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Revolucin Industrial

Coalbrookdale at night, pintura al leo de Philip James de Loutherbourg. Coalbrookdale se considera una
de las cunas de la Revolucin Industrial.

La Revolucin Industrial es el proceso de transformacin econmica, social y tecnolgica


que se inici en la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII en Gran Bretaa y que se extendi unas
dcadas despus hasta gran parte de Europa occidental y Estados Unidos, y que concluy
entre 1820 y 1840. Durante este periodo se vivi el mayor conjunto de transformaciones
econmicas, tecnolgicas y sociales de la historia de la humanidad desde el neoltico,1 que
vio el paso desde una economa rural basada fundamentalmente en la agricultura y el
comercio a una economa de carcter urbano, industrializada y mecanizada. 2
La Revolucin Industrial marca un punto de inflexin en la historia, modificando e
influenciando todos los aspectos de la vida cotidiana de una u otra manera. La produccin
tanto agrcola como de la nacienteindustria se multiplic a la vez que disminua el tiempo
de produccin. A partir de 1800 la riqueza y la renta per cpita se multiplic como no lo
haba hecho nunca en la historia,3 pues hasta entonces el PIB per cpita se haba
mantenido prcticamente estancado durante siglos.4 En palabras del premio Nobel Robert
Lucas:
Por primera vez en la historia, el nivel de vida de las masas y la gente comn experiment un
crecimiento sostenido () No hay nada remotamente parecido a este comportamiento de la
economa en ningn momento del pasado.5

A partir de este momento se inici una transicin que acabara con siglos de una mano de
obra basada en el trabajo manual y el uso de la traccin animal siendo estos sustituidos
por maquinaria para la fabricacin industrial y el transporte de mercancas y pasajeros.
Esta transicin se inici a finales del siglo XVIII en laindustria textil y la extraccin y
utilizacin de carbn. La expansin del comercio fue posible gracias al desarrollo de las
comunicaciones con la construccin de vas frreas, canales o carreteras. El paso de una
economa fundamentalmente agrcola a una economa industrial influy sobremanera en la
poblacin, que experiment un rpido crecimiento sobre todo en el mbito urbano. La
introduccin de la mquina de vapor de James Watt en las distintas industrias fue el paso
definitivo en el xito de esta revolucin, pues su uso signific un aumento espectacular de
la capacidad de produccin. Ms tarde el desarrollo de los barcos yferrocarriles a vapor as
como el desarrollo en la segunda mitad del XIX del motor de combustin interna y
la energa elctrica supusieron un progreso tecnolgico sin precedentes.6 7 Como
consecuencia del desarrollo industrial nacieron nuevos grupos o clases sociales
encabezadas por el proletariado los trabajadores industriales y campesinos pobres y
la burguesa, duea de los medios de produccin y poseedora de la mayor parte de la
renta y el capital. Esta nueva divisin social dio pie al desarrollo de problemas sociales y
laborales, revoluciones y nuevas ideologas que propugnaban y demandaban una mejora
de las condiciones de vida de las clases populares como el sindicalismo, el socialismo,
el anarquismo o el comunismo.8

An sigue habiendo discusin entre historiadores y economistas acerca del momento de


principio y finalizacin del comienzo de la Revolucin Industrial. Su comienzo ms
aceptado se puede situar a finales del siglo XVIII, mientras su final se puede situar en los
comienzos del siglo XX, habiendo dos etapas, la Primera Revolucin Industrial, hasta entre
1840 y 1870 y la Segunda Revolucin Industrial, desde el periodo de 1840-1870 hasta
principios del siglo XX, destacando como fecha ms aceptada 1914, ao del comienzo de
la Primera Guerra Mundial. El historiador marxista Eric Hobsbawm, considerado pensador
clave de la historia del siglo XX9 sostena que el estallido de la revolucin ocurri en la
dcada de 1780, pero que sus efectos no se sentiran claramente hasta 1830 o 1840. 10 En
cambio el historiador econmico ingls T.S. Ashton declaraba que la revolucin tuvo sus
comienzos entre 1760 y 1830.11 Algunos historiadores del siglo XX, como John
Clapham y Nicholas Crafts argumentan que el proceso de cambio econmico y social fue
muy gradual, por lo que el trmino revolucin resultara inapropiado. Esta denominacin
sigue siendo un tema de debate entre historiadores y economistas. 12 13
ndice
[ocultar]

1 Antecedentes y causas
o

1.1 Otras interpretaciones


2 Gran Bretaa

2.1 Revolucin demogrfica


3 Desarrollos industriales importantes

3.1 Industria textil


4 El comercio internacional

4.1 Economa industrial


5 Transportes

5.1 El ferrocarril

5.2 El barco de vapor

5.3 Carreteras y canales

6 Consecuencias

7 Etapas de la Revolucin industrial

8 Principios fundamentales de la industria

9 Impacto y consecuencias de la Revolucin Industrial

10 Vase tambin

11 Notas

12 Referencias

13 Bibliografa

14 Enlaces externos

Antecedentes y causas

El triunfo de los nuevos planteamientos filosficos del siglo XVIII, contribuy al intercambio del
conocimiento cientfico

John Locke, padre del empirismo y del liberalismo moderno

Los inicios de la industrializacin europea hay que buscarlos en la Edad Moderna. A partir
del siglo XVI se vislumbra un avance en el comercio, mtodos financieros, banca y un
cierto progreso tcnico en la navegacin, impresin o relojera. Sin embargo estos avances
siempre se vean lastrados por epidemias, constantes y largas guerras y hambrunas que
no permitan la dispersin de los nuevos conocimientos ni un gran crecimiento
demogrfico. Segn el historiador Angus Maddison, Europa Occidental experiment un
crecimiento demogrfico prcticamente nulo entre 1500 y 1800. El Renacimiento marc
otro punto de inflexin con la aparicin de las primeras sociedades capitalistas
en Holanda y el norte de Italia. Es a partir de mediados del siglo XVIII cuando Europa
comenz a distanciarse del resto del mundo y ha asentar las bases de la futura sociedad
industrial debido al desarrollo, an primitivo, de la industria pesada y

la minera.14 15 Laalianza de los comerciantes con los agricultores hizo aumentar


la productividad, lo que a su vez provoc una explosin demogrfica, acentuada a partir
del XIX. La Revolucin Industrial se caracteriz por la transicin de un economa agrcola y
manual a una comercial e industrial16 cuya ideologa se basaba en el racionalismo, la razn
y la innovacin cientfica.17
Otro de los principales desencadenantes de la Revolucin nace de la necesidad. 18 Aunque
en algunos lugares de Europa como Gran Bretaa ya exista una base industrial,
las Guerras Napolenicas consolidaron la industria europea. Debido a la guerra, que se
extenda por la mayor parte de Europa, las importaciones de muchos productos y materias
primas se suspendieron. Esto oblig a los gobiernos a presionar a sus industrias y a la
nacin en general para producir ms y mejor que antes, desarrollndose industrias antes
inexistentes. La industrializacin tuvo lugar en diferentes oleadas en los distintos pases.
Las primeras reas industriales aparecieron en Gran Bretaa a finales del siglo XVIII,
extendindose a Blgica y Francia a principios del siglo XIX y aAlemania y a Estados
Unidos a mediados de siglo, a Japn a partir de 1868 y a Rusia, Italia y Espaa a finales
de siglo. Entre las razones se encontraron algunas tan dispares como la notable ausencia
de grandes guerras entre 1815 y 1914, la aceptacin de laeconoma de mercado y el
consecuente nacimiento del capitalismo, la ruptura con el pasado, un cierto equilibrio
monetario y la ausencia de inflacin.

Otras interpretaciones
Vase tambin: tica protestante del trabajo

Otras interpretaciones sugieren que este nuevo cambio de mentalidad y la posterior


evolucin del sistema econmico fue por causas morales y religiosas. La Reforma
protestante de Martn Lutero y Juan Calvino trajo consigo un cambio de mentalidad en el
trato y visin respecto del trabajo. Segn Max Weber el protestantismo considera al trabajo
y al esfuerzo como un bien y un valor fundamental, al contrario que la tica catlica que lo
considera un castigo a raz del pecado original.19 Esto explicara en parte las diferencias a
la hora de desarrollarse de las distintas naciones europeas, teniendo como pioneros a
pases protestantes como Gran Bretaa, Alemania u Holanda y como pases atrasados
a Espaa, Portugal e Italia, todos ellos catlicos.20 Esta interpretacin sigue siendo muy
discutida.

Gran Bretaa

Adam Smith, filsofo y economista britnico considerado el padre de la economa moderna y


elcapitalismofundamentalmente por su libroLa riqueza de las naciones

La revolucin industrial se origin en Inglaterra a causa de diversos factores, cuya


elucidacin es uno de los temas historiogrficos ms trascendentes. Como factores
tcnicos, era uno de los pases con mayor disponibilidad de las materias

primas esenciales, sobre todo el carbn, mineral indispensable para alimentar la mquina
de vapor que fue el gran motor de la Revolucin industrial temprana, as como los altos
hornos de la siderurgia, sector principal desde mediados del siglo XIX. Su ventaja frente a
la madera, el combustible tradicional, no es tanto su poder calorfico como la mera
posibilidad en la continuidad de suministro (la madera, a pesar de ser fuente renovable,
est limitada por la deforestacin; mientras que el carbn, combustible fsil y por tanto no
renovable, slo lo est por el agotamiento de las reservas, cuya extensin se ampla con el
precio y las posibilidades tcnicas de extraccin).
Como factores ideolgicos, polticos y sociales, la sociedad inglesa haba atravesado la
llamada crisis del siglo XVII de una manera particular: mientras la Europa meridional y
oriental se refeudalizaba y estableca monarquas absolutas, la guerra civil inglesa(16421651) y la posterior revolucin gloriosa (1688) determinaron el establecimiento de
una monarqua parlamentaria (definida ideolgicamente por el liberalismo de John Locke)
basada en la divisin de poderes, la libertad individual y un nivel de seguridad jurdica que
proporcionaba suficientes garantas para el empresario privado; muchos de ellos surgidos
de entre activas minoras de disidentes religiosos que en otras naciones no se hubieran
consentido (la tesis de Max Weber vincula explcitamente La tica protestante y el espritu
del capitalismo). Sntoma importante fue el espectacular desarrollo del sistema de patentes
industriales.
Como factor geoestratgico, durante el siglo XVIII Inglaterra construy una flota naval que
la convirti (desde el tratado de Utrecht, 1714, y de forma indiscutible desde la batalla de
Trafalgar, 1805) en una verdadera talasocracia duea de los mares y de un extenssimo
imperio colonial. A pesar de la prdida de las Trece Colonias, emancipadas en la Guerra
de independencia de Estados Unidos (1776-1781), controlaba, entre otros, los territorios
del Subcontinente Indio, fuente importante de materias primas para su industria,
destacadamente el algodn que alimentaba la industria textil, as como mercado
cautivo para los productos de la metrpolis. La cancin patritica Rule Britannia (1740)
explcitamente indicaba: rule the waves (gobierna las olas).

