Report - Industrial revolution in Great Britain

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2001

2 Pages, Grade: 2+

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The most far-reaching, influential transformation of human culture since the advent of agriculture eight or ten thousand years ago was the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century in Europe. The consequences of this revolution would change human labour, consumption, family structure, and even the soul and thoughts of the individual. While it’s hard to tell the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, historians generally agree that it is basically originated in England, both in a series of technological and social innovations. After the Agricultural Revolution the English countryside was transformed to an open-field system of cultivation which gave the opportunity of having compact farms. By the beginning of the 18th century in England, the use of machines in manufacturing was already wide spread.

- Reasons for the Revolution:

The increase in the population of Europe (it most often occurs when standards of production rise).⃗New inventions Europe moved from a primarily agricultural and rural economy to a capitalist and urban economy, from a household, family-based economy to an industry-based economy

- Technological Changes since 1700:

-The Steam Engine: The first modern steam engine was built by the engineer Thomas

Newcomen in 1705 to improve the pumping of water out of tin and copper mines. In 1763 James Watt, an instrument maker from Glasgow, began to improve Newcomen’s engine. He added a crank and flywheel to provide rotary motion.

-Electric Power: In 1831 Michael Faraday demonstrated how electricity could be mechanically produced. Electricity was a major factor in the phenomenally rapid industriali- zation, by 1936 Great Britain had built an “electric grid” completely covering the country.

-Railroads: At the middle of the 18th century the plate or rail track had been in common use for moving coal from the pithead to the colliery or furnace. The big railway boom came in the years 1844 to 1847. British success with steam locomotion was enough to encourage the building of railroads in most European countries, often with British capital, equipment, and technicians.

- Communications: By 1875 the Universal Postal Union had been established to facilitate the transmission of mail between foreign countries. In 1871, telegraph cables reached from London to Australia; messages could be flashed halfway around the globe in a matter of minutes, speeding commercial transactions.

- Changing Social Patterns:

The Industrial Revolution brought with it an increase in population and urbanization, as well as new social classes. The general population increase was aided by a greater supply of food made available by the Agricultural Revolution and by the growth of medical science and public health which decreased the death rate. By the mid-nineteenth century most large European cities exhibited spectacular growth. Reasons for the rise of great cities were:

1. Industrialization called for the concentration of a work force
2. The necessity for marketing finished goods created great urban centres where there was access to water or railways (ex.: Liverpool, Hamburg, Marseilles, New York)
3. Natural tendency for established political centres such as London, Paris, and Berlin to become centres for the banking and marketing functions of the new industrialism. The bad living conditions in the towns can be traced to lack of good brick, the absence of building codes, and the lack of machinery for public sanitation. The Industrial Revolution created a new working class. The new class of industrial workers included all the men, women, and children labouring in the textile mills, pottery works, and mines. The workers’ wages were low, working hours were too long, and working conditions unpleasant and dangerous. It took the people a lot of their strength and time to achieve the industrialization.


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Das große Lingen Universal Lexikon, Aufl. 1989 , Lingen Verlag Köln Die Wirtschaftsgeschichte Großritanniens, Heiner Kutt, 1992 Material from former classes in History and Economics

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Till Bühler (Author), 2001, Report - Industrial revolution in Great Britain, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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