- The term agricultural revolution refers the radical changes in the method of agriculture in England in the 17th and 18th
- The Agricultural Revolution preceded the Industrial Revolution in England.
- Rotation of crops was introduced by Townshend and the lands became fertile by this method.
- Bakewell introduced scientific breeding of farm animals.
- The horse-drawn ploughs, rake, portable threshers, manure spreaders, multiple ploughs and dairy appliances had revolutionized farming.
- These changes in agriculture increased food production as well as other farm outputs.
- During the Agricultural Revolution, 4 key changes took place in agricultural practices.
- Enclosure of lands,
- Mechanization of farming,
- Four-field crop rotation and
- Selective breeding of domestic animals.
- The term ‘Industrial Revolution’ was used by European scholars; Georges Michelet in France and Friedrich Engels in Germany.
- It began in Great Britain and within a few decades had spread Western Europe and the United States.
- The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to 1840. It includes
- Hand production methods to machines
- Improved efficiency of water power
- Increasing use of steam power
- Development of machinery and technologies
- Changes in the cotton and iron industries
- Faster forms of transportation by ships and railways
Causes for the Industrial Revolution
- England is the political center of Great Britain, an island.
- Great Britain did not suffer fighting on its land during the wars of the 18th century.
- Island has excellent harbors and ports.
- Damp climate (moist climate) benefited the textile industry.
- Colonial possessions of England, which supplied raw materials and served as markets
2. Scientific Inventions
- The invention of flying shuttle by Kay in 1733 improved weaving.
- In 1764, Hargreaves invented the ‘spinning jenny’. It could spin 8 threads at the same time, instead of one.
- In 1785, Cartwright invented the power loom.
- The cotton gin increased productivity or removing seed from cotton.
- The invention of the sewing machine by Elias Howe, in 1846, speed-ed up the production of clothing.
- Heavy machinery could not function with out power to operate it.
- The invention of the steam engine provided the practical solution.
- It was invented by James Watt in 1765. He devised the first closed cylinder with a piston pushed back and forth by steam.
Iron and steel making
- The coal and iron industries replaced old technologies of wood, water and wind.
- In 1709 Darby introduced coal for charcoal in blast furnace.
- John Smeaton invented the blast furnace with a rotary fan.
- Henry Cord and Peter Onions introduced puddling and rolling Process in 1784.
- In 1740 steel was produced at Sheffield by Huntsman.
- Later, Henry Bessemer invented a faster and cheaper method of producing steel.
3. Development of Transport
- In the second half of the 18th century, John McAdam (1756-1836) built a type of hard-surfaced road in England.
- The only important change made in this method was the substitution of a tar composition for mud as a binder.
- The heavy expenses involved in the building and upkeep of highway encouraged the development of inland waterways.
- Thousands of miles of artificial water route were dug in England, in France, and in the United States.
- The rate of travel was slow and the expense of construction and maintenance was high.
- The first tracks were made of wood and the first cars were horse drawn.
- But the introduction of iron for rails and the application of Watt’s steam engine for traction power revolutionized the whole procedure.
- George Stephenson constructed the first practical locomotive in 1814.
- Telegraphic equipment was widely installed after 1845.
- The penny post was established in 1840. The Universal Postal Union, to aid international mail service, was adopted in 1875.
- Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876.
5. Colonies and Markets
- England had more colonies than any other nation.
- Its colonies gave England access to enormous markets and vast amounts of raw materials.
- Colonies had rich textile industries for centuries
- Many of the natural, such as calic and gingham, were originally created in India. China had a silk industry.
Social Changes in Industrial Revolution
Improved Status and Earning Power of Women
- Factory owners hired women and children because they worked for lower wages.
- Governments limited the work of children and, at times, of women.
- Before industrialization, it was almost impossible for a woman to remain single and live on her own.
- Women fought for and eventually gained political rights.
Increase in Leisure Time
- Labor saving devices invented and produced like Vacuum cleaners, Washing machines and Refrigerators.
- Birth of the weekend; Traditionally, Western nations had Sunday (the Christian day of rest) as the only day off from work.
- Workers and employers knew each other personally.
- Workers could aspire to become employers.
- Workers no longer owned the means of production.
- Employers no longer knew workers personally.
- Factories often run by managers paid by the corporation.
- Relationships between employers and employees grew strained.
Problems of the Factory System
- Factories were crowded, dark, and dirty.
- Workers labored from dawn to dusk.
- Women and children were paid less for the same work.
- Factories run only by profit.
- Technological unemployment workers lost their jobs as their labor was replaced by machines.
Rise of Labor Unions
- Before labor unions, workers bargained individually – “Individual bargaining”
- With labor unions, workers bargained together as a group, or collective – “collective bargaining”
- Organized groups of workers elected leaders to bargain on their behalf.
Legal Protections for Workers
- Limited hours for women.
- Equal pay for equal work.
- Child labour ended.
- Minimum wage.
- Legalization of unions.