Industrial Revolution

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Industrial Revolution

When was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial revolution occured at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. It began in Britain.

What was the Industrial Revolution?

It marked a time when rural societies became urban and industrial. During the IR there were a long list of inventions, scientific discoveries and new manufacturing processes.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production. 

What were the main changes? 


1) TOWNS There was a change from argriculture to industry - people moved off the farms and out of the country

2) TOWNS Towns grew - In 1750, only 15% of the population lived in the towns but this had increased to 85% by 1900

3) INVENTIONS There was a move from water and wind power to steam engines.

4) TRANSPORT There was a revolution in transport e.g. the train was invented (George Stephenson built the Rocket), roads were improved, there was a boom in canal building.

5) COMMUNICATION There was a revolution in communications e.g. the telegraph and the postage stamp were invented, 

6) MEDICINE There were medical breakthroughs e.g. the discovery of xrays and anesthetic

7) INVENTIONS There was increased output in factories because manufacturing processes became mechanised e.g. the spinning machine was invented.

8) SCIENCE There were a lot of scientific discoveries e.g. the discovery of the atom

9) EDUCATION More children were educated. Before the IR, education wasn't free so only the rich could afford it. In 1880, the Education Act made school compulsory for children up to 10.

What were the consequences?

1) The populations of the towns grew because there were lots of jobs available in the towns (urbanisation)

2) Conditions in the factories were very poor and people couldn't afford proper housing - rise of urban slums. The cities were so crowded with people that conditions were often very poor.

3) There was a move from domestic work (eg. being a servant in a big house) to factory work

3) Farming output almost doubled because of mechanisation e.g. horse drawn mechanical reapers replaced sickles.

4) There was the growth of immense wealth based on trade and industry (and more money available to spend on for the public good such as health). Factory owners became very rich.

5) Wars were waged on a greater scale.

6) Britain became the world's leading power because the IR started in Britain. The empire grew - it became a great trading nation with an empire that covered a quarter of the world by 1914.

7) There was pollution in the towns and cities because of the increase in factories. 

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