The industrial revolution was a period of
profund economic and social changes,caused by
the widespread use of machinery in production.
The industrial revolution is divided
in two stages:
The first industrial
The second industrial
revolution,wich began around
In the late 18th century ,however there was high and sustained
population growth.This was because the death rate decreased,while
the birth rate was high.the death rate decreased for several
Nutrition.This improved,making the population
more resistant to illness.This was possible
thanks to advances in agriculture and changes
in people´s diets.Potatoes become a basic food.
Personal and public hygiene.The use of soap
was more widespread,and people bwgan to
wear cotton clothes,wich were easier to
wash.There was better access to clean
drinking water,and streets were kept
cleaner.These changes were very slow.
Public health.In 1796,Edward Jenner discovered the
vaccine against smallpox.New hospitals were built.
Epidemics,wich had been frequent in the Early
Modern period,caused fewer deaths due to improved
nutrition,hygene and public health.
Population growth produced increased demand for
agricultural and industrial products.It also meant
that more workers were available to fill all the new
jobs in factories.
THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION
The increased demand for foof led to
innovations in crop and livestock farming
Farming techniques.The three-field system of crop rotation,in wich
on field always lay fallow,was replaced by the four-field system.The
land was divided onto four fields,wich alterned wheat,turnips,barley
and clover.Turnips and clover were used to feed livestock.In the late
18th century ,the wood plough was replaced by the iron plough.Later
mechanical seeders,threshers and harvesters were introduced.
Land ownership and use.The liberal revolutions ended the practice of peasants
farming communal lands under the authority of a lord of the Church.Land
become private property.The bourguiese bought farmland in order to profit
from selling its products.
Livestock farming.Part of the land was used to grow fodder,or food for
livestock.The number of heads of livestock on each farm
increased.Primary sector production increased in the 18th
century.Farmers received greater income,and were able to save
OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING ECONOMIC GROWTH
Extensive markets.Britain had a healthy domestic market,based
on good infrastructure and the absence of domestic tariffs.Trade
produced enormous profits ,wich were invested in new
A new mentality.The British bourgeoisie was more open to
investment,business risk and the pursuit of profit.Parliament
supported these attitudes with laws that were favourable to
business and trade.
Abundance of iron and coal.The British
countryside was rich with iron and coal
deposits,wich were necessary to build and
run the new factories.
THE FIRST INDUSTRIAL
FROM WORKSHOP TO
Until the 18th century most products were made by
artisans in small workshops.
In Britain several machines were invented
that manufactured products much more
quickly.Workshops were replaced by
The first machines were powered by
hydraulic energy,but after James Watt had
invented the steam engine they became
steam-powered,using coal as energy
The division of labour increased
productivity:each worker produced more than
an artisan could in the same amount of
time.Manufacturing costs decreased,causing
the prices of products to decrease as well.
The textile industry was the first to introduce technical
innovations in spinning and weaving.
British cotton products were cheap and well-made,and they flooded
international markets.The textile boom also increased activity in
other sectors,such as agriculture and the iron industry.
THE IRON INDUSTRY
Most iron used in Britain was imported fro sweeden
and was very expensive.It became cheaper after 1709.
The blast furnance was invented to smelt iron.Henry
Cort invented a new type of furnance for making lots
of wrought iron.It was strong pure iron.
Iron manufacturing grew greatly during the Industrial
Revolution,because there was so much demand for machines
The liberalism spread widely during the early stages of the
industrial revolution.According to Smith,economic activity
should be governed by the principle of economic
freedom,that is,freedom to create companies,to hire
workers and set the conditions and prices of products.
Smith argued that the state should not intervene in the
economy,as the economy adjusts itself naturally by means of
the invisible hand.Adam Smith was in favour of the division of
labour,as this practice increased production and productivity.
THE TRANSPORT REVOLUTION
ADVANCES IN NAVIGATION
British industrial production grew rapidly.fast,safe
transport was necessary to ensure that factories
Road travel was uncomfortable,slow and
dangerous.After 1750,new roads were built.Between
1770 and 1830,numerous canals were constructed.
The steam engine was soon used in
navigation.In 1870 it wa slaunched the first line
of commercial steamboats.
THE RAILWAY AGE
The railway was made possible by two advances of the
Industrial Revolution:The steam engine amd iron,the raw
material used to build trains and railways.
In 1814 was built a steam-powered locomotive to transport
materials.In 1825,the first cargo railway was built in
England.In 1830,the first public transport railway line was
opened,running between Liverpool and Manchester.
Advances made the railway a fast,safe and cheap means of
transport.It promoted mining by increasing the demand for coal
consumption,while the iron industry had to supply the iron
needed to build trains and railways.
Railways were built all over the world,including
long distance intercontinental railways.
THE IMPACT OF THE TRANSPORT REVOLUTION
The new means of transport were faster and
safer,and could carry bigger loads.They had a
massive social and economic impac:
Trade.Transport times and costs were reduced.It also
became much easier for people to travel.
Specialisation in the world economy.Industrialised
countries especialised in manufacturing and
Mining,metalurgy and the iron industry.These
industries were strengthened because they provided
the raw materials for building new means of transport.
Daily life.Nutrition improved,as food could be
transported longer distances.It was easier to
THE SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
NEW ENERGY SOURCES AND INDUSTRIES
Electricity and petroleum had a huge impact.
Electricity.This was used in industry to power machines.It was also
used to power electric railway,undergroung trains and trams,and
new forms of communication like telephone,radio and cinema.
Petroleum.The first oil wells were drilled in 1859.This energy
source grew in importance with the invention of the combustion
engine,wich was used to power aoutomobiles.
The iron industry and steel industry.This industry expanded following the
invention of the Bessemer converter,wich could produce large amounts of steel
at a low price.
The chemical industry.Raw materials,like petroleum and rubber,were used to
make new products,such as pharmateuticals,synthetics,and dynamite.
The electricity indudtry.Electricity was produced and distributed on a large scale.
LARGE COMPANIES AND MODERN BANKING
When the Industrial Revolution began,most companies were small and
owned by a single person or family.Howerver,family businesses did not
earn enough to buy new machines and hire workers.To solve this
problem,corporations were created.In corporations,the capital of the
company is divided into shares.Sahres are traded on the stock market.
Banks lent money to companies and became intermediaries between
private individuals and companies.Individuals saved their money in
banks,and banks invested that money in industry and other
businesses.This was the birth of financial capitalism.
NEW SYSTEMS OF PRODUCTION
Taylorism.The ingineer Taylor invented a production
process,wich was divided into smalls tasks that were timed.The
workers were paid according to the work they completed.
The assembly line was used by the businessman Henry Ford in his automobile
factorie.Products were passed from worker to worker.This elimineted the time that
a worker wasted between tasks and increased their output.
Mass production.Ford's use of the assembly line prepared the way for mass
production.Many identical parts of an item were manufactured before all the
different parts were brought togheter and assemble the final product.
As business was now carried out on a much larger
scale,extremely large amounts of capital were
required.Different types of corporate groups emerged from
mergers and agreements between companies:
Cartel.This is an association of companies in the same line of business who reach
an agreement to control production and distribution,and to set prices.
Holding company.This type of
company controls other companies
because it owns most of their shares.
Trust.This is an association of companies that togheter cover all the
stagesin the manufacture of a product.Their goal is to control the
market and eliminate competition.
Goverments sometimes had to pass laws to regulate cartels
and trusts because they created unfair monopolies.