purpose of Washington's message above?

A To inspire his forces to fight bravely

B To explain his plan for battle

C To plead for mercy from his opponent

D To offer his surrender

2. Under the estate system in France, most of the taxes were paid by

A Church officials

B Nobility and royalty

C Peasants and merchants

D Government officials
3. Which was not a belief of Enlightened thinkers?

A Scientists should rely on reason to increase knowledge.

B The universe is governed by natural laws.

C All have the power to make good judgments.

D Kings have a divine right to rule.
4. What is one result of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century?

A Peasants supported the rule of Napoleon.

B Competition for colonies in North America decreased.

C Cities in Europe and the United States grew.

D The pace of scientific discoveries slowed.


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