Revolucin demogrfica
Vase tambin: Transicin demogrfica

Durante la revolucin industrial se vivi un incremento espectacular de la poblacin, debido


fundamentalmente a la cada de la tasa de mortalidad provocada por la mejora de las
condiciones higinicas, sanitarias y alimenticias que se plasm en gran medida en la
reduccin de la mortandad infantil. En este periodo nacen las primeras vacunaciones y se
mejoran los sistemas de alcantarillado y de depuracin de aguas residuales. Una
alimentacin ms abundante y regular, no sometida a las fluctuaciones de las cosechas,
baj la incidencia de las epidemias e hizo posible la casi desaparicin de la mortalidad
catastrfica, sobre todo la infantil.
La poblacin de Inglaterra y Gales, que haba permanecido constante alrededor de 6
millones desde 1700 a 1740, se increment bruscamente a partir de esta fecha y alcanz
8,3 millones en 1801, para doblarse en cincuenta aos y llegar a los 16,8 millones en 1850
y en 1901 casi se haba doblado de nuevo con 30,5 millones.21 En Europa, la poblacin
pas de 100 millones in 1700 hasta alcanzar 400 millones en 1900.22 La revolucin
industrial fue as el primer periodo histrico durante el que hubo simultneamente un
incremento de la poblacin y un incremento de la renta per cpita. 23 El aumento de la
poblacin fue un estmulo para el crecimiento industrial ya que proporcion a la vez mano
de obra abundante para las nuevas industrias y de otro lado supuso un incremento de la
demanda interna para los nuevos productos.
El aumento de la poblacin urbana en ciudades con trazado medieval supuso el
hacinamiento, la insalubridad y la aparicin de las primeras patologas sociales
(alcoholismo, prostitucin y delincuencia).24

Desarrollos industriales importantes

Industria textil
Entre finales del siglo XVII y principios del XVIII el gobierno britnico aprob una serie de
leyes con el fin de proteger a la industria de la lana britnica de la creciente cantidad de
tela de algodn que se importaba desde India Oriental.

Esta mquina de hilado es la ltima superviviente de las construidas porSamuel Crompton

Vdeo con mquinas textiles Mule spinning en Quarry Bank Mill

Tambin empez a haber una mayor demanda de tejidos gruesos, los cuales eran
fabricados por la industria britnica en la localidad de Lancashire, donde destacaba la
produccin de pana, fabricada a partir fibras entrecruzadas de lino y algodn. El lino era
utilizado para dotar de ms resistencia al tejido, cuyo material principal, el algodn, no
tena una resistencia suficiente, aunque esta mezcla resultante no era tan suave como los
tejidos 100% algodn y era ms difcil de coser.25
Hasta el nacimiento de la industria textil, los tejidos y el hilado en general se realizaba en
los hogares, en la mayor parte de los casos para consumo propio. Este mtodo productivo,
basado en que la produccin estaba dispersada y se desarrolloba en los domicilios de los
trabajadores, es a menudo denominado en ingls como sistema Putting-out (Putting-out
system) en contraposicin al posterior sistema industrial o Factory system.26 Slo en
ocasiones puntuales los trabajos se realizaban en un taller de un maestro tejedor. Bajo el
sistema Putting-out los trabajadores, antes de fabricar su producto, pactaban contratos con
comerciantes y vendedores, quienes les suministraban a menudo las materias primas
necesarias. Fuera de temporada por la general las esposas de los agricultores hacan los
hilados mientras que los hombre producan los tejidos. Utilizando la maquina de hilar o
rueca, en cualquier momento entre cuatro y ocho hilanderas podan echar una mano al
tejedor.25 27 28 Uno de los grandes inventos de la industria textil fue la lanzadera volante,
patentada en 1733 por John Kay, que permiti una cierta automatizacin del proceso de
tejido. Posteriores mejoras, destacando las de 1747, permitieron duplicar la capacidad de
produccin de los tejedores, lo que tambin agrav el desequilibrio que exista entre el
hilado y el tejido. Este invento empez a ser ampliamente utilizado en todo Lancashire en
la dcada de 1760, cuando Robert Kay, hijo de John Kay, invent la caja ascendente (drop
box).29 Lewis Paul desarroll patent en Birmingham, con la ayuda de John Wyatt, la
mquina de hilar mediante rodillos y el sistema flyer-and-bobbin, que conseguan un
espesor ms uniforme en el proceso de elaboracin de la lana. Paul y Wyatt abrieron una
fbrica en Birmingham que utilizaba una nueva mquina de laminado impulsada por un
burro. En 1743 se abri una fbrica en Northampton que empleaba cinco mquinas como
la de Paul con cincuenta husos cada una. Estuvo en funcionamiento hasta 1764. Una

fbrica similar fue construida por Daniel Bourn en Leominster, pero un incendio la destruy.
Tanto Paul como Bourn haban patentado el cardador de lana en 1748. El uso de dos
conjuntos de rodillos que giraban a diferentes velocidades fue utilizado posteriormente en
la primera fbrica de hilados de algodn. La invencin de Lewis fue posteriormente
mejorada por Richard Arkwright con su Water frame y por Samuel Crompton con su
Spinning mule.
En 1764 el pueblo de Stanhill, Lancashire, James Hargreaves invent la hiladora Jenny,
que patent en 1770. Fue la primera mquina que empleba varios husos de una manera
eficaz. La hiladora Jenny trabajaba de una manera similar a la rueca. Era una mquina
simple, construida con madera y que slo costaba alrededor de 6 libras (un modelo de 40
husos) en 1792. Era utilizada principalmente en los hogares o por pequeos artesanos. La
hiladora Jenny produca un hilo ligeramente torcido slo adecuado para la trama, que se
torca.30
La mquina de hilar (Water frame) inventada por Richard Arkwright, fue patentada por este
junto con dos socios en 1769. El diseo se basaba en parte en una mquina de hilado
construida por Thomas High, quien fue contratado por Arkwright.31

El comercio internacional
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Economa industrial
Vanse tambin: Segunda revolucin industrial y Tercera revolucin industrial.

Sin embargo, y a pesar de todos los factores anteriores, la Revolucin industrial no


hubiese podido prosperar sin el concurso y el desarrollo de los transportes, que llevarn
las mercancas producidas en la fbrica hasta los mercados donde se consuman.
Estos nuevos transportes se hacen necesarios no slo en el comercio interior, sino
tambin en el comercio internacional, ya que en esta poca se crean los grandes
mercados nacionales e internacionales. El comercio internacional se liberaliza, sobre todo
tras el Tratado de Utrecht (1713) que liberaliza las relaciones comerciales de Inglaterra, y
otros pases europeos, con la Amrica espaola. Se termina con las compaas
privilegiadas y con el proteccionismo econmico; y se aboga por una poltica imperialista y
la eliminacin de los privilegios gremiales. Adems, se desamortizan las tierras
eclesisticas, seoriales y comunales, para poner en el mercado nuevas tierras y crear un
nuevo concepto de propiedad. La Revolucin industrial gener tambin un
ensanchamiento de los mercados extranjeros y una nueva divisin internacional del
trabajo (DIT). Los nuevos mercados se conquistaron mediante el abaratamiento de los
productos hechos con la mquina, por los nuevos sistemas de transporte y la apertura de
vas de comunicacin, as como tambin, mediante una poltica expansionista.
El Reino Unido fue el primero que llev a cabo toda una serie de transformaciones que la
colocaron a la cabeza de todos los pases del mundo. Los cambios en la agricultura, en la
poblacin, en los transportes, en la tecnologa y en las industrias, favorecieron un
desarrollo industrial. La industria textil algodonera fue el sector lder de la industrializacin
y la base de la acumulacin de capital que abrir paso, en una segunda fase, a la
siderurgia y al ferrocarril.
A mediados del siglo XVIII, la industria britnica tena slidas bases y con una doble
expansin: las industrias de bienes de produccin y de bienes de consumo. Incluso se
estimul el crecimiento de la minera del carbn y de la siderurgia con la construccin
del ferrocarril. As, en Gran Bretaa se desarroll de pleno elcapitalismo industrial, lo que
explica su supremaca industrial hasta 1870 aproximadamente, como tambin financiera y
comercial desde mediados de siglo XVIII hasta la Primera Guerra Mundial (1914). En el

resto de Europa y en otras regiones como Amrica del Norte o Japn, la industrializacin
fue muy posterior y sigui pautas diferentes a la britnica.
Unos pases tuvieron la industrializacin entre 1850 y 1914: Francia, Alemania y Blgica.
En 1850 apenas existe la fbrica moderna en Europa continental, slo enBlgica hay un
proceso de revolucin seguido al del Reino Unido. En la segunda mitad del siglo XIX se
fortalece en Turingia y Sajonia la industrializacin deAlemania.
Otros pases siguieron un modelo de industrializacin diferente y muy tarda: Italia, Imperio
austrohngaro, Espaa o Rusia. La industrializacin de stos se inici tmidamente en las
ltimas dcadas del siglo XIX, para terminar mucho despus de 1914.

Transportes
El ferrocarril

Un ferrocarril alemn en 1895

El ferrocarril, nacido en el siglo XVIII, es uno de los grandes protagonistas de la Revolucin


Industrial. En sus comienzos se empleaba la fuerza animal como medio de locomocin, los
rales eran de madera y su empleo se limitaba a las minas para el transporte de carbn.nota
1
En un libro publicado en 1797, Carz aseguraba haber sido el primero que pens en
sustituir la madera por hierro.32 La primera concesin del Parlamento ingls para la
construccin de un ferrocarril movido por caballos se remonta a 1801; se trataba de
una lnea entre Wandsworth y Croydon con unos 13 kilmetros de longitud y con un coste
de 60 000 libras. La gran revolucin del ferrocarril comenz en 1814, cuando George
Stephenson utiliz la mquina de vapor como medio de locomocin. Su invento fue un
xito y comenz a usarse de inmediato en las minas, pudiendo transportar ocho vagones
de 30 toneladas a una velocidad de 7 km/h. Estos resultados eran suficientes para
expandir el uso de la mquina a otros servicios. Fue un 1821 cuando el Parlamento
autoriz la construccin de la primera lnea de ferrocarril con traccin de vapor
entre Stockon y Darlington. La lnea fue inaugurada en 1825 con una mquina maniobrada
por el propio Stephenson tirando de 34 vagones a una velocidad de entre 10 y 12 millas
por hora 16-19 km/h ;33 El peridico The Times describi esta azaa de la siguiente
manera:
Tres mquinas de vapor con cincuenta caballos de fuerza cada una han servido para arrastrar
trece vagones, cargados de mercancas y productos diversos sobre la altura del plano inclinado
que forma la va. All se han enganchado los vagones a una mquina llamada "La Experiencia"
adems de cierto nmero de vagones que llevaban a los accionistas, autoridades e invitados
(...) Se pone en marcha y hombres a caballo intentan seguir los vagones pero pronto quedan
distanciados, all donde la pendiente era ms fuerte el convoy alcanz las 25
millas/h.34 (40km/h).

En los 5 aos posteriores el Parlamento autoriz la construccin de 23 nuevas lneas de


ferrocarril entre las que se encontraba la clebre lnea entre Manchester yLiverpool, siendo
sus constructores los primeros en ofrecer en el ferrocarril el servicio de transporte de
pasajeros. En aquel momento se desconfiaba de la seguridad que podan ofrecer las
locomotoras, pero la acogida fue muy buena, mejorando en un 10% los beneficios
derivados de este servicio, aunque los ingresos por el transporte de algodn, tejidos,

carbn y ganado an seguan siendo mayoritarios. Este xito tambin fue tratado
por George Porter, quien en su libro El progreso de la nacin dice :
Desde entonces [se refiere a la construccin de la lnea citada] se ha observado que al
construirse una lnea de ferrocarril entre dos ciudades, el nmero de viajeros en el trayecto
entre una y otra se cuadruplica.

