Chapter 22 Notes Industrial Revolution – What was it?

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Chapter 22 Notes
Industrial Revolution – What was it?

  • In general, up to the year 1800, all work utilized hand tools for work done by humans and animals (with some help from wind and water). After approximately 1800, machines powered by energy forces such as steam, electricity, gases and the atom, and manipulated and directed by humans complete the work. This shift from hand tools to power machinery defines the Industrial Revolution.

  • Such a transformation, so contrary to the inherent conservatism of most people's lives, required a mobility of labor and capital, which can develop out of historical changes or generated through political decisions.

Agricultural Changes in Great Britain that set stage for Industrial Revolution

  • After 1688 and until 1832, England was in the hands of the great landowners in a type of "squirearchy" aligned with the great merchants.

  • The large landowners were interested in increasing productivity and engaged in a systemic exploration of ways to make improvements. Greater use of fertilizers, new implements, new crops like turnips, and improved crop rotation and breeding practices, all formed an agricultural revolution.

  • The traditional forms of farming (strips of lands worked by individual farmers and open fields and common lands all protected by customary law) were the primary impediments to rapid progress. Parliament passed hundreds of acts of "enclosure" of the commons, turning them from lands determined by traditional rights to private ownership and open to exploitation. Small farmers sold their lands to the larger landowners, creating a high concentration of land ownership in England.

  • Productivity of the land and of agricultural workers grew, so that food supplies and animal output increased at the same time that fewer people worked to produce them. Many people in the countryside had already become wage earners in the domestic system. They now became a mobile labor force.

Revolution in Consumption

  • During the 18th century an increase in disposable income helped to drive the first industrial revolution.

  • Key to change in consumption depended on expanding the various domestic markets in Europe

  • New methods of marketing convinced people that they needed or wanted new consumer goods.

  • Josiah Wedgwood, a porcelain manufacture first sold to the royal family and the aristocracy, but began to manufacture a less expensive version to attract middle-class customers who wanted to copy the aristocracy. Wedgwood opened showrooms in London, used advertising to attract customers, and expanded to the continent using bilingual catelogues

  • People were attracted by new styles -- be it in fashion or new inventions. If new goods could be produced markets could be found by enterprising entrepreneurs

  • Ever increasing consumption and production of goods of everyday life became a hallmark of modern Western society from the 18th century to our own day.

Incentives for factory production and Inventions that made it possible

  • England had supremacy on the seas, a global empire with people around the globe ready to buy British goods. The demand for cotton was high but England could not compete with Asia in its production using the same methods. Capital was mobile and readily available and was sufficient to invest for the long term. The labor force was fluid as well.

  • The first important invention in the textile industry was Kay's fly shuttle, which meant that only one person would be necessary to weave at a loom. This increased the demand for yarn, met in the 1760s with the invention of the spinning jenny, which allowed one spindle to produce first 8 and then 16 threads. They were, at first, used in the homes of the workers.

  • Arkwright's water frame was a water-powered device for the production of many threads at once. He soon changed the power source to the steam engine, which meant heavier and more cumbersome equipment, located in what the English called mills (and the Americans factories). Now the workers came to the work, rather than the work coming to them as in the domestic system.

  • The increased production of yarn put more demands on the weavers. The power loom became common after 1800, which, in turn, increased the demand for raw cotton. Eli Whitney's cotton gin of 1793 sped up the process of cleaning the raw cotton; production rose rapidly, and the economy of the American South, then in a state of decline, saw rapid improvement. By 1820, half of British exports were cotton cloth. Cotton, as a new industry, was more easily mechanized.

Revolutionary impact of the steam engine

  • The noticeable decline in British supplies of native timber sped up the work begun in the seventeenth century to harness the power of steam. Burned timber created charcoal used to smelt iron. Timber's disappearance increased the need for coal, which meant a way to pump out the water out of deeper mine shafts was required.

