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The Origins of Industrialisation

Autor:   •  February 27, 2018  •  Course Note  •  680 Words (3 Pages)  •  644 Views

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How did the Industrial Revolution transform economies and societies?

The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the 18th century and spread across Europe and North America. It led to the most significant changes in human history and transformed the agrarian-based economy into an industrial economy.

Three factors were linked to the birth and improvement of industry:

- The factory system: Production method with workers concentrated in factories that led to an increase in productivity.

- Mechanisation: Use of machines replacing manual labour and animal traction for both manufacturing and transportation.

- Use of new energy sources: Hydropower (water wheels to move machinery) and use of coal to produce steam power.

The Industrial Revolution involved a series of changes or other revolutions:

- Agricultural:

Concentration of land ownership. (Enclosure Acts)

New cultivation system (Norfolk instead three-field rotation)

New machines for mechanical sowing, for ploughing (Rotherham plough)

New crops

- Demographic: Increase of population that helped to the industrial boom because there were more workers and more demand for goods.

Urban growth due to the rural exodus (peasants moving to work in factories)

- Technological:

Flying shuttle1, spinning machines2 and power loom3 in textile industry.

James Watt’s4 steam engine5 for industry and transport

- Transport and trade

The steam engine will be used for new means of transport like the steam locomotive (Stephenson) and even for steamships.

- Financial:

Development of the capitalism:

Based on economic liberalism (free market)

Private ownership

Economic activities respond to the free initiative of individuals looking for maximum profit.

Market regulated by the law of supply and demand

One of its problems? Overproduction

Growth of finance:

Banks started to multiply

The need for capital led to the creation of public limited companies. The capital was divided into shares that can be sold and bought on the stock exchange.


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