Fue en esta ocasin el propio Stephenson el que gan la puja en esta lnea convirtindose
su Cohete en el encargado de remolcar un tren de 12 toneladas a 22 km/h.35 El primer
correo por ferrocarril se envi el 11 de noviembre de 1830. 34 Los tiempos de llegada se
redujeron considerablemente, llegando el correo entreLondres y Manchester en
aproximadamente 18 horas. En Inglaterra, siguiendo la consigna laissez faire, el Estado no
intervena en la construccin o subvencin del ferrocarril sino que se resignaba a otorgar
las licencias y permisos de construccin y explotacin;35 de esta manera se gastaron
enormes fortunas con el objetivo de obtener los distintos permisos; por ejemplo el Great
Western cost en gastos preliminares 89 000 libras y otros como el London and
Birmingham62 000.36

Locomotora de Stephenson de principios del siglo XIX

Los ferrocarriles eran al principio de va estrecha y slo admitan velocidades


comprendidas entre los 15 y los 20 kilmetros por hora, pero en 1840 se haban
ensanchado las vas y se podan conseguir unas velocidades de casi 40 km/h.

George Stephenson

Primitivas vagonetas mineras

El primer pas continental en seguir el ejemplo ingls fue Blgica con dos lneas BruselasMalinas y Malinas-Amberes en 1835. El primer ao transportaron 70 000 pasajeros. El
coste fue bajsimo y el billete Bruselas-Amberes costaba slo un franco. 37 El invento entr
en Francia con algo de retraso pues mientras jvenes, ingenieros y adeptos al
saintsimonismo reclamaban su construccin, tropezaban con el rechazo y la desconfianza
de muchos, adems de la carencia de hierro. El gobierno francs, que vea el potencial del
aparato, orden un estudio para un plan nacional de los ferrocarriles. El estudio qued
finalizado en 1837 y los capitalistas, impacientes, presionaban al gobierno para la
ejecucin del proyecto con el fin de especular con las obras y los terrenos. El plan
consista en siete lneas con centro en Pars, que uniran el Atlntico, el Mediterrneo y el
Rin. Al contrario que en Inglaterra y Blgica, el estado se hizo cargo, al menos en parte, de
su construccin y explotacin, aportando 150 000 francos por kilmetro de va y
construyendo las infraestructuras necesarias.37 Mientras, las compaas privadas
aportaron 100 000 francos para edificios y material.38 Tras 40 aos de administracin y
explotacin privada, el sistema pasara al Estado. Socialistas romnticos y conservadores
se oponan al proyecto, los primeros reclamaban que el sistema fuera del estado desde el
primer da y los segundos lo consideraban demasiado caro. 38 Finalmente el plan fue
aprobado, pero algunos acuerdos se revisaron y en la prctica la construccin y
explotacin corri a cuenta casi exclusiva del sector privado.38 En 1857 la red estaba
consolidada siendo propiedad de 6 grandes compaas. Debido a la obligacin de ceder la
propiedad al Estado a los 40 aos de explotacin se descuid sobremanera su cuidado y
mantenimiento por lo que el gobierno francs se vi en la obligacin de ampliar el plazo en
99 aos ms, comprometindose incluso a pagar las obligaciones a su vencimiento. 38
En Alemania la primera lnea se construy en 1835 con una extensin de 7 kilmetros
entre Nuremberg y Frth pero fue en 1839 cuando se construy la primera lnea de
importancia entre Dresde y Leipzig, promovida por el profesor de economa poltica List,
uno de los principales promotores de la lnea Nuremberg-Frth. Pronto se vi al ferrocarril
como una poderosa arma poltica; en el momento de la aparicin del ferrocarril, Alemania
se encontraba dividida en ms de 300 pequeos estados y ciudades autnomas. Desde la
construccin de la lnea Dresde-Leipzig todas las ciudades alemanas quisieron unirse con
su vecina lo que adems de un gran impulso econmico hizo un gran servicio para el
triunfo del Zollverein.39 Al contrario que en el resto de pases, en Alemania fue la
administracin la encargada de vigilar o administrar todos los ferrocarriles. 40 En 1850
el Zollverein ya posea 5 800 kilmetros casi el doble que toda
Francia.Hannover, Bremen, Hamburgo, Berln, Francfort formaban una gran lnea que
transcurra sobre los principales focos industriales y una Alemania con Suiza a travs
de Basilea y a Austria a travs de Moravia y Silesia.

Fotografa de los accionistas y principales impulsores de la lnea entre Barcelona y Matar, la primera
lnea de ferrocarril pennsular

Ceremonia de clavado del "Remache de Oro" (Golden Spike) el 10 de mayo de 1869 smbolo de la
finalizacin de la primera lnea transcontinental estadounidense

A partir de la dcada de 1820 el ferrocarril y el vapor saltaron a los Estados Unidos y


pronto conquistaron a la opinin pblica. Stevens realiz en Hoboken una primera prueba
que caus un gran inters entre los hombre de negocios de Pennsylvania, quienes
compraron una locomotora a Inglaterra.41 Al igual que en Gran Bretaa, la acumulacin de
capital hizo posible slo un ao despus el comienzo de la construccin de una primera
lnea entre Washington y Winchester. En 1830 una locomotora llamada Best Friend explot
cuando marchaba por la lnea Charleston-Hambourg debido a que el maquinista se haba
sentado sobre la vlvula de escape por las molestias que senta debido al silbido del vapor
al salir. Pero lejos de echarse atrs, el pas progres a un ritmo frentico y a mediados de
1830 ya produca sus propias locomotoras en la fundicin de West Point42 asegurando una
industria nacional slida. Desde entonces Estados Unidos coloc rales a travs de su
vasto territorio a una velocidad mucho mayor que Europa. Si en 1830 posea tan slo 65
kilmetros de trazado contra 316 europeos, 276 de ellos en Gran Bretaa, 10 aos
despus ya superaba a Europa con 4509 kilmetros contra 3543 europeos. 41 En 1850 las
vas frreas ya sumaban 14 400 kilmetros. Uno de los problemas que planteaban los
ferrocarriles era el ancho de va,nota 2 que variaba en anchura en los distintos pases, lo que
obligaba a numerosos transbordos para deleite de los hosteleros. Pero problemas aparte
el tiempo de viaje no hizo sino disminuir; as, en apenas unos aos no se tardaban ms de
20 horas en viajar de Boston a Nueva York en ferrocarril cuando antes se tardaban unas
80.41

El general Grenville M. Dodge

Fotografa del clebre descarrilamiento en la estacin deMontparnasse el 22 de octubre de 1895

En Italia los augurios de dAzeglio de que los ferrocarriles coseran la bota no pasaron de
simples promesas, pues hasta 1845 slo se encontraban pequeas lneas aisladas como
la lnea Miln-Monza, Padua-Venecia, Liorna-Pisa o la lnea deCampania que Fernando de
Npoles construy para su recreo y uso privado.43 EnHungra slo exista una pequea va
alrededor de Budapest y en Rusia el zarismo tuvo que imponer la construccin de la
lnea Mosc-San Petersburgo debido a los numerosos retractores.43 En Espaa, el gran
tirn y entusiasmo que de manera muy temprana haba producido el invento se apaga en
la guerra civil de 1833, que paraliza todas las obras de construccin ante la desconfianza
de los capitalistas.43Hubo que esperar hasta 1843 cuando se concedi a Juan Manuel
Roca y Miguel Biada la construccin y explotacin del ferrocarril Barcelona-Matar, que
estuvo construido en slo cinco aos bajo la direccin del ingeniero ingls Locke, su
inauguracin fue el 28 de octubre de 1848, un trayecto de 28 km y 600 m que se
completaba en 35 minutos.nota 3 En 1851 realiz su primer viaje el segundo ferrocarril
espaol que cubra la lnea Madrid-Aranjuez, cuya concesin haba sido otorgada en 1844
con prolongacin hasta Cdiz. En 1850 se inici la construccin de la primera locomotora
espaola, finalizada en 1852.43
Excepciones aparte, en el periodo entre 1820 y 1840, Gran Bretaa conservaba un
adelanto manifiesto sobre el resto del mundo.43 Era la nica que posea una buena red de
transporte entre sus principales ciudades. Trabaj con verdadero frenes entre 1840 y 1847
a pesar de la rivalidad latente entre la oposicin, los grupos financieros, los Turnpike
trusts y la poblacin, cuyo medio de subsistencia continuaban siendo las carreteras.
Similar situacin se dio en Blgica, que en 1843 tena incluso ms kilmetros que Francia
y una opinin pblica muy favorable al ferrocarril.43 No fueron pocos los que vieron en el
ferrocarril un gran peligro, incluso mortal. Desde el siglo XVIII, cuando se pusieron en
marcha en Inglaterra hubo voces, incluso procedentes de la Real Academia de Ciencias
britnica, que sugeran que a unas velocidades superiores a los 40km/h los pasajeros se
asfixiaran, se volveran ciegos y el ganado enloquecera. Se tema tambin la destruccin
de las tierras de cultivo o que la gente y mercancas salieran despedidas del aparato por
sus "endiabladas" velocidades.44

Recorrido del primer ferrocarril transcontinental estadounidense

Pasada la primera mitad de siglo, el medio siglo siguiente entre 1851 y 1901, conocido con
el nombre de Railway Age vive el apogeo y reinado definitivo del ferrocarril. Pero la
traccin mecnica sobre rales es sobre todo, obra de Occidente. En 1860 Europa y
EE.UU se reparten ms o menos 198 000 en igualdad mientras que el resto del mundo no
cuenta con ms de 15 000 kilmetros, la mayora ubicados en colonias europeas. 45 En
1910 ya se han construdo ms de un milln de kilmetros de los que 380 000 estn en
EE.UU y 330 000 en Europa.45 Su construccin necesit de un esfuerzo enorme,
movilizando grandes cantidades de capital, trabajadores y estimulando la industria
metalrgica y la construccin de gigantescos talleres de trabajo, adems de dar su mximo
esplendor a la mquina de vapor.46 Adems de los vagones y locomotoras, tambin
evolucionaron los rales sobre los que circulaban. El ral de acero sustituye al de hierro y a
la madera de las traviesas se le empez a inyectar cloruro de cinc para evitar que se
pudriera. El ferrocarril tambin necesit de una gran infraestructura que fue necesario
desarrollar, como tneles, que se excavaban a costa del sufrimiento obrero a altsimas
temperaturas con el uso de perforadoras de aire comprimido y el revestimiento de las
galeras con fundicin, en sustitucin de la madera; La ventilacin se lograba con
sopladoras. Hay que destacar algunos xitos entre los que se encuentran el tnel que
atraviesa el Mont Cenis, construdo a lo largo de 15 aos y con una extensin de 13 600 m
a 1300 metros de altura.47 Otros como el San Gotardo de ms de 15 000 metros se
terminaron en menos de 10 aos usando la perforadora automtica siendo las condiciones
de trabajo nefastas: los obreros llegaron a trabajar a una temperatura de 86
grados.47 Fuera de Europa los estadounidenses construyeron un tnel bajo el ro
Hudson. Escandinavia queda unida a Alemania a travs del "ferry-boats"
entre Rgen y Malmoe. Mientras que en la primera mitad de siglo la locomotora apenas
haba ganado en velocidad sin sobrepasar nunca los 40km/h, hace progresos decisivos a
partir de la idea del ingeniero ingls Crampton de colocar las ruedas motrices detrs de la
caldera (y no debajo), ruedas que estn acopladas, transfirindose el movimiento de
rotacin. En 1850 la velocidad media que se situaba en 27 km/h se eleva en 1880 a
74 km/h en Inglaterra y a 59 km/h en Estados Unidos.48 En 1890 el Empire-StateExpress rebas por primera vez en la historia los 100 km/h entre Nueva
York y Buffalo.48 Para cruzar Francia de un extremo en ferrocarril slo se precisaban 14
horas. En esta segunda parte del siglo el coste del billete desminuy entre un 50 y un
70 %.49
Las prestaciones de la locomotora aumentaron sin cesar. El freno de mano se sustituy
por un nuevo freno hidrulico de aire comprimido.48 Los vagones de pasajeros fueron
dotados de alumbrado de gas a base de aceite de esquisto o iluminacin elctrica a finales
de siglo, siendo la lnea Londres-Brighton la primera en incorporarla.48 La mquina de
vapor, el corazn de la mquina, tambin procura calefaccin en los vagones. El
llamado Boggie o bastidor de varios ejes permiti al convoy dar curvas mucho ms
acentuadas disminuyendo los riesgos, pues se adaptaba a la curvatura de la
va.48 Tambin se crearon los llamadospalace-cars en las lneas ms largas para las
familias ricas en las que disfrutaban de todo tipo de comodidades y sin tener que
mezclarse con el resto de pasajeros.48 En 1880 se instal en la lnea del Pacfico un vagn
imprenta en el que se editaba un peridico diario con las noticias recibidas
telegrficamente en las estaciones.48