  • Around 1702, Newcomen developed the first useful steam engine, which still used a great deal of energy.

  • Watt significantly improved Newcomen's machine in 1763 and, by collaborating with the manufacturer, Boulton, began producing steam engines for domestic use and export in the 1780s.

  • In 1807 Fulton used the first steam engine on the Hudson River near New York.

  • In the 1820s, the steam engine began to be used as locomotives, first in the mines; the first successful steam locomotive in both speed and safety was Stephenson's Rocket used in 1829 on a newly built Manchester-Liverpool railroad.

  • By the 1840s, the great era of railroad construction had begun.

Impact of early industrialization on society and people's lives

  • Population rose dramatically, tripling in Great Britain from 1750 to 1850.

  • Most of the population growth was in the Midlands, not in the south near London.

  • Urban population grew substantially, with many new large cities created. Most prominent among them was Manchester, originally a large market town and until 1845 still organized as a manor, not legally a city. Not having legal status as a city made dealing with the problems of rapid industrialization, such as water and safety. harder.

  • The new cities were drab and dirty, with cheap tenement housing and black soot everywhere.

  • Family life suffered as whole families lived in single rooms; neglected children lived on the street. Wages were too low to allow a man to support his family, so women and children worked, often preferred to the men because they could be paid less. Work was long (14-hour days were typical), tedious, oppressively regimented, and erratic with frequent periods of unemployment.

  • By the 1820's the second generation of machines allowed the majority of the work in textile factories to be done by women, mostly single women, as less skill was needed.

  • Most women continued to work on the land or as domestic servants.

  • Others worked in domestic cottage industries where they were earned low wages.

  • To supplement their income, many women became prostitutes to supplement their wages. Male bosses often exploited vulnerable young women

  • Skilled artisans lost income and status.

  • Workers were not unionized and negotiated individually with factory owners.

  • The first industrial capitalists, the factory owners, were typically self-made men who worked hard and lived in comfort. They saw both the workers and the aristocrats as lazy idlers, and they resisted regulation of their businesses.

  • To regulate the employment of pauper children Parliament enacted the first Factory Act in 1802. Britain had no trained government bureaucracy, so there were no inspections to enforce the law.

  • Workers' work conditions were not necessarily worse in factories than they had been in the domestic system. Urbanization meant a higher concentration of the visible poor and allowed for the development of class solidarity.

Abolition of Slavery

In 1833, the Parliament abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. This represented a victory for the abolitionists led by William Wilberforce (1759-1833).

Limitations on Work by Children and Women

A Factory Act adopted in 1833 placed restrictions on child labor in the textile industry. Children under the age of nine could not be employed in textile mills, while those between the ages of nine and thirteen could not work for more than nine hours a day. Work by children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen was limited to twelve hours a day. The Factory Act provided for a system of inspectors to make certain that the law was being observed. Two hours of school was also required for children between 9 -13. Later legislation placed further restrictions on work by women and children.

  • Mines Act of 1842prohibited women and children from working in mines

  • Ten Hours Act of 1847women and children under the age of 18 could not work more than 10 hours a day

Municipal Councils

The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 established a system of elected councils to govern most cities and towns.

Problems of Crime and Order

Crime appears to have increased throughout the first sixty years of the 19th century. Reasons for the rise are still being debated -- perhaps it can be attributed to a combination of events -- the revolutions of the late 18th century and the early 19th century and the processes of industrialization and urbanization certainly could have played a role. Crime statistics during this period are not very reliable as countries did not use the same methods to track crime and criminal codes and systems of judicial administration varied widely across the continent.

To deal with the rising crime rate, the propertied elite presented two views about containing crime and criminals -- prison reform and better systems of police. As a result police forces -- paid, professionally trained officers changed with keeping order, protecting property and lives arose across the continent.

Robert Peel (I 788-1850), who served as home secretary from 1822 to 1827, won parliamentary approval for a reform of the criminal codes, substantially reducing the number of capital crimes. Peel also reorganized the London police, who came to be known as bobbies in his honor.


