Chapter 23 -- Part 1: The Revolution in Energy and Industry
Children worked in dangerous and unsanitary conditions in early factories.
Until a mechanized process was invented at the end of the 19th century, boys working in glassbottle factories, like the youth pictured here, learned to blowglass.
While the revolutions of the Atlantic world were opening a new political era, another revolution was beginning to transform economic and social life.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain around 1780.
The impact and significance of the development of agriculture during Neolithic times is not known.
Human experience was profoundly altered by industrialization.
It changed patterns of work, changed the social structure, and changed the international balance of political power in favor of the most rapidly industrialized nations.
The Industrial Revolution was not revolutionary because of its pace or because it was a break from the previous period.
The rate of progress was slow as the Industrial Revolution built on earlier developments.
The Industrial Revolution inaugurated a period of sustained economic and demographic growth that has continued to this day.
The Industrial Revolution helped ordinary people in the West gain a higher standard of living.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, a nation created by Scotland, Wales, and England in 1707.
The transformation in industry was new in history.
In late-eightteenth-century Britain, there was a unique combination of possibilities and constraints.
Britain pioneered not only in industrial technology but also in social relations and urban living because of no models to copy and no idea of what to expect.
The most important debate in economic history is about why the Industrial Revolution started in western Europe and not in other parts of the world, such as Asia.
The best answer seems to be that Britain had a unique set of constraints, including abundant coal, high wages, a peaceful and centralized government, innovative culture, and a strong position in empire.
There were a number of factors that contributed to the Industrial Revolution in Britain.
The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution fostered a new way of thinking about the natural world.
Britain's intellectual culture emphasized the public sharing of knowledge, including that of scientists and technicians from other countries.
The expansion of rural industry produced a surplus of English woolen cloth.
Commercial profits and high wages were brought to Europe by English cloth.
Britain was well served by the expanding Atlantic economy and trade with India and China.
British workers earned high wages compared to the rest of the world's laborers because of the raw materials they used to manufacture.
The Industrial Revolution was brought about by agriculture.
In 1700, English farmers were second only to the Dutch in productivity, and they were constantly adopting new methods of farming.
Landowners were able to produce more food with a smaller workforce.
The landless poor were left to work as hired agricultural laborers or in rural industry because of the enclosure movement.
The groups created a pool of potential workers.
The English family no longer had to spend most of their income on bread because of the abundance of food and high wages.
The family could spend more on manufactured goods.
They can pay to send their children to school.
Compared to the rest of Europe, Britain's populace had high levels of education.
In the 18th century, the average British family was redirecting their labor away from paid work for household consumption and toward work for wages that they could spend on goods.
Britain was able to take advantage of rich natural resources and developed infrastructure.
When it was cheaper to ship goods by water than by land, no part of England was more than fifty miles away.
This advantage was enhanced by a canal-building boom.
England and Wales have enormous deposits of iron and coal.
The abundance of coal combined with high wages in manufacturing gave Britain a unique position among the nations of the world: its manufacturers had extremely strong incentives to develop technologies to draw on the power of coal to increase workmen's productivity.
The costs of mechanization outweigh the potential gains in productivity in India and China.
The British state and its policies were the final factor that favored British industrialization.
Britain's parliamentary system taxed its population aggressively and spent the money on an army that could be used to quell uprisings by disgruntled workers.
Aggressive tariffs, or duties, on imported goods were adopted by the British state to protect its industries.
The term burst of major inventions and technical changes was first used to describe the changes that took place in certain industries.
An impressive quickening in the annual rate of industrial growth in Britain was the result of this technical revolution.
The first breakthrough of the Industrial Revolution was the creation of the world's first machine-powered factories in the British cotton textile industry.
A new system of production and social relationships was created by technological innovations in the manufacture of cotton cloth.
The putting-out system of the seventeenth-century textile industry involved a merchant who lent raw materials to cottage workers who processed them in their own homes and returned the finished products to the merchant.
The work of four or five spinners was needed to keep one weaver employed in the cottage industry.
The putting-out system grew most extensively in Britain during the 18th century.
The supply of thread was put under pressure by the growth of demand.
A better spinning wheel promised rich rewards.
Cotton was different from the traditional raw materials and it was difficult to spin with improved machines.
Cotton textiles were imported into Britain from India by the East India Company as a rare and delicate luxury for the upper classes.
The English and other Europeans traded cotton cloth for enslaved people in West Africa in the 18th century.
The domestic cotton industry in northern England was not able to compete with cloth produced in India and other parts of Asia.
English entrepreneurs invented new technologies to bring down labor costs.
James Hargreaves, a carpenter and jack-of-all trades, invented his cotton-spinning jenny in the 18th century.
The water frame was invented by Richard Arkwright, a barber-turned-manufacturer.
