Industrial Revolution

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  • Cottage Industry:
  • Developed to take advantage of the farmers free time and use it to produce quality textiles for a reasonable price.
  • Stages: Cloth merchant to Countryside to Purchase Wool to Distribute raw materials among several farming households to be made into cloth.
  • Cottage industry profitable to cloth merchant = sell to higher price than what he paid farmers.
  • Cottage industry prepared UK for industrial revolution by boosting English economy through increasing trade that occurred, as UK became well-known for high-quality and low cost exports.
  • Enclosure:
  • Farms had been established on common land which farmers leased from wealthy proprietors.
  • Enclosure= the process of enclosing(Fences, ditches, hedges etc) land formerly subjected to common land rights.
  • Land previously owned by peasants was returned to landowners and redistributed. Scavenging on others land became illegal and smaller farms often lost access to wood and water due to barriers being built around common field where resources would have been gathered.
  • Despite the passing of private acts had been taking place since 1750, the enclosure act didn't become standardized until the general Enclosure act of 1801.
  • Enclosure act meant peasants had no land and work and were therefore forced to move to the larger and developing cities in search for work which added to the mass overcrowding also know as the plight of the cities. 
  • Why was Britain first?
  • Britain's colonies = vast raw materials
  • Huge deposits of coal.
  • England's commercial and Navy fleet= easy transportation of goods to and fro colonies.
  • Cotton production increased 3 times between that of 1796/1830.
  • Britain had a larger educated workforce to run machines and maintain them.
  • Britain had a large middle class and flexible merchant class.
  • British society was not opposed to 'new money' and was eager to accept the new wealthy and their ideas.
  • Government was flexible enough to support new systems and to a certain degree accept Adam Smith's capitalistic invisible hand.
  • From 1838-1850 railroad increased from 540-6621 kilometers making in-land transportation significantly easier.
  • Economic Situation:
  • Expansion = new private banking, new money economy and trading organizations (Hanseatic League) modern credit facilities appeared (State House, the barse, promissory note) which= economic stimulus= more money for people to invest.
  • Steady economic systems present under the new nation monarchies created a reliable atmosphere for new Revolution.
  • New World brought gold and silver=  increased European prices and stimulated economic activity= Gave wealthy more money to spend on new ideas.
  • Origins of the Industrial Revolutions:
  • Substitution for humans= rapid, regular, precise and tireless.
  • Substitution for mineral= vegetable and animal substances (Wood to coal)
  • Man no longer treated men as men but as a commodity which could be brought and sold on an open market.
  • England= Workshop of the World
  • English farmers were the most productive farms of the century and…


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