First appeared in 1828; they were viewed as a parental police charged with keeping safety and order by day and night


Police were deployed after the Revolutions of 1848.

All these forces were distinguished by an easily recognizable uniform. Police on the continent were armed; those in Britain were not.
Prison Reform
Leading reformers were John Howard and Elizabeth Fry in England and Charles Lucas in France. Reform came slowly due to expense of building new prisons and a general lack of sympathy for criminals.
In 1840's, the English and French did attempt reforms with the goal of rehabilitating the prisoners during the period of incarceration. The Europeans adopted two prison models from the United States -- the Auburn model which keep prisoners separated at night but together during the day while they worked and the Philadelphia model where prisoners were keep separate at all times.
The model of complete separation often led to mental collapse. Rehabilitation did not seemed to be working; therefore, the French government in 1885 began to send repeat offenders to places such as Devil's Island.

Political Trends

During these years, British politics was experiencing change, as the two major political factions, the Tories and the Whigs, gradually evolved into modern parties, known as the Conservatives and Liberals, respectively.
In 1837, when King William IV died, he was succeeded by his niece, the eighteen year-old Victoria (r. 1837-1901), whose reign proved to be the longest in English history. In 1840, Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861), a German prince. His untimely death in 1861 left her grief stricken.
The Repeal of the Corn Laws

The campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws provided powerful evidence of the increased political power of the British middle class.

The Anti-Com Law League, which was established in 1839, campaigned for the repeal of the Corn Laws (the tariff on wheat and other grains) and more broadly, for the introduction of free trade. The Corn Laws, which had been adopted in 1815, provided the great landowners with a protected market for their crops. The leaders of the Anti-Com Law League included the prominent industrialists Richard Cobden (1804-1865) and John Bright (1811-1889).
The Anti-Com Law League argued that reducing the price of food would improve the workers' standard of living, while reducing the cost of raw materials would increase the profits of industry. In addition, low food prices would make it easier for the industrialists to pay their workers lower wages.
The real reason Robert Peel supported the repeal of the Corn Laws was because of the Irish Potato Famine. He need to aid the Irish and he needed cheap grain.
Irish Famine

During the winter of 1845-1846, a severe famine struck Ireland following a failure of the potato crop. Starvation and diseases such as typhus and cholera took the lives of some 700,000 people. Hundreds of thousands of survivors emigrated, with many finding new homes in the United States.

Establishment of Free Trade

The Irish famine demonstrated the need for lower food prices and in 1846 Parliament voted to repeal the Corn Laws. Repeal was a victory for Britain's urban dwellers, which for the first time comprised a majority of the population. In the following years, the British eliminated the remaining tariffs, establishing a free trade policy.

The Chartist Movement

Following the adoption of the Reform Bill of 1832, agitation developed for further parliamentary reform. In 1838, a group of working-class leaders drew up the People's Charter, which contained six


  1. Universal manhood suffrage.

  2. The secret ballot in place of voting in public meetings.

  3. The abolition of property requirements for members of the House of Commons.

  4. The payment of salaries to members of the House of Commons.

  5. The creation of equal electoral districts. (Members of the House of Commons should represent approximately the same number of people.)

  6. Annual elections for the House of Commons.

The Chartists won support among many intellectual reformers, as well as from urban workers. In 1839, the Chartists presented to Parliament a petition setting forth their demands. However, the British middle classes were not yet prepared to share political power with the masses, and Parliament ignored the petition. Although Parliament also ignored Chartist petitions presented in 1842 and 1848, all the demands of the Chartists were ultimately enacted, except for annual elections for the House of Commons.

Most significantly the Chartist Movement was the first large scale working class political movement in Europe.
Directory: cms -> lib2 -> TX01001414 -> Centricity -> ModuleInstance -> 18699
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