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The Industrial Revolution

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Alexander Auerbach

on 5 October 2017

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Transcript of The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution
Where and When
Historiographical Debates
Begins in England & Scotland
What is it?
Very significant expansion and technological
change in four main activities, with serious
economic and social consequences:
Allows Britain, for a time, to become the wealthiest nation on earth, and to dominate the manufacture of material goods

Fosters significant changes in how labourers in certain "industries" (textiles, mining, metallurgy) experience work.

Changes patterns of daily life, especially for the urban working class and middle class
1st stage approx. 1760-1830
Spreads after to:
German states
No. Italian states
Bohemia (A-H)
United States
Production of textiles
Metallurgy (iron)
Mining (coal)
*Power for all three of the above
Rapid or
more gradual
Scale of change
Consequences for the working-class
Fostered creation of a "class identity" or
built on pre-existing trends
Increased prosperity or increased misery?
Women's roles?
"Industrial Revolution" or "Industrious Revolution"
What changed more, and was more significant, technology or the organization of labour and capital?
1st Industrial Revolution - 1760-1830 (Continental IR gets going)
2nd Industrial Revolution - 1830- 1914
(Some historians date beginning of 2nd IR to 1850s, introduction of Bessemer method of steel production)
Solutions to skill bottleneck
Solution to power bottleneck: Steam Power
Means, motive, opportunity
1.) Population growth Britain & Europe) -
labour and domestic market
2.) Technological and scientific advancement
a. Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment
Britain & Europe
3.) Wealth for investment in new ventures
(Britain & Europe)
1.) Demand for clothing and other textiles
(pop. growth)
2.) Ambition of middle-class, esp.
Nonconformists (Britain)
1.) Political Stability (Britain)
2.) Empire w/markets and raw materials
Why Britain? Why W. Europe?
Why this particular time period?
Precursor to the IR: The Agricultural Revolution
Never mind the Sex Pistols, I'm the
1.) New methods
2.) Private ownership
(instead of communal)
3.) Fewer, larger farms
4.) Segregation of ownership
and labour
18th c. Textile Entreprenuers
Move production to countryside,
where there is:
cheap labour, no Guilds
New problems: skill bottleneck, power
1. Division of Labour
2. Mechanization
Thomas Newcomen, "Atmospheric Engine," 1705
James Watt, "Steam Engine," 1769
Edmund Cartwright, "Power Loom," 1785
By 1820, a single weaver of cotton thread, aided by a machine, can produce what it took 200 weavers to do by hand in 1760.
- the cloth at the end of the process will sell for 1/10 what it did in 1760.
Coal and Iron
Age of Steam
Richard Tevithick's
"steam locomotive,"

2nd Industrial Revolution
approx. 1850-1914
3.) Steel
- application of formal scientific and engineering training
Steam engines
a self-sustaining cycle
Social Consequences
1.) accelerated urbanization
2.) growth of industrial towns and cities
3.) Overcrowding & disease
Gustave Dore, "Slums of London," 1850
Economic Consequences
1.) Industrialization would allow England to become the economic (and military) leader of the Western World in the 19th c.
a.1790-1850, industrial production grew 3-4% per year.
b.1830 – Britain produces 70% of the world’s coal and 50% of its cotton textiles and iron.
2.) 1800-1850.
a. Per capita income rises 85%
1.) Unlike the simple looms used for hand-weaving, the new steam-powered devices for textile manufacture were large and expensive
2.) So, it made more sense to bring the workers to the machines than vice-versa
3.) And thus, the modern "factory" was born.
- a factory being no more than a single location, dedicated to a specific industry, where workers, tools, and raw materials are all brought together
4.) However, well into the 19th century, most workers, even within the textile industry, still worked by hand or with simple machines, in small workshops
5.) It's not until the mid-19th. c. that large factories become the dominant mode of textile production
Textile factory, mid-19th c.
1750: 1/5 of English pop. live in towns or cities of over 5,000
1850: 3/5 of English pop. live in towns or cities of over 5,000
Persistance of class bias and
negative stereotypes, innit?
Full transcript