El Transiberiano en sus comienzos alrededor de 1903

Estacin de Bahmi atravesada por el Transcaspiano en 1890

Exceptuando Gran Bretaa, Blgica y algunas partes de Espaa y Alemania, las vas
frreas no dibujaban redes en ninguna parte antes de 1860.50 En Francia por fin se realiz
un esfuerzo serio a partir del Segundo Imperio y en los albores de la Tercera Repblica. En
esta segunda mitad de siglo se empezaba a vislumbrar la columna vertebral de
ferrocarriles europeos.50 Sus lmites se extendan desde el norte de Francia hasta la Alta
Silesia de este a oeste y de Alemania al norte de Italia de norte a sur; en el
centro, Suiza reparte el trfico por el continente. En cambio la mayor parte de Italia,
la Pennsula ibrica y los pases del este quedaban fuera.50 En Estados Unidos se siguen
consiguiendo grandes logros. En 1869 se finaliz elprimer transcontinental que conect el
pas de este a oeste. La construccin fue dirigida por el implacable general Grenville M.
Dodge como si se tratar de una campaa militar. Us como mano de obra a los soldados
desmovilizados, inmigrantes irlandeses y hasta chinos enCalifornia.50 Pero este triunfo no
se logr con facilidad; indios, el relieve irregular y sobre todo la competencia entre Union
Pacific y Central Pacific dificultaron sobremanera la situacin. Pero el entusiasmo
predomina y en 1893 ya haba en funcionamiento otras 5 lneas transcontinentales,
usndose como medio de colonizacin en el oeste americano o en la Columbia
britnica como medio de presin para conseguir su adhesin a la Unin. 50
Aunque tardo, se presenta el esfuerzo ruso, logrado gracias a los prstamos de
Occidente.50 En primer lugar se construy el transcaspiano al que a partir de 1905
complement el transaraliano. En Siberia las dificultades eran maysculas: hielo,
infiltraciones de agua, ros inmensos, dbil densidad humana, distancias enormes, sin
olvidar el irregular relieve. Pero las viejas rutas y caminos ya no eran suficientes y
el ferrocarril ms largo del mundo se empez en 1891 y alcanz su destino, Vladivostok,
gracias a un acuerdo con China, en 1902.50
As pues el ferrocarril no solo sirvi para revolucionar el mundo del transporte tanto
material como humano sino que fue empleado como un excelente instrumento de
unin.51 Sirvi bien en la reconciliacin y la anexin de nuevos territorios a Estados Unidos
y el Imperio Alemn saba lo mucho que le deba al ferrocarril como para dejarlo en manos
privadas. En Italia facilit la hegemona de la Casa de Saboya. No ocurri igual en Francia
o en Gran Bretaa, donde se encontraban mayoritariamente en manos privadas, aunque
en Inglaterra prestaron un servicio inigualable, encumbrando al naciente Imperio

Britnico a la hegemona mundial. Hacia 1850 el ferrocarril haba conducido a entre 400 y
500 millones de viajeros y entre 200 y 300 millones de toneladas de mercancas desde su
nacimiento. Cinco dcadas despus, slo en 1905 transport a entre 4000 y 5000 millones
de viajeros.52

El barco de vapor

El Turbinia, primer barco propulsado con turbinas a vapor

Antes del siglo XIX la larga tradicin naval europea se haba sustentado sobre el control de
los vientos como medio de propulsin y la seguridad ms que por la velocidad en el mar. A
principios de siglo no se empleaban menos de dos o tres semanas en cruzar el Atlntico
de este a oeste, necesitndose entre 30 y 40 das de oeste a este. Con la formacin de
losimperios coloniales europeos se hizo necesario desarrollar una tecnologa que
asegurase el viaje sobre las aguas; en elsiglo XVIII se generaliz el uso del sextante,
mapas con las notaciones de los vientos y el cronmetro. La invencin de la nueva
embarcacin parti de los trabajos de Jouffroy dAbbens sobre el Sena y los de Fulton con
su mquina Clermont.53Fue en Estados Unidos donde tuvieron lugar las primeras pruebas
del navo de ruedas sobre el ro Hudson. En 1815 ya circulaban un centenar de estos
navos de ruedas que obtenan su energa de la lea, material barato y abundante.
ElSavannah consigui cruzar en 29 das el Atlntico Norte en 1819 y la Sphink, que llev a
Francia las noticias de la toma de Argel, desarrollaba una velocidad de 6 nudos. Pero los
problemas eran numerosos: las paletas utilizadas provocaban un gran desperdicio de
energa, exista el riesgo de incendio o explosin a bordo, su velocidad era an menor a la
desarrollado por los veleros y el poder militar an se opona a su utilizacin como navo de
guerra.54
Pero a pesar de las dificultades los avances prosiguieron y en 1838, con una combinacin
de vapor y velas, los navos Sirius y Great Western cruzaron el Atlntico entre Liverpool y
Nueva York en 16 y 13 das respectivamente. Los grandes avances llegaron entre 1840 y
1860 con la invencin de la hlice, basndose los primeros modelos en el tornillo de
Arqumedes, el condensador de superficie y la mquina Compound, que logr ahorrar
grandes cantidades de combustible y la introduccin de calderas cilndricas que
posibilitaron la produccin de vapor a alta presin.53
Lo que s es indudable es la supremaca del velero sobre el vapor durante la mayor parte
del siglo; la seguridad y prestigio de la que an gozaba, sobre todo en Estados Unidos,
donde tambin tena lugar la mayora de los avances del barco de vapor era indiscutible.
En 1850 el barco de vapor haba transportado ya 750 000 toneladas, aunque el vapor an
estaba muy lejos de ganar la partida.54

Carreteras y canales

Fotografa de una diligencia enDakota del Sur alrededor de 1889

Seccin resturada del canal delTmesis

El esfuerzo en la construccin y mejora de carreteras (o caminos) comenz en muchas


partes de Europa antes de la Revolucin Industrial. Desde el fin de las guerras
napolenicas a principios del siglo XVIII y en ausencia de otros medios de comunicacin
ms eficaces, las carreteras fueron extensamente mejoradas. A principios del siglo XIX el
pas ms adelantado en esta materia era Francia con una red de 33 000 kilmetros de
gran calidad que se extendan hasta Alemania, Suiza e Italia. Los Pases Bajos, el Reino
de Prusia o Suiza tambin haban vivido una gran mejora en las comunicaciones. En el
otro extremo se encontraban lugares como Sicilia, que no empez su construccin hasta
bien entrado el XIX, la Rusia zarista, que no tendra su primera calzada entre Mosc y San
Petersburgo sus principales ciudades hasta 1834 o Espaa, que cuenta antes de la
mitad del siglo XIX con slo 6000 kilmetros de vas, siendo adems estrechas y llenas de
irregularidades y deficiencias. En Gran Bretaa el rpido desarrollo de ferrocarriles y
canales quita importancia a su construccin pero an as se suceden las ampliaciones y
modernizaciones de la maltrecha red britnica contando en 1850 con ms de 50 000
kilmetros de trazado, 18 000 ms que veinte aos atrs.55
La tcnica en la construccin de estas vas de comunicacin tambin mejora. En cada pas
se construyen de manera distinta pero los problemas clsicos derivados de estas
construcciones como filtraciones de agua, mantenimiento o infraestructura se solucionan
en las dcadas de 1820 y 1830 a partir de las mejoras introducidas por Mac Adam o
Telford.56El uso de la diligencia y los servicios pblicos de transporte se desarrollan y
generalizan con unas velocidades que oscilan entre los 10 y 15 km/h, usndose en el
transporte de pasajeros, mercancas y correo.57 No es hasta principios del siglo XX cuando
gracias al motor de explosin y el desarrollo del automvil se de un uso masivo a estos
trazados.
Los primeros canales empezaron a ser construidos en Gran Bretaa en el siglo XVIII con
el objeto de comunicar los centros industriales del norte britnico con los puertos martimos
del sur y Londres. Los canales fueron la primera tecnologa que permiti un fcil y
relativamente rpido transporte de mercancas por todo el pas, pudindose transportar
varias docenas de veces ms de tonelaje por viaje que con un transporte terrestre. A esto
se una el relieve del pas, completamente llano, lo que permita que los canales fueran
construidos rpidamente y a un bajo precio. A principios de la dcada de 1820, ya exista

una red nacional consolidada. El ejemplo ingls fue copiado en Francia que con un relieve
similar al britnico pudo desarrollar su propio sistema, que a mediados del siglo XIX
contaba con 8500 kilmetros de vas. En Alemania gracias a sus grandes ros como el Rn
y el Elba, la navegacin se vio muy favorecida, as como el comercio que vivi un gran
desarrollo. En otros pases como Espaa la construccin de canales no pas de un
proyecto por el difcil relieve y la falta de capitales. Fuera del continente, los
estadounidenses con su mpetu emprendedor y sus numerosos lagos y grandes ros
consiguieron desarrollar con velocidad su propio sistema, que al igual que el ferrocarril,
ayud en la colonizacin y explotacin de las vastas tierras del pas. A principios
de 1835EE.UU ya contaba con 7000 kilmetros de canales que allanaron el camino a la
introduccin del barco de vapor en el pas con una rapidez incluso mayor a la siempre
innovadora Gran Bretaa.58
El uso de los canales en Gran Bretaa empez a decaer a partir de 1840, cuando el
ferrocarril se impuso en el transporte de mercancas y pasajeros.59 El irregular y ms tardo
desarrollo a gran escala del ferrocarril en el resto de pases, con la siempre notable
excepcin de los Estados Unidos, alarg en ocasiones el uso pleno de los canales hasta
los albores del siglo XX. Hoy en da la red de canales britnicos y la infraestructura ligada
a esta es una de las caractersticas ms perdurables y destacables de la Revolucin
Industrial en el pas.

Consecuencias
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Mquina de vapor situada en el vestbulo de la Escuela Tcnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales de la


UPM (Madrid).

