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The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

3 Key Elements of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S.

Read the key facts on the Industrial Revolution in the UK

A summary of Britain's Industrial Revolution (1780-1850) in 's Europe (1815-1848)
The idea for the first textile factory—a word derived from “manufactory,” the place where goods were manufactured—came from a British silk mill worker, John Lombe. He travelled to Northern Italy to steal designs for secret Italian machines that spun and wove the silk (it is worth noting here that the Chinese had been spinning and weaving silk with simple looms for thousands of years before the Italians.) In 1719, Lombe patented the ideas as his own in Great Britain and built a large building next to a river to use a water wheel to power the machines. The mill was five stories high and employed 200 men. Silk was a luxury item that most could not afford, and so few enterpeneurs followed in Lombe’s footsteps. But this silk factory came into mind years later when industrialists were looking for ways to power new textile inventions at one location. As textile inventions grew in size , they could no longer fit in cottages (Rosen 212-217; wikipedia article on factories).

What major influences did the Industrial Revolution …

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Since the Industrial Revolution was so new at the end of the 18th century, there were initially no laws to regulate new industries. For example, no laws prevented businesses from hiring seven-year-old children to work full time in coal mines or factories. No laws regulated what factories could do with their biohazard waste. Free-market capitalism meant that the government had no role in regulating the new industries or planning services for new towns. And those who controlled the government liked it that way—only a small minority of people, the wealthiest, could vote in England at this time. So during the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, between 1790 and 1850, British society became the first example of what happens in a country when free-market capitalism has no constraints. You will learn about the effects of the Industrial Revolution on living and working conditions, urbanization (the growth of cities), child labor, public health, working class family life, the role of women, the emerging middle class, and economic growth and income. You will be asked to reflect about what role, if any, the government should have taken to improve life in the new industrial cities.


Inventors and Inventions of the Industrial Revolution

A key stage 3 history revision resource for the Industrial Revolution
The Large and Lucky Continent of Eurasia. Evolutionary Biologist Jared Diamond takes the long view to explain why the entire continent of Eurasia evolved to be so technologically advanced. In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, Diamond argues that the good fortune of the entire continent of Eurasia was evident for thousands of years. Eurasia invented agriculture 12,000 years ago because large grains of rice and wheat just happened to originate and grow there. The efficiency of agriculture allowed various civilizations to grow population, free up labor for tasks besides food production, , invent writing, and create advanced technology. Diamond argues that the largest of continents was also blessed with the largest domesticated animals in the world—such as horses, donkeys, pigs, and cows. These animals served as beasts of burden in agriculture and also as a much-needed food source. And so the health of Eurasian populations improved. These animals also brought diseases that killed millions of Eurasians over thousands of years. But, after the plague ran its course through the population, surviving Eurasians then had antibodies to these illnesses, which made them and their ancestors resistant to them. So these plagues became a horrifying stroke of good luck for invading Eurasians later on. People from the Americas had no medium to large domesticated animals (with the exception of the Alpaca which didn’t leave the Andes mountain area). As a result, they did not experience devastating animal-based plagues and diseases. That’s a good thing, right? Except that, unlike Europeans, the Americans did not then have the anti-bodies to resist the European illnesses. So, when Europeans invaded the Americas after 1492, people from the Americas were highly to Eurasian deadly viruses and diseases. But no plagues went the other direction from the Americas to Europe. The depopulation of the Americas made it easy for Europeans to conquer. In short, Diamond, contrary to many historians, sees the Industrial Revolution as an inevitable result of geography and evolutionary biology that played out not only in a burst of activity, but over many thousands of years.

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The Agricultural Revolution discussed earlier resulted in increased food production and increased population in England first.

World History Project_Child Labor_Industrial Revolution - VidInfo

By the end of the 19th century, the island of Great Britain, which is about the size of the state of Louisiana, controlled the largest empire in the history of the world—an empire that covered one quarter of the world’s land mass. You will learn more about this empire in the next chapter. But how did this little island come to rule an empire? How did Great Britain acquire so much military and economic power in the world? The answer, of course, is that it had an enormous commercial and technological head start over the rest of the world because the Industrial Revolution started in England. But why did the Industrial Revolution occur first in England and not somewhere else in the world? Historians describe a confluence—a coming together—of many factors and they do not agree on which are most important. Some of these factors we discussed earlier because they had their seeds in pre-industrial society. All of these factors came together in the late 18th century to create the unique conditions in England that culminated in the first-ever Industrial Revolution:


The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution encouraged scholars and craftspeople to apply new scientific thinking to mechanical and technological challenges. In the centuries before the Industrial Revolution, Europeans gradually incorporated science and reason into their worldview. Some historians argue that these intellectual shifts made English culture, in particular, highly receptive to new mechanical and financial ideas.