Richard Arkwright, an inventor, was extremely wealthy because of the explosion in the infant cotton textile industry in the 1780s.
The new machines were ten times more productive than the old ones.
It was simple, inexpensive, and powered by hand.
The machines were usually worked by women, who used one hand to move the carriage and the other to turn the wheel.
The male weaver couldn't keep up with the female spinner.
The spinning machine was created by James Hargreaves.
The cotton strands on the slanted bobbins were passed up to the sliding carriage and then on to the spindles for fine spinning in this illustration of Hargreaves's spinning jenny.
The worker regulated the sliding carriage with one hand and the other turned the crank on the wheel to power it.
One woman could spin a hundred threads at a time.
Arkwright used a different principle.
There was a solution in waterpower.
As many as one thousand workers were employed by the large specialized mills located beside the rivers.
The water frame could only spin a coarse thread.
The hybrid machine was invented around 1780 and was capable of spinning large quantities of thread.
Cotton was spun in large-scale factories.
A spinning machine created by Richard Arkwright that had a capacity of several hundred spindles and used waterpower required a larger and more specialized mill.
British manufacturers are successful in international markets with fine and coarse cotton thread.
The machines were too expensive to be used in continental Europe or elsewhere because they didn't have enough savings in labor.
Families using cotton in cottage industry were freed from their constant search for adequate yarn from scattered part-time spinners because all the thread needed could be spun in the cottage on the jenny or obtained from a nearby factory.
The income of weavers rose rapidly until about 1792, when they were hard-pressed to keep up with the spinners.
The power loom was designed to save on labor costs.
In 1755, Edmund Cartwright achieved something.
The handlooms were not fully replaced until the 1820s.
Adult workers were reluctant to work in the early cotton factories because of the poor working conditions.
Orphanages and abandoned children were often used by factory owners.
The officers charged with caring for such children saved money by placing them in apprenticeship with factory owners.
The owners were able to gain workers over slave owners.
The spinning mule was invented by Samuel Crompton.
The life story of Samuel Crosby shows the ingenuity and determination of the first generation of inventors in the Industrial Revolution, as well as the struggles they faced in controlling and profiting from their inventions.
In the 17th century, the village of Crompton was active in the domestic production of cotton thread and cloth.
His father died shortly after he was born and his grandfather lost the family land.
The family was supported by the mother's tenant farming and spinning of cotton.
He began weaving when he was old enough to spin.
He attended night classes as a teenager while his mother ensured that he was well educated at the local school.
John Kay's invention of the flying shuttle doubled the speed of handloom weaving, leading to a drastic rise in the demand for thread.
The new spinning jennies were invented by James Hargreaves and he saw for himself how they increased productivity.
Over the next five years, he had enough money and time to work on the spinning machine.
Surrounded by nature and fearful of competition, Crompton worked alone and in secret.
He earned extra money playing violin in the theater orchestra and had a set of tools from his father's mechanical experiments.
The spinning mule was a result of this effort and was made up of the rollers of Arkwright's water frame and the carriage of Hargreaves's jenny.
The mule allowed spinners to make very fine and strong thread in large quantities.
The mule ended England's reliance on India for its finest cloth.
In 1780, the town was poised for a prosperous and happy life because of a technological breakthrough and a beloved bride.
manufacturers were desperate to learn the secrets of his machine, as demand surged for the products of his machine.
Too poor and naive to purchase a patent for his invention, Crompton shared it with manufacturers through a subscription agreement.
He didn't receive much of the promised money.
The spinning mule quickly spread across Great Britain after being exposed to the public.
He had to compete with all the other workshops using his machine to make high-quality yarn.
He couldn't keep skilled workers since they were lured away by his competitors' higher wages.
The hybrid machine is a replica of the spinning mule.
As others earned wealth with the mule, he was frustrated by his poverty.
He went to Great Britain to document his invention's impact.
He estimated that there were over 4 million mules in operation.
The figures were taken to Parliament, where they were granted a reward of PS5,000.
His business ventures failed after the boost did little to improve his fortunes.
He died in poverty at the age of seventy-four after local benefactors took up a small subscription to provide for his needs.
Europe relied on wood for energy and most of the work was done by humans and animals.
Europe and the rest of the world were poor in power and energy.
By the 18th century wood was in short supply.
Pig iron could be processed into steel, cast iron, or wrought iron by mixing wood and iron in blast furnaces.
The British iron industry was stagnant by 1740 because of their huge appetite for wood.
The British looked to coal as an alternative to wood.
Coal was a source of heat in the Middle Ages.
Coal was used in industry to provide heat for making beer, glass, soap, and other products, and most homes in London were heated with it by 1640 Coal was used to power machinery and produce mechanical energy.
The iron shaft being hammered into shape is being manipulated in a painting by the inventor.