La existencia de controles fronterizos ms intensos evitaron la propagacin de


enfermedades y disminuy la propagacin de epidemias como las ocurridas en tiempos
anteriores. La revolucin agrcola britnica hizo adems ms eficiente la produccin de
alimentos con una menor aportacin del factor trabajo, alentando a la poblacin que no
poda encontrar trabajos agrcolas a buscar empleos relacionados con la industria y, por
ende, originando un movimiento migratorio desde el campo a las ciudades as como un
nuevo desarrollo en las fbricas. La expansin colonial del siglo XVII acompaada del
desarrollo del comercio internacional, la creacin de mercados financieros y la
acumulacin de capital son considerados factores influyentes, como tambin lo fue la
revolucin cientfica del siglo XVII. Se puede decir que se produjo en Inglaterra por su
desarrollo econmico.
La presencia de un mayor mercado domstico debera tambin ser considerada como un
catalizador de la Revolucin industrial, explicando particularmente por qu ocurri en el
Reino Unido.

La invencin de la mquina de vapor fue una de las ms importantes innovaciones de la


Revolucin industrial. Hizo posible mejoramientos en el trabajo del metal basado en el uso
de coque en vez de carbn vegetal. En el siglo XVIII la industriatextil aprovech el poder
del agua para el funcionamiento de algunas mquinas. Estas industrias se convirtieron en
el modelo de organizacin del trabajo humano en las fbricas.
Adems de la innovacin de la maquinaria, la cadena de montaje (fordismo) contribuy
mucho en la eficiencia de las fbricas.

Revolucin agrcola: aumento progresivo de la produccin gracias a la inversin de


los propietarios en nuevas tcnicas y sistemas de cultivo, adems de la mejora del uso
de fertilizantes.

El desarrollo del capital comercial: Las mquinas se aplicaron a los transportes y a


la comunicacin iniciando una enorme transformacin. Ahora las relaciones entre
patronos y trabajadores son nicamente laborales y con el fin de obtener beneficios.

Cambios demogrfico-sociales: la modernizacin de la agricultura permiti un


crecimiento demogrfico debido a la mejora de la alimentacin. Tambin hubo
adelantos en la medicina y en la higiene, de ah que creciera la poblacin. Tambin
hubo una migracin del campo a la ciudad porque la ocupacin en labores agrcolas
disminuy mientras creca la demanda de trabajo en las ciudades.

Etapas de la Revolucin industrial


La Revolucin industrial estuvo dividida en dos etapas: la primera del ao 1750 hasta
1840, y la segunda de 1880 hasta 1914. Todos estos cambios trajeron consigo
consecuencias tales como:
1. Demogrficas: Traspaso de la poblacin del campo a la ciudad (xodo rural)
Migraciones internacionales Crecimiento sostenido de la poblacin
Grandes diferencias entre los pueblos Independencia econmica
2. Econmicas: Produccin en serie Desarrollo del capitalismo Aparicin de las
grandes empresas (Sistema fabril) Intercambios desiguales
3. Sociales: Nace el proletariado Nace la Cuestin social
4. Ambientales: Deterioro del ambiente y degradacin del paisaje Explotacin
irracional de la tierra.

La locomotora de vapor fue un modo de transporte surgido durante la Revolucin Industrial.

A mediados del siglo XIX, en Inglaterra se realizaron una serie de transformaciones que
hoy conocemos como Revolucin industrial dentro de las cuales las ms relevantes fueron:

La aplicacin de la ciencia y tecnologa permiti el invento de mquinas que


mejoraban los procesos productivos.

La despersonalizacin de las relaciones de trabajo: se pasa desde el taller familiar


a la fbrica.

El uso de nuevas fuentes energticas, como el carbn y el vapor.

La revolucin en el transporte: ferrocarriles y barco de vapor.

El surgimiento del proletariado urbano.

La industrializacin que se origin en Inglaterra y luego se extendi por toda Europa no


slo tuvo un gran impacto econmico, sino que adems gener enormes transformaciones
sociales.
Proletariado urbano. Como consecuencia de la revolucin agrcola y demogrfica, se
produjo un xodo masivo de campesinos hacia las ciudades; el antiguo agricultor se
convirti en obrero industrial. La ciudad industrial aument su poblacin como
consecuencia del crecimiento natural de sus habitantes y por el arribo de este nuevo
contingente humano. La carencia de habitaciones fue el primer problema que sufri esta
poblacin socialmente marginada; deba vivir en espacios reducidos sin comodidades
mnimas y carentes de higiene. A ello se sumaban jornadas de trabajo, que llegaban a ms
de catorce horas diarias, en las que participaban hombres, mujeres y nios con salarios
miserables, y carentes de proteccin legal frente a la arbitrariedad de los dueos de las
fbricas o centros de produccin. Este conjunto de males que afectaba al proletariado
urbano se llam la Cuestin social, haciendo alusin a las insuficiencias materiales y
espirituales que les afectaban.
Burguesa industrial. Como contraste al proletariado industrial, se fortaleci el poder
econmico y social de los grandes empresarios, afianzando de este modo el sistema
econmico capitalista, caracterizado por la propiedad privada de los medios de produccin
y la regulacin de los precios por el mercado, de acuerdo con la oferta y la demanda.
En este escenario, la burguesa desplaza definitivamente a la aristocracia terrateniente y
su situacin de privilegio social se bas fundamentalmente en la fortuna y no en el origen o
la sangre. Avalados por una doctrina que defenda la libertad econmica, los empresarios
obtenan grandes riquezas, no slo vendiendo y compitiendo, sino que adems pagando
bajos salarios por la fuerza de trabajo aportada por los obreros.
Las propuestas para solucionar el problema social. Frente a la situacin de pobreza y
precariedad de los obreros, surgieron crticas y frmulas para tratar de darles solucin; por

ejemplo, los socialistas utpicos, que aspiraban a crear una sociedad ideal, justa y libre de
todo tipo de problemas sociales (para algunos, el comunismo). Otra propuesta fue
el socialismo cientfico de Karl Marx, que propona la revolucin proletaria y la abolicin de
la propiedad privada (marxismo); tambin la Iglesia catlica, a travs del papa Len XIII,
dio a conocer la Encclica Rerum Novarum (1891), primera encclica social de la historia, la
cual condenaba los abusos y exiga a los estados la obligacin de proteger a lo ms
dbiles. A continuacin, un fragmento de dicha encclica:
() Si el obrero presta a otros sus fuerzas a su industria, las presta con el fin de alcanzar lo
necesario para vivir y sustentarse y por todo esto con el trabajo que de su parte pone, adquiere
el derecho verdadero y perfecto, no solo para exigir un salario, sino para hacer de este el uso
que quisiere ()

Estos elementos fueron decisivos para el surgimiento de los movimientos reivindicativos de


los derechos de los trabajadores. Durante el siglo XX en medio de los procesos de
democratizacin, el movimiento obrero lograba que se reconocieran los derechos de los
trabajadores y su integracin a la participacin social. Otros ejemplos de tendencias que
buscaron soluciones fueron los nacionalismos, as como tambin los fascismos en los
cuales se consideraban a los obreros y trabajadores como una parte fundamental en el
desarrollo productivo de la nacin, por lo que deban ser protegidos por el Estado.

Principios fundamentales de la industria


Uno de los principios fundamentales de la industria moderna es que nunca considera a los
procesos de produccin como definitivos o acabados. Su base tcnico-cientfica es
revolucionaria, generando as el problema de la obsolescencia tecnolgica en perodos
cada vez ms breves. Desde esta perspectiva puede afirmarse que todas las formas de
produccin anteriores a la industria moderna (artesana y manufactura) fueron
esencialmente conservadoras, al trasmitirse los conocimientos de generacin en
generacin sin apenas cambios. Sin embargo, esta caracterstica de obsolescencia e
innovacin no se circunscribe a la ciencia y la tecnologa, sino debe ampliarse a toda la
estructura econmica de las sociedades modernas. En este contexto la innovacin es, por
definicin, negacin, destruccin, cambio, la transformacin es la esencia permanente de
la modernidad. Principios fundamentales de la industria moderna es que nunca considera
a los procesos de produccin como definitivos o acabados.[cita requerida]
El desarrollo de nuevas tecnologas, como ciencias aplicadas, en un receptivo clima social,
es el momento y el sitio para una revolucin industrial de innovaciones en cadena, como
un proceso acumulativo de tecnologa, que crea bienes y servicios, mejorando el nivel y la
calidad de vida. Son bsicos un capitalismo incipiente, un sistema educativo y espritu
emprendedor. La no adecuacin o correspondencia entre unos y otros crea desequilibrios
o injusticias. Parece ser que este desequilibrio en los procesos de industrializacin,
siempre socialmente muy inestables, es en la prctica inevitable, pero mensurable para
poder construir modelos mejorados.[cita requerida]

Industrial Revolution
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Watt steam engine. The steam engine, fuelled primarily by coal, propelled the Industrial Revolution
inGreat Britain and the world.[1]

William Bell Scott Iron and Coal, 185560

The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period
from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from
hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production
processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power, and the
development of machine tools. It also included the change from wood and other biofuels to coal.
Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment,
value of output and capital invested. The textile industry was also the first to use modern
production methods.[2]
The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of
daily life was influenced in some way. In particular, average income and population began
to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. Some economists, such asRobert E. Lucas, Jr.,
argue that the real impact of the Industrial Revolution was that "for the first time in history,
the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo sustained
growth ... Nothing remotely like this economic behavior is mentioned by the classical
economists, even as a theoretical possibility."[3]

Others, however, argue that while growth of the economy's overall productive powers was
unprecedented during the Industrial Revolution, living standards for the majority of the
population did not grow meaningfully until the late 19th and 20th centuries, and that in
many ways workers' living standards declined under early capitalism: for instance, studies
have shown that real wages in Britain only increased 15% between the 1780s and 1850s,
and that life expectancy in Britain did not begin to dramatically increase until the 1870s. [4][5]
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and spread to Western Europe and the
United States within a few decades.[6] The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution
is debated among historians. Eric Hobsbawm held that it 'broke out' in Britain in the 1780s
and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s,[7] while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred
roughly between 1760 and 1830.[8]
Some 20th century historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued
that the economic and social changes occurred gradually and the term revolution is a
misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among historians.[9][10]GDP per capita was broadly
stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the
modern capitalist economy.[11]The Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic
growth in capitalist economies.[12] Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of
the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the
domestication of animals, plants[13] and fire.
The First Industrial Revolution evolved into the Second Industrial Revolution in the
transition years between 1840 and 1870, when technological and economic progress
continued with the increasing adoption of transport steam (steam-powered railways, boats
and ships), the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the increasing use of
machinery in steam powered factories.[14][15][16]
Contents
[hide]

1 Etymology

2 Important technological developments


o

2.1 Textile manufacture

2.2 Metallurgy

2.3 Steam power

2.4 Machine tools

2.5 Chemicals

2.6 Cement

2.7 Gas lighting

2.8 Glass making

2.9 Paper machine

2.10 Agriculture

2.11 Mining

2.12 Other developments

2.13 Transportation

2.13.1 Canals

2.13.2 Roads

2.13.3 Railways

3 Social effects
3.1 Standards of living

3.1.1 Food and nutrition

3.1.2 Housing

3.1.3 Clothing and consumer goods

3.2 Population increase

3.3 Labour conditions

3.3.1 Social structure and working conditions

3.3.2 Factories and urbanisation

3.3.3 Child labour

3.3.4 Luddites

3.3.5 Organisation of labour


3.4 Other effects

4 Industrialisation beyond Great Britain


4.1 Continental Europe

4.1.1 Belgium

4.1.1.1 Demographic effects

4.1.2 France

4.1.3 Germany

4.1.4 Sweden
4.2 United States

4.3 Japan

5 Second Industrial Revolutions

6 Intellectual paradigms and criticism


o

6.1 Capitalism

6.2 Socialism

6.3 Romanticism

7 Causes
o

7.1 Causes in Europe

7.2 Causes in Britain

7.3 Transfer of knowledge


7.3.1 Protestant work ethic

8 See also

9 References

9.1 Bibliography

9.2 Historiography

9.3 Notes
10 External links

Etymology
The earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter
of 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had
entered the race to industrialise.[17] In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and
Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social
order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and
1818, and was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of
the [19th] century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was
becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jrme-Adolphe Blanqui description in
1837 of la rvolution industrielle.[18] Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class
in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time
changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book
was not translated into English until the late 1800s, and his expression did not enter
everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold
Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term. [19]

Important technological developments

The commencement of the Industrial Revolution is closely linked to a small number of


innovations,[20] beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following
gains had been made in important technologies:

Textiles Mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the


output of a worker by a factor of about 1000. The power loom increased the output of a
worker by a factor of over 40.[21] The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed
from cotton by a factor of 50.[15] Large gains in productivity also occurred in spinning
and weaving of wool and linen, but they were not as great as in cotton. [22]

Steam power The efficiency of steam engines increased so that they used
between one-fifth and one-tenth as much fuel. The adaptation of stationary steam
engines to rotary motion made them suitable for industrial uses. The high pressure
engine had a high power to weight ratio, making it suitable for transportation. Steam
power underwent a rapid expansion after 1800.

