Dave Palmieri Monarch High School, Louisville, Colorado

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Classroom Simulation for the British Industrial Revolution

Dave Palmieri

Monarch High School, Louisville, Colorado

NEH Summer Seminar 2000

Historical Interpretations of the Industrial Revolution in Britain

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the University of Nottingham

INDUSTRALIA: Overview and Goals
Brief Overview:
In this simulation, students "industrialize" northern England. Students are responsible for overseeing a district in which they make decisions regarding production, labor, and transportation of goods. Students must decide what industries to invest in, what transportation infrastructure to construct, and the characteristics of the labor force to be employed in their district.
What this simulation basically does is gives students (have them work alone or in pairs) a district in England to look after. They figure out how to build transportation networks. They decide on a product to make in factories. Their three choices include blankets (from the resource wool), clothing (from the resource cotton), and metal wares (from the resource iron). They need to obtain coal in order to combine with a resource (wool, cotton, or iron) to make a product that they then sell to a market via one of the four ports on the map. Students will decide what industry to invest in based on the abundance of the particular resources found in their district (see the resource sheet). The simulation gives students an idea about supply and demand, capital investment, working conditions, and labor organization. Before each round an event occurs which corresponds to actual events in British industrial history (see the chronology sheet). That event causes a resulting action to occur in the simulation, helping students to see causes and effects in the Industrial Revolution.
Students will be able to chart four cause and effect relationships involved in Britain's Industrial Revolution.
Students will be able to discuss positive and negative implications of Britain's Industrial Revolution as they see them.
Students will be able to explain in a written essay conflicts between labor and management during the Industrial Revolution and cite at least three historical events that exemplify these conflicts.

Order of activities:
1. Students receive the district they are overseeing
2. Students research their district using library and reference materials

  1. Students decide on labor force, product investment, and initial transportation expenditures.

  1. Industralia, rounds 1-10; order of each round:

  1. Event: read and discuss the event that occurred in the year of the simulation (see “chronology”)

  2. Purchases from bank (factories, transportation)

  3. Redrawing the map (add purchases)

  4. Buying and trading amongst districts

  5. Paying fees: transportation and labor

  6. Receiving cash for products brought to port

5. Classroom discussion; topics:

A. Who won the simulation? Brainstorm the measures by which you could try and decide: the district with the most money, the district that produced the most goods, the district that had the most well supplied work force.

  1. In what ways did this simulation realistically portray the Industrial Revolution, in what ways was it unrealistic?

  2. In what ways did our simulation mirror what actually happened in northern England and in what ways did the events and situations created in our simulation differ from the actual historic landscape?

  1. Student essays: use discussion questions above to have students respond to in written essay.

INDUSTRALIA: Teacher Instructions
1. Make money for your class to use in the simulation. I suggest 100 £, 50£, and 10 £ bills. Cutting up strips of construction paper and stamping them with a seal will suffice (the stamp eliminates any problem with counterfeiting. Similar colored strips should be made to represent the resources cotton, wool, iron, and coal.

  1. Make an overhead copy of the England Industralia map. As students build transportation links across England, draw them on the map connecting district cities to one another. This is a bit time consuming, but worthwhile for clarification and to see the country develop a transportation network.

  1. Students can only choose to change their labor characteristics once, at the end of round five.

  1. Adjustments in finances (cost of transportation, cash paid at port for products produced in district) may need to be made at your discretion. Similarly, adjustments in supply of resources (coal, cotton, wool, and iron may need to be made).

  1. Districts receive two additional resources of their primary resource every round and one additional resource for their secondary resource (for example, if the resource Northumberland would receive two coal every round and one iron).

INDUSTRALIA: Student Regulations

  1. To produce a product, you need to build a clothing, blanket, or metal ware factory. Factories cost 800 £.

2. To produce coal, you must build a mine. Mines cost 600 £ to build.

3. To produce a product such as clothes, blankets, or metal wares, you need to combine a unit of a resource (cotton, wool, or iron) with a unit of coal.
4. To buy any resource, you need to transport that resource from the place you brought it to your district by canal boat, packhorse, roadway cart, or railroad.
5. To sell a product (clothing, blankets, or metal wares) you need to transport that product to any one of the four ports (Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle, or Hull).
6. Some items such as railroads, pack horses, roadways, canals, and factories cost a set amount from the National Bank of England. Other items such as resources (coal, cotton, wool, and iron) must be negotiated with a classmates who wants to sell that resource for a price.
7. Your performance on this activity will be assessed on the success of your district as well as the quality of your final essay following completion of the simulation.
8. You must choose one of the eight possible labor force options before round one. You can not change your labor force option with the exception of at the end of round 5, when everyone will have one chance to change their labor force option if they want to.
9. Canals, railroads, and roadways can not be jointly shared by two districts by building them along the border.

