The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution (1760-1840) brought a marked change in European society with several developments. These were mainly the change from hand production to machine production and the change in focus from producing goods for those who could afford them, to producing goods for the average person (mass production for mass consumption).

Spinning Jenny

The Spinning Jenny

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain, although it would later spread throughout the Western world. On the eve of the revolution the textile industry was based on the entrepreneur-craftsman relationship. The wool products would be made in the homes of the craftsman and then given to the entrepreneurs to sell. However, in 1764 James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny. This was a mechanized cotton spinner, which made production more efficient. The process was then taken over by the factories.

Steam Engine -- Thomas Savery

Savery’s Steam Engine

The steam engine was a tremendous invention. It was first used in industrialization by Thomas Savery in 1698. From there, it became the primary source of power for factories around Europe.

The Standard-of-Living debate was a controversy about whether or not the standard of living improved during the Industrial Revolution. This argument is outdated because historians have already agreed that the standard of living did improved. The debate over when it improved is the current question.

Although the revolution brought jobs and better homes to some people who previously couldn’t afford them, most people still lived in poverty. Child labor was a main part of the efficiency of the factories. Although child labor had been previously employed, the increase in population and the demand for more workers made child labor more prominent. The jobs the often under-age children would be given were often highly dangerous and sometimes fatal.

Although this revolution brought about great industrial improvements in the West, there was also an increase in such things as child labor.



4 thoughts on “The Industrial Revolution

  1. From my research on the Industrial Revolution (both phases), it would be reasonable to say that life improved during the Victorian Era of Britain, which began in 1820 after George III’s death and Victoria taking the crown. During the Victorian Era culture flourished, and famous authors such as Charles Dickens came into the scene. Nice Job! 🙂


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