Iron making The substitution of coke for charcoal greatly lowered the fuel cost for
pig iron and wrought iron production.[23] Using coke also allowed larger blast furnaces,[24]
[25]
resulting in economies of scale. The cast iron blowing cylinder was first used in
1760. It was later improved by making it double acting, which allowed higher furnace
temperatures. The puddling process produced a structural grade iron at a lower cost
than the finery forge.[26] The rolling mill was fifteen times faster than hammering wrought
iron.[26] Hot blast (1828) greatly increased fuel efficiency in iron production in the
following decades.

Textile manufacture
Main article: Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries the British government passed a series of Calico
Acts in order to protect the domestic woolen industry from the increasing amounts of cotton
fabric imported from India.[27][28]
The demand for heavier fabric was met by a domestic industry based
around Lancashire that produced fustian, a cloth with flax warp and cotton weft. Flax was
used for the warp because wheel spun cotton did not have sufficient strength, but the
resulting blend was not as soft as 100% cotton and was more difficult to sew.[28]
On the eve of the Industrial Revolution, spinning and weaving were done in households, for
domestic consumption and as a cottage industry under the putting-out system.
Occasionally the work was done in the workshop of a master weaver. Under the putting-out
system, home-based workers produced under contract to merchant sellers, who often
supplied the raw materials. In the off season the women, typically farmers' wives, did the
spinning and the men did the weaving. Using the spinning wheel it took anywhere from four
to eight spinners to supply one hand loom weaver.[22][28][29] The flying shuttle patented in 1733
by John Kay, with a number of subsequent improvements including an important one in
1747, doubled the output of a weaver, worsening the imbalance between spinning and
weaving. It became widely used around Lancashire after 1760 when John's son, Robert,
invented the drop box.[30]

Watch video: Demonstration of fly shuttle on YouTube

Lewis Paul patented the roller spinning machine and the flyer-and-bobbin system for
drawing wool to a more even thickness. The technology was developed with the help of
John Wyatt of Birmingham. Paul and Wyatt opened a mill in Birmingham which used their
new rolling machine powered by a donkey. In 1743, a factory opened in Northampton with
fifty spindles on each of five of Paul and Wyatt's machines. This operated until about 1764.
A similar mill was built by Daniel Bourn inLeominster, but this burnt down. Both Lewis Paul
and Daniel Bourn patented carding machines in 1748. Based on two sets of rollers that
travelled at different speeds, it was later used in the first cotton spinning mill. Lewis's

invention was later developed and improved by Richard Arkwright in his water
frame and Samuel Crompton in his spinning mule.

Model of the spinning jenny in a museum in Wuppertal. Invented byJames Hargreaves in 1764, the
spinning jenny was one of the innovations that started the revolution.

In 1764 in the village of Stanhill, Lancashire, James Hargreaves invented the spinning
jenny, which he patented in 1770. It was the first practical spinning frame with multiple
spindles.[31] The jenny worked in a similar manner to the spinning wheel, by first clamping
down on the fibres, then by drawing them out, followed by twisting.[32] It was a simple,
wooden framed machine that only cost about 6 for a 40 spindle model in 1792, [33] and was
used mainly by home spinners. The jenny produced a lightly twisted yarn only suitable
for weft, not warp.[34]
The spinning frame or water frame was developed by Richard Arkwright who, along with
two partners, patented it in 1769. The design was partly based on a spinning machine built
for Thomas High by clock maker John Kay, who was hired by Arkwright.[35] For each spindle,
the water frame used a series of four pairs of rollers, each operating at a successively
higher rotating speed, to draw out the fibre, which was then twisted by the spindle. The
roller spacing was slightly longer than the fibre length. Too close a spacing caused the
fibres to break while too distant a spacing caused uneven thread. The top rollers were
leather covered and loading on the rollers was applied by a weight. The weights kept the
twist from backing up before the rollers. The bottom rollers were wood and metal, with
fluting along the length. The water frame was able to produce a hard, medium count thread
suitable for warp, finally allowing 100% cotton cloth to be made in Britain. A horse powered
the first factory to use the spinning frame. Arkwright and his partners used water power at a
factory in Cromford, Derbyshire in 1771, giving the invention its name.

Watch video: Demonstration of water frame on YouTube

The only surviving example of aspinning mule built by the inventorSamuel Crompton

Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule, introduced in 1779, was a combination of the spinning
jenny and the water frame in which the spindles were placed on a carriage, which went
through an operational sequence during which the rollers stopped while the carriage moved
away from the drawing roller to finish drawing out the fibres as the spindles started rotating.

Crompton's mule was able to produce finer thread than hand spinning and at a lower
cost. Mule spun thread was of suitable strength to be used as warp, and finally allowed
Britain to produce good quality calico cloth.[36]
[36]

Watch video: Demonstration of spinning mule on YouTube

Interior of Marshall's Temple Works

Realising that the expiration of the Arkwright patent would greatly increase the supply of
spun cotton and lead to a shortage of weavers, Edmund Cartwright developed a vertical
power loom which he patented in 1785. In 1776 he patented a two man operated loom, that
was more conventional.[37] Cartwright built two factories; the first burned down and the
second was sabotaged by his workers. Cartwright's loom design had several flaws, the
most serious being thread breakage. Samuel Horrocks patented a fairly successful loom in
1813. Horock's loom was improved by Richard Roberts in 1822 and these were produced
in large numbers by Roberts, Hill & Co.[38]
The demand for cotton presented an opportunity to planters in the Southern United States,
who thought upland cotton would be a profitable crop if a better way could be found to
remove the seed. Eli Whitney responded to the challenge by inventing the
inexpensive cotton gin. With a cotton gin a man could remove seed from as much upland
cotton in one day as would have previously taken a woman working two months to process
at one pound per day.[15]
Other inventors increased the efficiency of the individual steps of spinning (carding, twisting
and spinning, and rolling) so that the supply of yarn increased greatly. This in turn fed a
weaving industry that advanced with improvements to shuttles and the loom or 'frame'. The
output of an individual labourer increased dramatically, with the effect that the new
machines were seen as a threat to employment, and early innovators were attacked and
their inventions destroyed.
To capitalise upon these advances, it took a class of entrepreneurs, of whom the best
known is Richard Arkwright. He is credited with a list of inventions, but these were actually
developed by such people as Thomas Highs and John Kay; Arkwright nurtured the
inventors, patented the ideas, financed the initiatives, and protected the machines. He
created the cotton mill which brought the production processes together in a factory, and he
developed the use of powerfirst horse power and then water powerwhich made cotton
manufacture a mechanised industry. Before long steam power was applied to drive textile
machinery. Manchester acquired the nickname Cottonopolis during the early 19th century
owing to its sprawl of textile factories.[39]

Metallurgy

The Reverberatory Furnace could produce wrought iron using mined coal. The burning coal remained
separate from the iron ore and so did not contaminate the iron with impurities like sulphur and ash. This
opened the way to increased iron production.

The Iron Bridge, Shropshire, England

Coalbrookdale by Night by Philip James de Loutherbourg, painted 1801. This shows Madeley Wood (or
Bedlam) Furnaces, which belonged to the Coalbrookdale Company from 1776 to 1796.

A major change in the metal industries during the era of the Industrial Revolution was the
replacement of wood and other bio-fuels with coal. For a given amount of heat, coal
required much less labour to mine than cutting wood and converting it to charcoal. [40] and
coal was more abundant than wood.[41]
Use of coal in smelting started somewhat before the Industrial Revolution, based on
innovations by Sir Clement Clerke and others from 1678, using coal reverberatory
furnaces known as cupolas. These were operated by the flames playing on theore and
charcoal or coke mixture, reducing the oxide to metal. This has the advantage that
impurities (such as sulfur ash) in the coal do not migrate into the metal. This technology
was applied to lead from 1678 and to copper from 1687. It was also applied to iron foundry
work in the 1690s, but in this case the reverberatory furnace was known as an air furnace.
The foundry cupola is a different (and later) innovation.
This was followed by Abraham Darby, who made great strides using coke to fuel his blast
furnaces at Coalbrookdale in 1709. However, the coke pig iron he made was used mostly
for the production of cast-iron goods, such as pots and kettles. He had the advantage over
his rivals in that his pots, cast by his patented process, were thinner and cheaper than
theirs. Coke pig iron was hardly used to produce bar iron in forges until the mid-1750s,
when his son Abraham Darby II builtHorsehay and Ketley furnaces (not far from

Coalbrookdale). By then, coke pig iron was cheaper than charcoal pig iron. Since cast
iron was becoming cheaper and more plentiful, it began being a structural material
following the building of the innovative Iron Bridge in 1778 by Abraham Darby III.
Bar iron for smiths to forge into consumer goods was still made in finery forges, as it long
had been. However, new processes were adopted in the ensuing years. The first is referred
to today as potting and stamping, but this was superseded by Henry
Cort's puddling process.
Henry Cort developed two significant iron manufacturing processes: rolling in 1783
and puddling in 1784.[42] Rolling replaced hammering for consolidating wrought iron and
expelling some of the dross. Rolling was 15 times faster than hammering with a trip
hammer. Puddling produced a structural grade iron at a relatively low cost.
Puddling was a means of decarburizing pig iron by slow oxidation, with iron ore as the
oxygen source, as the iron was manually stirred using a long rod. The decarburized iron,
having a higher melting point than cast iron, was raked into globs by the puddler. When the
glob was large enough the puddler would remove it. Puddling was backbreaking and
extremely hot work. Few puddlers lived to be 40. Puddling was done in a reverberatory
furnace, allowing coal or coke to be used as fuel. The puddling process continued to be
used until the late 19th century when iron was being displaced by steel. Because puddling
required human skill in sensing the iron globs, it was never successfully mechanised.
Up to that time, British iron manufacturers had used considerable amounts of imported iron
to supplement native supplies. This came principally from Sweden from the mid-17th
century and later also from Russia from the end of the 1720s. However, from 1785, imports
decreased because of the new iron making technology, and Britain became an exporter of
bar iron as well as manufactured wrought iron consumer goods.
Hot blast, patented by James Beaumont Neilson in 1828, was the most important
development of the 19th century for saving energy in making pig iron. By using waste
exhaust heat to preheat combustion air, the amount of fuel to make a unit of pig iron was
reduced at first by between one-third using coal or two-thirds using coke; [43] however, the
efficiency gains continued as the technology improved. [44] Hot blast also raised the operating
temperature of furnaces, increasing their capacity. Using less coal or coke meant
introducing fewer impurities into the pig iron. This meant that lower quality coal or
anthracite could be used in areas where coking coal was unavailable or too expensive;
[45]
however, by the end of the 19th century transportation costs fell considerably.
Two decades before the Industrial Revolution an improvement was made in the production
of steel, which was an expensive commodity and used only where iron would not do, such
as for cutting edge tools and for springs. Benjamin Huntsman developed his crucible
steel technique in the 1740s. The raw material for this was blister steel, made by
the cementation process.
The supply of cheaper iron and steel aided a number of industries, such as those making
nails, hinges, wire and other hardware items. The development ofmachine tools allowed
better working of iron, causing it to be increasingly used in the rapidly growing machinery
and engine industries.