To produce more coal, mines had to be deeper and filled with water.
Animals walking in circles at the surface powered mechanical pumps that had to be installed.
It was expensive to have animal power.
In an attempt to overcome these disadvantages, Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen invented the first primitive engines that burned coal to produce steam that drove the water pumps.
The breakthrough invention by Savery and Newcomen in 1698 and 1705 that burned coal to produce steam, which was then used to operate a pump, was replaced by James Watt's more efficient steam engine in 1769.
James Watt was drawn to the study of the steam engine by a gifted young Scot.
Watt was a skilled craftsman at the University of Glasgow.
The Newcomen engine was being used in a physics course.
The Newcomen engine could be improved by adding a separate condenser.
The invention increased the efficiency of the steam engine.
Watt needed skilled workers, precision parts, and capital in order to make his invention a success.
Watt had adequate capital and exceptional skills in salesmanship thanks to a partnership he had with Matthew Boulton.
Among Britain's highly skilled locksmiths, tinsmiths, and millwrights, Watt found mechanics who could install, regulate, and repair his sophisticated engines.
Watt was gradually able to purchase precision parts.
Boulton and Watt made the steam engine a success in Britain.
Watt's steam engine was the most fundamental advance in technology of the Industrial Revolution.
For the first time in history, humanity had almost unlimited power at its disposal.
During the 1780s, steam power replaced waterpower in cotton-spinning mills, which led to the industry's phenomenal rise.
In flour mills, steam replaced waterpower, in the malt mills used in breweries, in the flint mills supplying the pottery industry, and in the mills exported by Britain to the West Indies to crush sugarcane.
The British iron industry has changed a lot.
The amount of pig iron produced by British ironmakers increased after the adoption of steam-driven bellows in blast furnaces.
The puddling furnace was developed in the 1780s and allowed pig iron to be refined with coke, a smokeless and hot-burning fuel.
The steam-powered rolling mills were capable of releasing iron in every shape and form.
The British iron industry boomed because of these technical innovations.
In 1740 British iron production was 17,000 tons.
By 1806, coke production had reached 260,000 tons.
Britain produced 3 million tons of iron in the 19th century.
Iron was the cheapest building block of the British economy.
Richard Trevithick built the first steam locomotive.
George Stephenson's locomotive sped down the track of the new railway at a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour.
The first modern railroad used steam-powered locomotives to carry customers to the new industrial cities.
It was a financial and technical success, and many private companies built more rail lines.
The main trunk lines of Great Britain were completed in twenty years.
The first steam-powered trains in the United States in the 1830s and in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and the British colonies of Canada, Australia, and India in the 1850s were followed by other countries.
George Stephenson's locomotive reached a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour when it was first tested in Manchester in the late 19th century.
Coal and iron deposits were close to one another in the rapidly growing cities of the north and center of England.
The railroad's arrival had a lot of consequences.
The cost and uncertainty of shipping freight over land was dramatically reduced.
As the barrier of high transportation costs was lowered, markets became larger and even nationwide.
Larger markets encouraged manufacturers to build larger factories with more sophisticated machinery.
The construction of railroads created a strong demand for unskilled labor and contributed to the growth of a class of urban workers.
The first steam railroads were used by the general public in England in the 18th century.
By 1890, the United States had surpassed all other countries in miles of track, as shown in the figure.
The railroad had an impact on cultural values.
Water travel was transformed by the steam engine.
The first steamships were built in France in the 17th century, and the first commercial steamships came into use in North America several decades later.
The advantages of the railroad were brought to water travel by the steamship.
Charles Dickens recorded his impressions of early train travel, as in this passage: "From the hollow, on the height, by the heath, by the orchard, by the park, by the garden, over the canal, across the river, where the sheep are feeding."
Doctors were concerned about the effects of the constant noise and vibration on passengers and crew after the increase in speed.
The railroad became a central institution despite the concerns.
The cathedrals of the industrial age had new train stations.
Leading railway engineers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Thomas Brassey, whose tunnels pierced mountains and whose bridges spanned valleys, became public idols.
More than 6 million people from all over Europe came to London for the Great Exhibition in the newly built exhibition hall in the middle of a large park.
The building was made of glass and iron, which were cheap and plentiful.
The new era of industrial technology and the kingdom's role as world economic leader were celebrated by the British royal family.
The Great Exhibition was made entirely of glass and iron and was located in London.
The Crystal Palace was built from three hundred thousand sheets of glass.
The first international industrial exhibition showcased manufactured products from Britain, its empire, and the rest of the world.
The building was disassembled and moved to a different location in London, where it was destroyed by fire in 1936.
In 1860 Britain produced 20 percent of the world's output of industrial goods, whereas it only produced 2 percent of the world total.
The population of Britain grew from 9 million in 1780 to 21 million in 1851.
