Presentation on theme: "The Industrial Revolution 1750-1900. Industrial Revolution 1750-1900- though those dates are flexible and it continues in all stages across the globe."— Presentation transcript:
The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution though those dates are flexible and it continues in all stages across the globe today it drew upon the advances of the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the political revolutions (how so?)
Before the IR the life of an average European was similar to that of the average Asian, African, or American, in terms of living standards, life expectancy, nutrition, wages, free markets, prosperous merchant communities.
Industrial Revolution (Cont) The IR started in Great Britain and over the next 250 years it spread quickly. (More quickly and completely than the idea of democracy or European Christianity) People across the globe wanted this new technology. The Industrial Revolution is an unfinished story- we don’t know if we are at the beginning of an era leading to world wide industrialization, stuck in the middle of a world permanently divided between rich and poor, or coming to the end of an environmentally unsustainable era
Explaining the Industrial Revolution The IR was made possible by new sources of energy: coal-fired steam engines and later petroleum-fueled engines (In Great Britain – output increased 50 times between 1750 and 1900)
The IR began in the Textile Industry Early important inventions included the spinning jenny, power loom, steam engine, cotton gin Each new invention required a new invention to pick up the slack (once they could make thread more quickly, they needed looms to produce more quickly or else there is a major backlog…etc) All of this developed a “culture of innovation” – an almost obsessive belief that things could be endlessly improved.
Impact of the IR Before the IR humans everywhere had always been dependent on human power, animal power, wind power or water power. But when people discovered coal and developed the steam powered engine, they were able to borrow from the stored solar power of millions of years
Impact of the IR As a result of the IR, people created a huge increase in the amount of power they could use In this sense, the IR is often considered the biggest change in human history since the original agricultural revolution in 8,000 BCE.
Why did the IR begin in Europe? As stated above, before the IR life for the average European was similar to that of the people of Asia in term of living standards etc. But… there were differences. Here are some of the reasons Historians point to for why Europe was in a position to begin and benefit from the IR.
Why did the IR begin In Europe?
Possible Reason #1 European nations were in competition with each other and were constantly looking for ways to have an advantage over each other (i.e. The Qing Dynasty was comfortable with its superiority to its neighbors)
Possible Reason #2 The leaders of Europe had a close relationship with the merchant classes. European leaders were poorer than many of the Asian monarchs -they needed merchants for tax revenue and loans. European countries created trading companies and monopolies. (i.e. Dutch or English East India Companies). Merchants had high status and even became leaders themselves in certain places (Venice, the Netherlands etc)
Possible Reason #3 Competition with Asian goods: The Europeans had been overwhelmed with Chinese luxury goods and Indian textiles that were cheaper and better quality than theirs. They wanted to be able to compete and keep European jobs.
Possible Reason #4 European colonies in the Americas: The Americas provided Europe with silver that allowed them to enter into trade with Asia. New crops from the Americas (like the potato) boosted European population and created surplus labor force for the new factories. Slave labor in the Americas provided cheap raw materials like cotton and sugar. Even before the IR, Europe could draw “disproportionately on the world’s resources”
Why Britain? The availability of Natural resources; coal, iron, etc. Cotton and sugar Steam power- revolutionized cotton textile production- cheap textile that undermined Indian textile Labor? Capital ? Political stability Economic strength Government policy (protectionism)
Spread of the Industrial Revolution in Europe
Social Classes in Britain: Who benefited the most? The Aristocracy (land-owning) The Middle Classes Upper Middle Class Lower Middle Class The Laboring Classes