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12 Facts on the Industrial Revolution

Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule, an important invention in 18th Century textile making.  Mules were operated in pairs by a minder, with the help of two boys, known as the little piecer and the big, or side piercer.
Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule, an important invention in 18th Century textile making. Mules were operated in pairs by a minder, with the help of two boys, known as the little piecer and the big, or side piercer. | Source

The Industrial Revolution is the name given to the enormous changes that took place with technology, farming, mining, manufacturing, and transportation from the middle of the 18th Century through to the middle of the 19th Century.

These changes had a massive impact on people’s social and cultural life, as well as their economic conditions.

I hope that you enjoy reading my 12 facts on the industrial revolution and find them interesting.

1. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain. It later spread to Western Europe, North America, and around the world.

2. The main thing that happened during the Industrial Revolution was that machines were developed that could perform many of the jobs and tasks that had previously been done by people (or in some cases, animals, such as horses).

The Industrial Revolution was another of those extraordinary jumps forward in the story of civilization.

— Stephen Gardiner

3. Before the Industrial Revolution, societies were largely rural and people made things at home. Industrialization meant that more and more people lived in cities, and goods were mass produced in purpose-built factories.

Drawing of Marshall's Mills, a flax mill in Holbeck, Leeds, England, showing workers at their machines.  The picture is taken from the Penny Magazine Supplement, December 1843.  The mill was earlier targeted in the Plug Riots of August 1842.
Drawing of Marshall's Mills, a flax mill in Holbeck, Leeds, England, showing workers at their machines. The picture is taken from the Penny Magazine Supplement, December 1843. The mill was earlier targeted in the Plug Riots of August 1842. | Source

4. The Industrial Revolution generally brought about much better economic conditions for most people, but the poor and working classes often suffered with grim jobs and terrible living conditions. Dissatisfaction and poverty sometimes resulted in social breakdown, protests, and rioting.

The Luddites

The industrial revolution meant that many artisans saw their traditional livelihoods wiped out by the new machines. The Luddites were a group of English textile artisans who protested against the introduction of labour-replacing machinery from 1811 to 1817 often through sabotage and other forms of resistance. Protests broke out in Nottinghamshire and Northern England and became violent in some instances, with fighting between the protesters and the British Army.

5. There are still some countries in Africa and Asia that have yet to experience industrialization. These countries are sometimes referred to as “Third World” or "Developing" nations.

In the industrial revolution Britain led the world in advances that enabled mass production: trade exchanges, transportation, factory technology and new skills needed for the new industrialised world.

— Lucy Powell

6. Britain was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution for three main reasons. Firstly, Britain had lots of coal and iron ore, which was needed to power and make the machines that were required by industrialization. Secondly, it helped that Britain was politically stable. Thirdly, Britain was a major colonial power at the time, with the colonies providing both the raw materials for manufacturing and the marketplaces for the manufactured goods to be sold after they had been made.

Steam powered traction engines.  Although these vehicles seem large, heavy and difficult to manoeuvre from a modern viewpoint, they revolutionized agriculture and road haulage when they were introduced.
Steam powered traction engines. Although these vehicles seem large, heavy and difficult to manoeuvre from a modern viewpoint, they revolutionized agriculture and road haulage when they were introduced. | Source

7. The Industrial Revolution was the most important thing to happen in human history since the time when animals and plants were domesticated.

8. Before the Industrial Revolution happened, each generation of people produced a roughly similar amount of products to their predecessors and overall economic wealth was fairly stagnant. After industrialization, production began to grow quickly and it generally continued to grow each year.

"I am always struck by the fact that human awareness of our place in nature, like so much of modern science, began with the Industrial Revolution."

— Kenneth R. Miller

9. The Industrial Revolution effectively created a new economic system, known as: “Capitalism”.

10. Although the overall effects of industrialization were positive, there were many bad sides too, including all the pollution and waste that was created as a side effect by the machines. Working practices also became more regimented and many people worked long hours in factories performing repetitive, and sometimes dangerous or unhealthy jobs.

When the Industrial Revolution started, the amount of carbon sitting underneath Britain in the form of coal was as big as the amount of carbon sitting under Saudi Arabia in the form of oil, and this carbon powered the Industrial Revolution, it put the 'Great' in Great Britain, and led to Britain's temporary world domination.

— David J. C. MacKay

11. The production of textiles was one of the things that was totally transformed by the Industrial Revolution. Before industrialization, people generally made clothes at home. Merchants would often give the clothes makers the raw materials and essential equipment, and then collect and sell the finished products for them.

