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The Industrial Revolution In Great Britain

2034 words - 9 pages

The industrial revolution in Great BritainThe Great Britain was the first country to undergo industrial revolution which according to Musson and Robinson (1969) is the "transformation of a predominantly rural, agricultural and handicraft society into a predominantly urban, industrial and mechanized society" (60). Indeed the modern world owes a lot to British pioneers of the 18th and 19th century like Abraham Darby, Richard Arkwright, John Wilkinson, Samuel Crompton, Thomas Newcomen and James Watt among others.However, even though the British did a lot in the industrial revolution, they too owed a lot as well in different fields to Frenchmen, Germans and Dutchmen because scientific ...view middle of the document...

The revolution of Britain especially in areas of agriculture, mining industries and railroad contributed greatly towards changing the livelihoods of the people and their living standards as well.The previously manual labour and the draft-animal-based economy was transformed to machine-based manufacturing and goods that used to be produced in homes and in small workshops started to be manufactured in the factories (Stearns 180). The agricultural farm workers were forced to leave villages for urban cities to compete for fewer jobs. The advancement in technology resulted to reduced mortality rates and this led to sharp rise in the rural population because sources of food became available but at the same time small farms disappeared due to enclosure laws that required all farmers to fence their fields and this forced many farmers to sell their small plots to large landholders (Knowles 16).The number of people who lived in the villages before industrial revolution was about three quarters but after the industrial revolution, more than half of the population migrated to urban centers and cities especially in the mid-19th century. The introduction of new factories most of which were built in cities forced rural-urban migration because many people were rendered jobless since clothing, furniture and tools could now be produced in the factories (Temin 72). The shift from agriculture to industrial cities caused stresses on household women who used to earn income from spinning and now could no longer spin because factories took away their sources of income.However, the industrial revolution introduced child labour especially in textile mills and in mines and this made the lives of many children miserable because rather than learn trade; they were paid menial wages (Thomson 11). The agricultural workforce was forced to move into cities where centers of production were located especially the steam-based factories that undercut the traditional cottage industries because the output per worker was increased tremendously by the new technology.Many people who relied on hunting and gathering were forced to change to multifaceted communities that depended on domestication of animals and on agriculture due to mechanized farming though herding was greatly affected due to application of machinery in agricultural farming and this led to loss of habitat for animals. The shift from agricultural society to industrial societies also resulted to permanent settlements and consequent urban civilizations (Mokyr 143).Nevertheless, there were a number of technological inventions that were undertaken in Britain during the industrial revolution such as development of 'flying shuttle' weaving device 1733 which was invented by John Kay and this partly mechanized the weaving process. There was also the invention of 'Rocket' railway train by George Stephenson, the thought by Abraham Darby to use coal over charcoal as a means to create fuel and the renovation of production of steel by...

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