Much of the increase in production was consumed by growing numbers.
Great Britain's rapid population growth was a key factor in industrial development.
More people meant a more mobile labor force, with a lot of young workers in need of employment and ready to go where the jobs were.
Advances in agriculture and industry were needed to sustain the dramatic increase in population.
The rapid growth in population was feared to lead to disaster.
Prudential restraint was the only hope of warding off such "positive checks" to population growth as war, famine, and disease.
Young men and women had to limit the growth of population by marrying later in life.
Malthus wasn't optimistic about this possibility.
Most people marry early and have many children because of the powerful attraction of the sexes.
The pessimistic ges would always sink to the lowest level.
Wages are high enough to keep workers from starving.
The theory suggests that the pressure of population growth prevents wages from rising above the level of poverty.
They were proved wrong in the long run.
Observers might have concluded that the economy and the total population were very much in doubt until the 1820s or even the 1850s.
There was more than one problem.
The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
The process of industrialization in Europe and the world will be the focus of this issue.
As new technologies and a new organization of labor began to change production in Britain, other countries began to emulate its example.
After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the nations of the European continent quickly adopted British inventions and achieved their own pattern of technological innovation and economic growth.
By the last decades of the 19th century, western European countries as well as the United States and Japan had industrialized their economies.
Industrialization in other parts of the world was gradual.
The dramatic advantage in economic production that Western nations gained for the first time in history over non-Western ones is still being explained by scholars.
These questions may offer valuable lessons for poor countries that are seeking to improve their material condition through industrialization and economic development.
The findings from the nineteenth-century experience are encouraging.
They suggest that there were alternative paths to the industrial world and that there was no need to follow a British model.
We can get an overview of what happened with comparative data on industrial production in different countries.
A set of data shows the level of industrialization on a per capita basis in several countries.
The data is not perfect, but they reflect basic trends and are presented in Table 23.1 for closer study.
The table shows how much industrial product was produced for each person in a given country.
In 1900, the per capita level of industrial goods in Great Britain and Ireland was equal to 100.
Every number in the table is a percentage of the 1900 level in Britain.
The order in which the countries began to use power-driven technology is listed.
In the first column, one can see that in the 17th century all countries were close together, including non-Western areas such as China and India.
The column headed 1800 shows that Britain opened up a noticeable lead over all countries by 1800, and that the gap grew as the British Industrial Revolution accelerated through 1830 and reached full maturity by 1860.
All entries are based on the per capita level of industrialization in Great Britain in 1900.
Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland are included in Great Britain.
The table shows that Western countries began to emulate the British model successfully in the 19th century.
Britain's new technology led to a revolutionary surge in Belgium between 1830 and 1860.
France did not experience "revolutionary" growth in industrial output.
Industrialization began in eastern and southern Europe later than in northwestern and central Europe.
The growth of Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia was seen in the late nineteenth century.
In contrast to the decreases that occurred at the same time in many non-Western countries, these increases stood in stark contrast.
Even as the non-Western world stagnated, European countries industrialized to a greater or lesser extent.
Japan, which is not included in this table, is an exceptional area of non-Western industrial growth in the second half of the 19th century.
After the forced opening of the country to the West in the 1850s, Japanese entrepreneurs began to adopt Western technology and manufacturing methods, resulting in a production boom by the late nineteenth century.
The rise of global inequality can be traced back to differential rates of wealth- and power-creating industrial development in Europe.
An era of agricultural improvement, population increase, expanding foreign trade, and growing cottage industry took place throughout Europe in the 18th century.
When the pace of British industry began to accelerate in the 1780s, continental businesses began to adopt the new methods as they proved their profitability.
During the period of the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, western Europe experienced political and social upheaval that temporarily halted economic development.
After the return of peace, western European countries began to catch up.
They faced a lot of challenges.
British goods have come to dominate world markets in the newly mechanized industries.
British technology has become so advanced that few engineers or skilled technicians outside of England understand it.
The technology of steam power required large investments in the iron and coal industries and the existence of railroads after 1830.
Continental business people had a hard time getting large sums of money, and laborers resisted the move to work in factories.
The spread of mechanization was slowed by all these factors.
By 1850, continental countries were making progress, but they were still behind Britain.
The British rail system was essentially complete, whereas the continental railroad was still in an early stage.
Coal was used as a power source for steam engines and as a raw material for making iron and steel in the 19th century.
In 1850, locate the major exposed coal deposits.
Western European nations had a number of advantages that helped them respond to the challenges.
Most had rich traditions of putting-out enterprise, merchant capitalism, and skilled urban trades.
The ability to adapt and survive in the face of new market conditions was given by these assets.
The continental capitalists didn't need to develop their own technology.
They could "borrow" the new methods developed in Great Britain, as well as the engineers and some of the financial resources they lacked.