By 1700, small farms covered England’s landscape. Wealthy landowners, however, bought up much of the land that village farmers had once worked. Beginning in the early 1700s, large landowners dramatically improved farming methods. These agricultural changes amounted to an agricultural revolution. They eventually paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.
1. landowners enclosed their land with fences or hedges. The increase in their landholdings enabled them to cultivate larger fields, using new seeding and harvesting methods.
a. Within these larger fields, called enclosures, landowners experimented to discover more productive farming methods to boost crop yields.
2. The enclosure movement had two important results.
a. landowners experimented with new agricultural methods.
b. large landowners forced small farmers to become tenant farmers or to give up farming and move to the cities.
1. The process of crop rotation proved to be one of the best developments of the scientific farmers.
a. One year, for example, a farmer might plant a field with wheat, which exhausted soil nutrients. The next year he planted a root crop, such as turnips, to restore nutrients. This might be followed in turn by barley, then clover.
2. These improvements in farming made up an agricultural revolution.
a. As food supplies increased and living conditions improved
b. England’s population increased.
c. Increasing population boosted the demand for food and goods.
3. As farmers lost their land to large enclosed farms, many became factory workers.
1. The small island country had extensive natural resources. These natural resources included
1. Railroads spurred industrial growth by giving manufacturers a cheap way to transport goods.
2. The railroad boom created hundreds of thousands of new jobs for both railroad workers and miners.
3. The railroads boosted England’s agricultural and fishing industries, which could transport their products to distant cities.
4. By making travel easier, railroads encouraged country people to take distant city jobs.
Industrialization Changes Way of Life
Growth of Industrial Cities
1. Industrialization improves life
a. More people could afford to heat their homes with coal from Wales
b. They wore better clothing, woven on power looms in England’s industrial cities.
2. However, other people suffered from industrialization.
a. Most of Europe’s urban areas at least doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in population. This period was one of urbanization—city building and the movement of people to cities.
1. No plans, no sanitary codes, and no building codes controlled the growth of England’s cities.
2. Lacked adequate housing, education, and police protection for the people who poured in from the countryside seeking jobs.
3. Unpaved streets had no drains and collected heaps of garbage.
4. Workers lived in dark, dirty shelters, whole families crowding into one bedroom.
2. Sickness was widespread.
a. Cholera epidemics regularly swept through the slums of Great Britain’s industrial cities.
b. An average life span was 17 years for working-class people in one large city, compared with 38 years in a nearby rural area.
1. The average worker spent 14 hours a day at the job, 6 days a week.
2. Industry also posed new dangers in work.
a. Factories were seldom well-lit or clean.
b. Machines injured workers in countless ways.
c. There was no government program to provide aid in case of injury.
2. The most dangerous conditions of all were found in the coal mines.
a. A miner’s life span was ten years shorter than that of other workers.
1. Though poverty gripped Britain’s working classes, the Industrial Revolution created
enormous amounts of money in the country.
2. Most of this wealth lined the pockets of factory owners, shippers, and merchants. A. These wealthy people made up a growing middle class—a social class of skilled workers, professionals, businesspeople, and wealthy farmers.
Positive Effects of the Industrial Revolution
1. the Industrial Revolution eventually had a number of positive effects.
a. It created jobs for workers.
b. It contributed to the wealth of the nation.
c. It fostered technological progress and invention.
d. It greatly increased the production of goods and raised the standard of living.
2. The Industrial Revolution produced a number of other benefits as well.
a. These included healthier diets; better housing; and cheaper, mass-produced clothing.
b. It expanded educational opportunities.
An Age of Reformation
The Philosophers of the Industrial Revolution
1. The term laissez faire refers to the economic policy of letting owners of industry and business set working conditions without interference.
a. That policy favors a free market unregulated by the government.