Children at work in a mill in Georgia.  Child labor, often with long hours and harsh conditions, was unfortunately common during the early part of the industrial revolution.
Children at work in a mill in Georgia. Child labor, often with long hours and harsh conditions, was unfortunately common during the early part of the industrial revolution. | Source

Industrialization meant that machines took over most of the work, with humans becoming less and less involved. On top of that, those that did work had to go to a factory each day, where their time and effort was closely monitored for efficiency. In effect, production increased, but not everyone’s lives got better.

12. The steam engine was one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution. The first practical steam engine was a machine made to pump water out of mines by the English inventor, Thomas Newcomen in 1712. The steam engine design was later improved upon by the Scotsman, James Watt. As well as powering the machines used in factories and mines, steam engines were also used in ships and locomotives, which improved transportation dramatically.

The Scottish inventor, James Watt, who dramatically improved steam powered engines.  Through redesigning the engines of his time, he found that he could avoid much of the energy waste, and greatly improve their power and efficiency.
The Scottish inventor, James Watt, who dramatically improved steam powered engines. Through redesigning the engines of his time, he found that he could avoid much of the energy waste, and greatly improve their power and efficiency. | Source

If you go back to 1800, everybody was poor. I mean everybody. The Industrial Revolution kicked in, and a lot of countries benefited, but by no means everyone.

— Bill Gates

© 2012 Paul Goodman

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Comments 21 comments

incomeguru profile image

incomeguru 4 years ago from Lagos

Industrialization and urbanization brought some problems, such as, overcrowding of the cities, traffic congestion, pollution, social vices like rape.

As a result of these, urban and regional planning was introduced to manage and control changing human environmental system.


Leyla Badija 3 years ago

Where does the word industrial come from .


PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 3 years ago from Florida USA Author

From the French word, industriel, and from Medieval Latin, industrialis, meaning "diligence, activity, zeal." It took on its modern meaning later in England.


Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Probably the most important revolution Europe has ever met, along with the French Revolution that is...

It changed everything!


My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

A very good, interesting and useful for history studies. Good share, thank you.


Jatinder Joshi profile image

Jatinder Joshi 3 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Interesting facts about the industrial revolution, which changed the way people lived, communicated and made money and war.

Great article.


jt 2 years ago

i love it


Victor Aspilcueta 20 months ago

This is really useful for my homework, this is so great information about the facts about industrial revolution.


Evan 19 months ago

Wow! My wife had a headache and reading this list to her got her clear headed enough to put her right to sleep.


emma 13 months ago

wow what good facts this helped me to finish my homework


Cerys 13 months ago

Good Article

Thanks


ryry 10 months ago

I like


devakiandan 10 months ago

super ,thanks


suzelle de toit 10 months ago

really interesting facts I learned some new thing today !!!!!!!


Jack rees 5 months ago

Interesting facts I learned some more things about the poor life's of people


Sacred heart college 3 months ago

Solid facts aye bro loving the facts thank you take care


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

It's interesting how so many things seem to repeat themselves in history. I learned a lot of new things from your hub. For example, the Luddites complaining about automation taking away their jobs.

The same thing seems to be happening today, but in reverse. People tell me every once in a while that they are upset because they can't talk to a live person when they call their bank or insurance company. Everything is automated online.

I happen to like that because I feel it speeds things up and is more accurate. But that's just me, because I come from a computer background. I can understand why the general layman would rather talk to a live person.

I also found it interesting that the production of textiles was part of the industrial revolution. I never thought about that before, but it makes sense because people didn't have to make clothing by hand anymore.

The Industrial Revolution sure I had a major impact on many aspects of life.


Devon Grogan 2 months ago

I only needed 10 facts about the industrial revolution for my history homework but this is 1 of my fave subjects in school! Thank you!


steph 3 weeks ago

great facts


Helena Leet 2 weeks ago

Amazing, it helped me with my homework yesterday and I got an A+ just for writing it out! My friend Teressa says that I might as well have been there! My history teacher was so impressed that I also got a positive note! Here are a few more facts though: Britain had the highest wages=11k, Delhi had the lowest wages=-2k, Eductaion was a privallaige, not a right. Thank you, whoever made this! My cousin Lila's doing this next term, so I am SO going to recommend this awesome site! Thank you, once again.


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    PaulGoodman67 profile image

    Paul Goodman (PaulGoodman67)495 Followers
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    Paul graduated from university in 1987. He has done a variety of jobs, including librarian and teacher. He currently resides in Florida.



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