  1. Districts receive two additional resources of their primary resource every round and one additional resource for their secondary resource (for example, Northumberland would receive two coal every round and one iron).

  1. You will be paid 400 £ each time you sell a product at a port.

12. You begin the simulation with 1500 £.




You must decide the characteristics of the labor force working in your district. Consider questions such as: What advantages are there in employing children to work in your district? What disadvantages are there in employing children? What advantages are there in employing one gender over the other? Is it advantageous to allow unionization in your district or is it unfavorable?

A) 100 % adult labor, 50 % men, 50% women

B) 100 % adult labor, 25 % men, 75 % women

C) 75 % adult labor, 25 % child labor

D) 50 % adult labor, 50 % child labor

e) unions allowed

f) unions prohibited

labor costs for the above options (per round):
Ae) 180 £

Be) 150 £

Ce) 140 £

De) 120 £

Af) 160 £

Bf) 130 £

Cf) 120 £

Df) 100 £

You must decide how to transport products and resources into and out of your district. Until railroads come into existence in round seven, your only three options for transportation include via canal, roadway, or pack horses. You cannot buy or sell resources or products without transportation links to other districts. Consider the following questions: What return will I get on my investment in different types of transportation? What volume of goods do I need to move across the land? Where do I need transportation links to?

construction costs (per unit that connects two districts):

canal 1000 £

railroad 800 £

roadway 300 £

pack horses 100 £

carrying capacity (per round)
canal four product units

railroad six product units

roadway two product units

pack horses one product unit

movement costs (per unit between two districts):
canal 60 £

railroad 100 £

roadway 40 £

pack horses 20 £

coal wool cotton iron

Northumberland 10 0 0 8

Cleveland/Durham 9 0 0 8

Lancashire 3 12 0 0

South Lancashire 8 7 0 0

Shropshire 5 6 0 10

Warwickshire 0 8 0 7

Gloustershire 0 12 0 0

West Midlands 4 2 0 7

Leistershire 0 7 0 6

Nottinghamshire 3 8 0 3

Derbyshire 4 12 0 2

Lincolnshire 0 10 0 3

West Riding 9 6 0 8

Humberside 0 15 0 0

Yorkshire 0 14 0 0

Cheshire 0 14 0 0

(read these before each round and apply the RESULT to that round)

before round 2:
EVENT: 1757, British East India Company establishes monopoly in India
RESULT: Cotton cheaply available from any port city for 100 £/unit

before round 3:
EVENT: 1767, Hanway Act causes closure of urban orphanages. Parishes now responsible for the housing and welfare of orphans provide the labor service of children to factories willing to house them.
RESULT: Child labor abundant. Labor options Ce, Cf, De, and Df cut labor costs in half for this round

before round 4:
EVENT: 1767-1779, Technological Inventions (1767, Hargreaves’ spinning jenny; 1769,Arkwright’s water frame; 1779, Crompton’s spinning mule).
RESULT: Cotton production increase, one unit of cotton and one unit of coal equals two units of clothing for this round

before round 5:
EVENT: 1799, Combination Act outlaws unions.
RESULT: Labor options Ae, Be, Ce, and De can't produce this round due to the unrest caused by prohibiting unionization.

before round 6:
EVENT: 1803-1815: Napoleonic Wars between France and Britain rage across the European continent.
RESULT: an increased demand for goods from British factories. Metal wares sold at ports bring double profit this round. Blanket and Clothing sales increase profit by 50 %.
before round 7:
EVENT: 1811-1819, Luddites and Perterloo Massacre. Luddites, beginning in Nottingham, are responsible for the destruction of machinery in protest of rising unemployment and lowering wages. In Manchester, eleven workers protesting for better conditions are killed when soldiers panic and fire on the demonstrating crowd.
RESULT: Labor options Af, Bf, Cf, and Df, Nottingham and Manchester can't produce this round due to social unrest in areas of restrictive labor practices.

before round 8:
EVENT: 1820's, Advent of Railroads. The invention of steam rail travel vastly expands the ability for British industry to transport goods around the country and to ports.
RESULT: Railroads may be purchased from the National Bank.

before round 9:
EVENT: 1824, Repeal of the Combinations Act grants workers limited ability to organize.
RESULT: none

before round 10:
EVENT: 1832, Factory and Labor Act significantly restricts the use of child labor in British industry.
RESULT: Labor options Ce, Cf, De, Df production is cut in half (one product is given for each two coal units matched with two resource units)
Student Record Sheet
Resources: coal wool cotton iron
Labor (circle one): Ae Be Ce De Af Bf Cf Df

Round # 1, 1750


Round # 2, 1757


Round # 3, 1767


Round # 4, 1779


Round # 5, 1799


Round # 6, 1815


Round # 7, 1818


Round # 8, 1820


Round # 9, 1824


Round # 10, 1832


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