Steam power
Main article: Steam power during the Industrial Revolution

The 1698 Savery Engine the world's first commercially useful steam engine: built byThomas Savery

The development of the stationary steam engine was an important element of the Industrial
Revolution; however, for most of the period of the Industrial Revolution, the majority of
industrial power was supplied by water and wind. In Britain by 1800 an estimated 10,000
horsepower was being supplied by steam. By 1815 steam power had grown to 210,000 hp.
[46]
Small power requirements continued to be provided by animal and human muscle until
the late 19th century.[47]
The first real attempt at industrial use of steam power was due to Thomas Savery in 1698.
He constructed and patented in London a low-lift combined vacuum and pressure water
pump, that generated about one horsepower (hp) and was used in numerous water works
and tried in a few mines (hence its "brand name", The Miner's Friend). Savery's pump was
economical in small horspower ranges, but was prone to boiler explosions in larger sizes.
Savery pumps continued to be produced until the late 18th century.

Newcomen's steam powered atmospheric enginewas the first practical engine. Subsequent steam engines
were to power the Industrial Revolution.

The first safe and successful steam power plant was introduced by Thomas
Newcomen before 1712. A number of Newcomen engines were successfully put to use in
Britain for draining hitherto unworkable deep mines, with the engine on the surface; these
were large machines, requiring a lot of capital to build, and produced about 5 hp (3.7 kW).
They were extremely inefficient by modern standards, but when located where coal was
cheap at pit heads, opened up a great expansion in coal mining by allowing mines to go
deeper. Despite their disadvantages, Newcomen engines were reliable and easy to
maintain and continued to be used in the coalfields until the early decades of the 19th
century. By 1729, when Newcomen died, his engines had spread (first) to Hungary in 1722,
Germany, Austria, and Sweden. A total of 110 are known to have been built by 1733 when
the joint patent expired, of which 14 were abroad. In the 1770s, the engineer John

Smeaton built some very large examples and introduced a number of improvements. A total
of 1,454 engines had been built by 1800.[48]

Scottish mechanical engineer and inventor James Watt

A fundamental change in working principles was brought about by Scotsman James Watt.
In close collaboration with EnglishmanMatthew Boulton, he had succeeded by 1778 in
perfecting his steam engine, which incorporated a series of radical improvements, notably
the closing off of the upper part of the cylinder thereby making the low pressure steam drive
the top of the piston instead of the atmosphere, use of a steam jacket and the celebrated
separate steam condenser chamber. The separate condenser did away with the cooling
water that had been injected directly into the cylinder, which cooled the cylinder and wasted
steam. Likewise, the steam jacket kept steam from condensing in the cylinder, also
improving efficiency. These improvements increased engine efficiency so that Boulton &
Watts engines used only 20-25% as much coal per horsepower-hour as Newcomen's.
Boulton and Watt opened the Soho Foundry, for the manufacture of such engines, in 1795.
By 1783 the Watt steam engine had been fully developed into a double-acting rotative type,
which meant that it could be used to directly drive the rotary machinery of a factory or mill.
Both of Watt's basic engine types were commercially very successful, and by 1800, the
firm Boulton & Watt had constructed 496 engines, with 164 driving reciprocating pumps, 24
serving blast furnaces, and 308 powering mill machinery; most of the engines generated
from 5 to 10 hp (7.5 kW).
The development of machine tools, such as the lathe, planing and shaping machines
powered by these engines, enabled all the metal parts of the engines to be easily and
accurately cut and in turn made it possible to build larger and more powerful engines.
Until about 1800, the most common pattern of steam engine was the beam engine, built as
an integral part of a stone or brick engine-house, but soon various patterns of selfcontained portative engines (readily removable, but not on wheels) were developed, such
as the table engine. Around the start of the 19th century, the Cornish engineer Richard
Trevithick, and the American, Oliver Evans began to construct higher pressure noncondensing steam engines, exhausting against the atmosphere. This allowed an engine
and boiler to be combined into a single unit compact enough to be used on mobile road and
rail locomotives and steam boats.
In the early 19th century after the expiration of Watt's patent, the steam engine underwent
many improvements by a host of inventors and engineers.

Machine tools
Main article: Machine tool
See also: Interchangeable parts

Maudslay's famous early screw-cutting lathes of circa 1797 and 1800

The Middletown milling machine of circa 1818, associated with Robert Johnson and Simeon North

The milling machine built by James Nasmyth between 1829 and 1831 for milling the six sides of a hex nut
using an indexing fixture

Sir Joseph Whitworth, a leading machine tool maker and namesake of the British Standard
Whitworth thread for machine screws

The Industrial Revolution created a demand for metal parts used in machinery. This led to
the development of several machine tools for cutting metal parts. They have their origins in
the tools developed in the 18th century by makers of clocks and watches and scientific
instrument makers to enable them to batch-produce small mechanisms.
Before the advent of machine tools, metal was worked manually using the basic hand tools
of hammers, files, scrapers, saws and chisels. Consequently, the use of metal was kept to
a minimum. Wooden components had the disadvantage of changing dimensions with
temperature and humidity, and the various joints tended to rack (work loose) over time. As
the Industrial Revolution progressed, machines with metal parts and frames became more
common. Hand methods of production were very laborious and costly and precision was
difficult to achieve. Pre-industrial machinery was built by various craftsmen
millwrights built water and wind mills,carpenters made wooden framing, and smiths and
turners made metal parts.
The first large machine tool was the cylinder boring machine used for boring the largediameter cylinders on early steam engines. The planing machine, the milling machine and
the shaping machine were developed in the early decades of the 19th century. Although
the milling machine was invented at this time, it was not developed as a serious workshop
tool until somewhat later in the 19th century.

Watch video: Demonstration of industrial lathe on YouTube

Watch video: Demonstration of milling machine on YouTube

Watch video: Demonstration of metal planer on YouTube

Henry Maudslay, who trained a school of machine tool makers early in the 19th century,
was a mechanic with superior ability who had been employed at the Royal
Arsenal, Woolwich. He was hired away by Joseph Bramah for the production of high
security metal locks that required precision craftsmanship. Bramah patented a lathe that
had similarities to the slide rest lathe. Maudslay perfected the slide rest lathe, which could
cut machine screws of different thread pitches by using changeable gears between the
spindle and the lead screw. Before its invention screws could not be cut to any precision
using various earlier lathe designs, some of which copied from a template. [49] Maudslay's
lathe was called one of history's most important inventions.
Maudslay left Bramah's employment and set up his own shop. He was engaged to build the
machinery for making ships' pulley blocks for the Royal Navy in the Portsmouth Block Mills.
These machines were all-metal and were the first machines for mass production and
making components with a degree of interchangeability. The lessons Maudslay learned

about the need for stability and precision he adapted to the development of machine tools,
and in his workshops he trained a generation of men to build on his work, such as Richard
Roberts, Joseph Clement and Joseph Whitworth.
James Fox of Derby had a healthy export trade in machine tools for the first third of the
century, as did Matthew Murray of Leeds. Roberts was a maker of high-quality machine
tools and a pioneer of the use of jigs and gauges for precision workshop measurement.
In half century following the invention of the fundamental machine tools the machine
industry would become the largest segment of the economy, by value added, in the U.S.

Chemicals

The Thames Tunnel (opened 1843).


Cement was used in the world's first underwater tunnel

The large scale production of chemicals was an important development during the
Industrial Revolution. The first of these was the production of sulphuric acid by the lead
chamber process invented by the Englishman John Roebuck (James Watt's first partner) in
1746. He was able to greatly increase the scale of the manufacture by replacing the
relatively expensive glass vessels formerly used with larger, less expensive chambers
made of riveted sheets of lead. Instead of making a small amount each time, he was able
to make around 100 pounds (50 kg) in each of the chambers, at least a tenfold increase.
The production of an alkali on a large scale became an important goal as well, and Nicolas
Leblanc succeeded in 1791 in introducing a method for the production of sodium
carbonate. The Leblanc process was a reaction of sulphuric acid with sodium chloride to
give sodium sulphate and hydrochloric acid. The sodium sulphate was heated
with limestone (calcium carbonate) and coal to give a mixture of sodium
carbonate and calcium sulphide. Adding water separated the soluble sodium carbonate
from the calcium sulphide. The process produced a large amount of pollution (the
hydrochloric acid was initially vented to the air, and calcium sulphide was a useless waste
product). Nonetheless, this synthetic soda ash proved economical compared to that from
burning specific plants (barilla) or from kelp, which were the previously dominant sources of
soda ash,[50] and also to potash (potassium carbonate) derived from hardwood ashes.
These two chemicals were very important because they enabled the introduction of a host
of other inventions, replacing many small-scale operations with more cost-effective and
controllable processes. Sodium carbonate had many uses in the glass, textile, soap,
and paper industries. Early uses for sulphuric acid included pickling (removing rust) iron
and steel, and for bleaching cloth.
The development of bleaching powder (calcium hypochlorite) by Scottish chemist Charles
Tennant in about 1800, based on the discoveries of French chemistClaude Louis Berthollet,
revolutionised the bleaching processes in the textile industry by dramatically reducing the
time required (from months to days) for the traditional process then in use, which required
repeated exposure to the sun in bleach fields after soaking the textiles with alkali or sour
milk. Tennant's factory at St Rollox, North Glasgow, became the largest chemical plant in
the world.

After 1860 the focus on chemical innovation was in dyestuffs, and Germany took world
leadership, building a strong chemical industry.[51] Aspring chemists flocked to German
universities in the 18601914 era to learn the latest techniques. British scientists by
contrast, lacked research universities and did not train advanced students; instead the
practice was to hire German-trained chemists.[52]

Cement
In 1824 Joseph Aspdin, a British bricklayer turned builder, patented a chemical process for
making portland cement which was an important advance in the building trades. This
process involves sintering a mixture of clay and limestone to about 1,400 C (2,552 F),
then grinding it into a fine powder which is then mixed with water, sand and gravel to
produce concrete. Portland cement was used by the famous English engineer Marc
Isambard Brunel several years later when constructing the Thames Tunnel.[53] Cement was
used on a large scale in the construction of the London sewerage system a generation
later.

Gas lighting
Main article: Gas lighting
Another major industry of the later Industrial Revolution was gas lighting. Though others
made a similar innovation elsewhere, the large-scale introduction of this was the work
of William Murdoch, an employee of Boulton and Watt, the Birmingham steam
engine pioneers. The process consisted of the large-scale gasification of coal in furnaces,
the purification of the gas (removal of sulphur, ammonia, and heavy hydrocarbons), and its
storage and distribution. The first gas lighting utilities were established in London between
1812 and 1820. They soon became one of the major consumers of coal in the UK. Gas
lighting had an impact on social and industrial organisation because it allowed factories and
stores to remain open longer than with tallow candles or oil. Its introduction allowed night
life to flourish in cities and towns as interiors and streets could be lighted on a larger scale
than before.

