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Industrial Revolution

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Essay title: Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was the major shift of technological socioeconomic and cultural conditions in the late 18th and early 19th century that began in great and spread throughout the world. During that time, an economy based on was replaced by one dominated by industry and the manufacture of machinery. It began with the mechanization of the textile industries and the development of iron-making techniques, and trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and then railways. The introduction of steam (fuelled primarily by coal) and powered machinery mainly in textile manufacturing underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity. The development of all-metal machine tools in the first two decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries.

The causes of the Industrial Revolution were complex, with some historians seeing the Revolution as an outgrowth of social and institutional changes brought by the end of feudalism in Britain after the English civil war in the 17th century. As national border controls became more effective, the spread of disease was diminishing, therefore preventing the epidemics common in previous times. The percentage of children who lived past infancy rose significantly, leading to a larger workforce. The enclosure movement and the British agriculture revolution made food production more efficient and less labor-intensive, encouraging the surplus population who could no longer find employment in agriculture into the cotton, for example weaving, and in the longer term into the cities and the newly-developed factories. The colonial expansion of the 17th century with the accompanying development of international trade, creation of financial markets and accumulation of wealth are also cited as factors, as is the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Technological innovation protected by the Statute of Monopolies in 1623 was, of course, at the heart of it and the key enabling technology was the invention and improvement of the steam engine. The presence of a large domestic market should also be considered an important driver of the Industrial Revolution, particularly explaining why it occurred in Britain. In other nations, such as France, markets were split up by local regions, which often imposed tolls and taxes on goods traded amongst themselves.

The greatest technological innovation of the industrial revolution was the invention of the steam engine. A British man named James Watt developed the idea of using steam to power machines into a practicality thus enabling rapid development of efficient semi-automated factories on a previously unimaginable scale. This was applied to all aspects of industry and engineering. Earlier improvements in iron smelting and metal working based on the use of coke (bituminous coal residue) rather than charcoal allowed Watt and others before him to exploit the possibilities of using steam as a form of power. As a result metals production boomed making a variety of metals relatively inexpensive and readily available for the manufacturing of various tools and new industrial equipment. Earlier in the 18th century, the textile industry had harnessed water power to drive improved

Spinning machines and looms. These textile mills became the model for the organization of human labor in factories, epitomized by cottonpolis the name given to the vast collection of mills. As a result cotton textiles had become the single most important industrial product in terms of output, capital, and investment. Besides the innovation of machinery in factories, the assembly line greatly improved efficiency too. With a series of men trained to do a single task on a product, then having it moved along to the next worker, the number of finished goods also rose significantly.

Great Britain took the lead in the industrial revolution for a number of reasons. The greater liberalization of trade from a large merchant base may have

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