AP European History
Understanding the Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution was a time of great change in the way people lived. The word revolution means change and from this we know that there was a large change to industry and society. The revolution began in the 18th and 19th century and consisted of factories replacing machines for hand labor. It is very important to know the causes of the industrial revolution, then it becomes possible to adequately evaluate the industrial revolution itself. The inventions, social classes, and working conditions are all among things that hold importance when discussing the industrial revolution.
The industrial revolution was caused by many things, instead of just one major event. To begin, the agricultural revolution caused a major rise of population in England. This population growth caused a higher demand for clothing. New financial innovations such as banks, stock markets, and joint stock companies encouraged people to take new risks with investing and trading. Also the scientific revolution encouraged people to think in new scientific and technological ways. The coal and iron industries were of extreme importance during this time. Deposits were abundant in Great Britain and were essential to the development of new machines. The cottage industry relied heavily on these machines, hourly wages, and cloth production. Government Policies in England toward property and commerce also encouraged modernism and the spread of global trade. The government created patent laws that allowed inventors to benefit financially from the “intellectual property” of their inventions.
There were many extremely valuable inventions that came about during the industrial revolution. They made certain tasks easier which made things faster and cheaper. The steam engine is a heat engine that uses water/steam as its working fluid. The steam engine was not something that was just invented by one person, but was devolved over time by additions made by multiple people all over the world. It heavily impacted mass production and shipping materials. It was also valuable in transportation. In return this affected communication since steam-powered locomotives and vehicles, and ships were used in transporting mails. Before the steam engine, the only sources of power were human or animal labor. It can be inferred that the steam engine made life much easier during this time period. The spinning jenny was a multi-spindle spinning frame. It was invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves. The machine used eight spindles onto which the thread was spun, so by turning a single wheel, the operator could now spin eight threads at once. This increased to eighty with improvements in the technology. The spinning jenny made it possible for one person to do the work of several other people. This successfully ended the system of cottage industry, which threw a lot of people into complete poverty and impoverishment. There were not enough jobs for all the people who had previously supported themselves through producing yarn and then selling it from their homes, because the spinning jenny made them needless. This obviously had a colossal effect on the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. The cotton gin was invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney. It is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds. This made cotton easier and quicker to manufacture, and benefited the cotton-pickers. All of the inventions during the industrial revolution made things move quicker. It sped up the process in
During the industrial revolution, two social classes emerged, the middle class and working class. Before the Industrial revolution, there was only the really rich and the really poor, also known as the nobles and peasants. The middle class consisted of business owners, lawyers and doctors. The businessmen bought and owned the factories and machines. The people in the middle-class had the…