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Modern Western Civilization
Class 15: Causes of the Industrial Revolution
- A. Historical Context
-Final of the Great Revolutions that changed Europe - (Others Enlightenment and
French Rev) - this effects material life. Emphasize importance - What affected life most -
French Rev or Ind. Rev. ?
-Ind. Rev. supported Western political expansion into other continents.
- B. Western
Uniqueness of the Industrial Revolution in the West.
Industry is an ATTITUDE (not necessarily a good one)
Compare with China. [science fails to develop - Mandarin class has attitude of superiority
- there is a clamp down in 15th century on "progress"] (cf. Asiastic mode of
- C. Industrialization and Capitalism
Industrialization arose within Capitalism but is not the same thing. In the 20th C.
there have been many examples of state industrialization in circumstances when there was
no possibility of the developments in Europe being followed.
- E. Time Frame
England 1780 on
Europe from 1830 on
- D. Origin in England
Aim here is to explain interrelationships which led to industrial society - no one
factor explains it. (This is not a fully studied area of history)
-Stable Govt, economic freedoms, available capital and mobile labor - all encourage
growth and all came together in 18th-century Britain.
People are quite conservative about work - it required a high degree of social
mobility to even allow the Ind. Rev.
Lets look at this more deeply.
II. The Agricultural Revolution
Traditionally seen to precede Ind. Rev. - but was important in its own right.
- A. Holland
Agricultural. improvements started in Holland due to
- pop pressure/urban growth (Amsterdam grows 30 to 200 K in 17th C.)
- commercial quality of the people - no tied peasantry
- began about 1650
- enclosed fields, new rotation, heavy manuring, new crops
- B. England
-Dutch techniques copied in England
- Charles "Turnip" Townsend (1674-1738) a landlord from Norfolk. began work in
Encouraged new crop rotation.
- Jethro Tull (1674-1741)
encourages horses over oxen plowing. promoted seed drill.
- C. Crops
End of three field and fallow system
-use of soil enriching root crops - wheat, turnips, barley, clover
-increases food for animals - more manure - better crops - a beneficial circle.
- D. Livestock
- breeding techniques for better bigger animals.
- E. Enclosures
English landowners have a craze for improvements in 1740s - Enclosure acts after 1760
(but much of England already enclosed in 17th C.)
-Enclosures - harmed small farmers/landowners
- probably did not harm landless laborers
- actually gave them more wages to earn - and they were the majority.
There was a great increase in tenant farmers, looking to large landowners.
- F. Long Term Results of Agricultural Revolution
-Smaller and smaller proportion of pop. engages in agriculture in the West - frees
them to engage in Industrial work - which creates commodities and realities impossible in
a purely agricultural economy.
By 1870 England produces 300% more than in 1700, but only 14% of pop work on land.
- G. Short Term effects
A period of bountiful crops 1700-1760 meant English people had some income to spend on
more than just survival. They probably lived better than any other poor people in Europe
Also most people in England were wage laborers rather than tied to land like free peasants
or serfs - i.e. people would go where the jobs were.
III. Population Growth
Result or cause of Ind. Rev ?
- A. Population Increases in 18th C.
6 mil (1750)
- B. Population as deterministic?
- C. Malthusian Controls
- Rev. Thomas Malthus
-War, famine, disease
-avoided by industrial and agricultural revolution.
- D. Agricultural Revolution and Population
-a. Increased pop. capable of being fed - more people survive.
-b. Enclosures send people off countryside to live in Cities
III. The Power Crisis
- A. Human and Animal Muscle
Main power sources up to 18th C.
relation to wealth - Poverty caused by limited output per person.
- B. Use of Wood
Europe once covered in forests
Wood - heat/smelting Iron
England out of Wood by 18th C. (Lord Nelson was so worried about implication for the Navy,
he went around Acorns in his pocket.)
- C. Coal
Provides the solution.
Used for Heat in London before 1700
was to be used for steam.
But was very hard, and expensive, to extract.
- D. Water power - used first
- E. Results of Power Crisis
-led to search for new sources of power - and was to use it - Very important in Ind.
In some respects it was the application of new forms of power that defines the Industrial
Revolution. (steam, coal, electricity)
IV. Politics of England
- After a period of unstable government, stable government - Whig one party state.
Relatively little government interference with economy.
- No Feudalism - there was no large privileged "feudal" class to hold back
change or population movements.
- Very large class of free landless laborers.
V. The Commercial Revolution.
- A. Pre Industrial Capitalism
(Refer back to lecture on Ancien Regime ways of living)
-Putting-out system/ties in with population -mostly wool until late 18th C.
-Free Trade area in England - largest in Europe
- B. Internal Trade Growth in 18th C.
Internal - more important in economy
- England not poor - peasants did have some surplus income (due to Ag. Rev.)
- pop. growth accentuates this demand.
- C. External Trade Growth - Navigation Acts
-Mercantilism - government efforts to keep a positive trade balance.
-Navigation Acts - gave Britain a trade monopoly with its colonies
-1652, 1674 - vs. Dutch
-there were also other struggles vs. The French culminating in Seven Years War.
-march of trade and empire led to Ind. Rev.
-Other countries put up similar barriers but English new markets in America and Caribbean
kept up demand.
-led to London as a large trading center and a lot of CAPITAL to invest.
Graph: Total UK Exports compared to
Exports to North America, W Indies,
West Africa, Spanish America [mostly Caribbean.]
- D. Supply and Demand.
Explain notion of Demand.
There was both HOME and FOREIGN DEMAND FOR ENGLISH GOODS.
- E. Trade socially acceptable in England.
-By time of Ind. Rev. England had an experienced business class, and fairly advanced
- F. The Beginning of Economics - Adam Smith
- G.. Climate and Geography of England
- Transportation (tied to trade)
Natural waterways in England - nowhere more than 20 miles from water.
Canal system built up before Ind. Rev. -from 1770s
- Coal resources (tied to power needs)
- Damp climate
- good for cotton
- H. Scientific Revolution's Effects
Early inventions not `scientific' - but science soon comes to play a role.
-B. Different World View
Change in attitude - can-do approach idea of innovation approved of.
- I. India and Cotton
-India and Cotton which gave the final push.
-A. Seven Years War 1756-1763
France and England
England gains control of India
-The East India Company
Advantages as a textile
VI. England First Nation to Industrialize
- All the above strands come together in the mid 18th century
- demand/free trade area/scientific attitude/geographical possibilities/new textiles
-emphasise Ag. Rev and Commercial Growth
- -led to creation of factories and a new social and economic world.
- Had to face new situation - and evolve new social and economic and political system.