12 Facts on the Industrial Revolution
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Questions & Answers
What effect on poverty did the industrial revolution have?
The Industrial Revolution certainly changed the nature of poverty. Before the Industrial Revolution, poverty generally came with rural serfs working on farms. Afterward, poverty was more likely to be seen among urban working class factory workers. Overall the Industrial Revolution improved lives, with far more children surviving into adulthood than ever before thanks to better conditions. Working class poverty was more visible because it was gathered in pockets, whereas older rural poverty was spread across numerous farms and was harder to see.Helpful 8
Did kids work for free during the Industrial Revolution?
Children were paid but received considerably less money than adults. Typically an adult woman would receive half as much as an adult male, and a child would receive around half as much as a woman.Helpful 14
How has the industrial revolution benefited our lives today?
Basic goods like clothes and food are generally much more plentiful and cheaper nowadays, thanks to manufacturing and the mechanization of farming. There is also a much wider choice of products available to people. Travel is quicker, more comfortable and convenient, enabling us to go very long distances in short time periods, as well as large transport amounts of goods. Jobs are generally much better paid and less physically arduous than they were in pre-industrial times, contributing to people living longer. Medical treatments have blossomed with X-ray machines, scanners, and incubators. Communications have advanced with mass-produced books, telephones, televisions, and computers. Labor-saving devices such as vacuum cleaners, washing-machines and driers have taken much of the drudgery out of housework. Our towns and cities are lit and powered by electric. Last but not least, the industrial revolution has contributed to creating a modern society of educated children, a larger middle class, less poverty overall, and an equal role for women in society, as jobs become less physical and, increased production leads to greater affluence and more potential leisure time.Helpful 16
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© 2012 Paul Goodman