Glass making
Main article: Glass production

The Crystal Palace held the Great Exhibition of 1851

A new method of producing glass, known as the cylinder process, was developed in Europe
during the early 19th century. In 1832, this process was used by the Chance Brothers to
create sheet glass. They became the leading producers of window and plate glass. This
advancement allowed for larger panes of glass to be created without interruption, thus
freeing up the space planning in interiors as well as the fenestration of buildings. The
Crystal Palace is the supreme example of the use of sheet glass in a new and innovative
structure..

Paper machine
Main article: Paper machine
A machine for making a continuous sheet of paper on a loop of wire fabric was patented in
1798 by Nicholas Louis Robert who worked for Saint-Lger Didot family in France. The
paper machine is known as a Fourdrinier after the financiers, brothers Sealy and Henry

Fourdrinier, who were stationers in London. Although greatly improved and with many
variations, the Fourdriner machine is the predominant means of paper production today.
The method of continuous production demonstrated by the paper machine influenced the
development of continuous rolling of iron and later steel and othercontinuous
production processes.[54]

Agriculture
Main article: British Agricultural Revolution
The British Agricultural Revolution is considered one of the causes of the Industrial
Revolution because improved agricultural productivity freed up workers to work in other
sectors of the economy.[55]
Industrial technologies that affected farming included the seed drill, the Dutch plough,
which contained iron parts, and the threshing machine.
Jethro Tull invented an improved seed drill in 1701. It was a mechanical seeder which
distributed seeds evenly across a plot of land and planted them at the correct depth. This
was important because the yield of seeds harvested to seeds planted at that time was
around four or five. Tull's seed drill was very expensive and not very reliable and therefore
did not have much of an impact. Good quality seed drills were not produced until the mid
18th century.[56]
Joseph Foljambe's Rotherham plough of 1730, was the first commercially successful iron
plough.[57][58][59][60] The threshing machine, invented by Andrew Meikle in 1784, displaced hand
threshing with a flail, a laborious job that took about one-quarter of agricultural labour.[61] It
took several decades to diffuse[62] and was the final straw for many farm labourers, who
faced near starvation, leading to the 1830 agricultural rebellion of the Swing Riots.
Machine tools and metalworking techniques developed during the Industrial Revolution
eventually resulted in precision manufacturing techniques in the late 19th century for massproducing agricultural equipment, such as reapers, binders and combine harvesters. [63]

Mining
Coal mining in Britain, particularly in South Wales started early. Before the steam
engine, pits were often shallow bell pits following a seam of coal along the surface, which
were abandoned as the coal was extracted. In other cases, if the geology was favourable,
the coal was mined by means of an adit or drift mine driven into the side of a hill. Shaft
mining was done in some areas, but the limiting factor was the problem of removing water.
It could be done by hauling buckets of water up the shaft or to a sough (a tunnel driven into
a hill to drain a mine). In either case, the water had to be discharged into a stream or ditch
at a level where it could flow away by gravity. The introduction of the steam pump
by Savery in 1698 and the Newcomen steam engine in 1712 greatly facilitated the removal
of water and enabled shafts to be made deeper, enabling more coal to be extracted. These
were developments that had begun before the Industrial Revolution, but the adoption
of John Smeaton's improvements to the Newcomen engine followed by James Watt's more
efficient steam engines from the 1770s reduced the fuel costs of engines, making mines
more profitable.
Coal mining was very dangerous owing to the presence of firedamp in many coal seams.
Some degree of safety was provided by the safety lamp which was invented in 1816 by
Sir Humphry Davy and independently by George Stephenson. However, the lamps proved
a false dawn because they became unsafe very quickly and provided a weak light.
Firedamp explosions continued, often setting off coal dust explosions, so casualties grew
during the entire 19th century. Conditions of work were very poor, with a high casualty rate
from rock falls.

Other developments
Other developments included more efficient water wheels, based on experiments
conducted by the British engineer John Smeaton[64] the beginnings of a machine industry[15]

and the rediscovery of concrete (based on hydraulic lime mortar) by John Smeaton,
which had been lost for 1300 years.[66]
[65]

Transportation
Main article: Transport during the British Industrial Revolution
See also: Productivity improving technologies (historical) Infrastructures
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, inland transport was by navigable rivers and
roads, with coastal vessels employed to move heavy goods by sea. Wagon ways were
used for conveying coal to rivers for further shipment, but canals had not yet been widely
constructed. Animals supplied all of the motive power on land, with sails providing the
motive power on the sea. The first horse railways were introduced toward the end of the
18th century, with steam locomotives being introduced in the early decades of the 19th
century.
The Industrial Revolution improved Britain's transport infrastructure with a turnpike road
network, a canal and waterway network, and a railway network. Raw materials and finished
products could be moved more quickly and cheaply than before. Improved transportation
also allowed new ideas to spread quickly.
Canals
Main article: History of the British canal system

The Bridgewater Canal, famous because of its commercial success, crossing the Manchester Ship Canal,
one of the last canals to be built.

Building of canals dates to ancient times. The Grand Canal in China, "the world's largest
artificial waterway and oldest canal still in existence," parts of which were started between
the 6th and 4th centuries BC, is 1,121 miles (1,804 km) long and
links Hangzhouwith Beijing.[67]
Canals were the first technology to allow bulk materials to be easily transported across the
country, coal being a common commodity. A single canal horse could pull a load dozens of
times larger than a cart at a faster pace.[68][69]
Canals began to be built in the late 18th century to link the major manufacturing centres
across the country. Known for its huge commercial success, the Bridgewater Canal in North
West England, which opened in 1761 and was mostly funded by The 3rd Duke of
Bridgewater. From Worsley to the rapidly growing town of Manchester its construction cost
168,000 (22,589,130 as of 2013),[70][71] but its advantages over land and river transport
meant that within a year of its opening in 1761, the price of coal in Manchester fell by about
half.[72] This success helped inspire a period of intense canal building, known as Canal
Mania.[73] New canals were hastily built in the aim of replicating the commercial success of
the Bridgewater Canal, the most notable being the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and
the Thames and Severn Canal which opened in 1774 and 1789 respectively.

By the 1820s, a national network was in existence. Canal construction served as a model
for the organisation and methods later used to construct the railways. They were eventually
largely superseded as profitable commercial enterprises by the spread of the railways from
the 1840s on. The last major canal to be built in the United Kingdom was the Manchester
Ship Canal, which upon opening in 1894 was the largest ship canal in the world,[74] and
opened Manchester as a port. However it never achieved the commercial success its
sponsors had hoped for and signalled canals as an dying mode of transport in an age
dominated by railways, which were quicker and often cheaper.
Britain's canal network, together with its surviving mill buildings, is one of the most enduring
features of the early Industrial Revolution to be seen in Britain.
Roads

Construction of the first macadamized road in the United States (1823). In the foreground, workers are
breaking stones "so as not to exceed 6 ounces in weight or to pass a two-inch ring".[75]

Much of the original British road system was poorly maintained by thousands of local
parishes, but from the 1720s (and occasionally earlier) turnpike trusts were set up to
charge tolls and maintain some roads. Increasing numbers of main roads were turnpiked
from the 1750s to the extent that almost every main road in England and Wales was the
responsibility of a turnpike trust. New engineered roads were built by John Metcalf, Thomas
Telford and most notably John McAdam, with the first 'macadamised' stretch of road being
Marsh Road at Ashton Gate, Bristol in 1816.[76] The major turnpikes radiated from London
and were the means by which the Royal Mail was able to reach the rest of the country.
Heavy goods transport on these roads was by means of slow, broad wheeled, carts hauled
by teams of horses. Lighter goods were conveyed by smaller carts or by teams of pack
horse. Stage coaches carried the rich, and the less wealthy could pay to ride on carriers
carts.
Railways
Main article: History of rail transport in Great Britain

Painting depicting the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railwayin 1830, the first inter-city railway
in the world and which spawned Railway Mania due to its success.

Wagonways for moving coal in the mining areas had started in the 17th century and were
often associated with canal or river systems for the further movement of coal. These were
all horse drawn or relied on gravity, with a stationary steam engine to haul the wagons back
to the top of the incline. The first applications of the steamlocomotive were on wagon or
plate ways (as they were then often called from the cast-iron plates used). Horse-drawn
public railways did not begin until the early years of the 19th century when improvements to
pig and wrought iron production were lowering costs. See: Metallurgy
Reducing friction was one of the major reasons for the success of railroads compared to
wagons. This was demonstrated on an iron plate covered wooden tramway in 1805 at
Croydon, U.K.
A good horse on an ordinary turnpike road can draw two thousand pounds, or one ton. A
party of gentlemen were invited to witness the experiment, that the superiority of the new
road might be established by ocular demonstration. Twelve wagons were loaded with
stones, till each wagon weighed three tons, and the wagons were fastened together. A
horse was then attached, which drew the wagons with ease, six miles in two hours, having
stopped four times, in order to show he had the power of starting, as well as drawing his
great load.[77]
Steam locomotives began being built after the introduction of high pressure steam engines
around 1800. These engines exhausted used steam to the atmosphere, doing away with
the condenser and cooling water. They were also much lighter weight and smaller in size
for a given horsepower than the stationary condensing engines. A few of these early
locomotives were used in mines. Steam-hauled public railways began with the Stockton
and Darlington Railway in 1825.
On 15 September 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened, the first intercity railway in the world and was attended by Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington.[78] The
railway was engineered by Joseph Locke and George Stephenson, linked the rapidly
expanding industrial town of Manchester with the port town of Liverpool. The opening was
marred by problems, due to the primitive nature of the technology being employed,
however problems were gradually ironed out and the railway became highly successful,
transporting passengers and freight. The success of the inter-city railway, particularly in the
transport of freight and commodities, led to Railway Mania.
Construction of major railways connecting the larger cities and towns began in the 1830s
but only gained momentum at the very end of the first Industrial Revolution. After many of
the workers had completed the railways, they did not return to their rural lifestyles but
instead remained in the cities, providing additional workers for the factories.

Social effects
Main article: Life in Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution

A Middleton miner in 1814

Standards of living

The effects on living conditions the industrial revolution have been very controversial, and
were hotly debated by economic and social historians from the 1950s to the 1980s. [79] A
series of 1950s essays by Henry Phelps Brown and Sheila V. Hopkins later set the
academic consensus that the bulk of the population, that was at the bottom of the social
ladder, suffered severe reductions in their living standards. [79] During 18131913, there was
a significant increase in worker wages.[80][81][82]
Food and nutrition
Main article: British Agricultural Revolution
Chronic hunger and malnutrition were the norm for the majority of the population of the
world including Britain and France, until the late 19th century. Until about 1750, in large part
due to malnutrition, life expectancy in France was about 35 years, and only slightly higher
in Britain. The US population of the time was adequately fed, much taller on average and
had life expectancy of 4550 years.[83]
In Britain and the Netherlands food supply had been increasing and prices falling before the
Industrial Revolution due to better agricultural practices; however, population grew too, as
noted by Thomas Malthus.[84][85][86][87] Before the Industrial Revolution, advances in agriculture
or technology soon led to an increase in population, which again strained food and other
resources, limiting increases in per capita income. This condition is called the Malthusian
trap, and it was finally overcome by industrialisation. [88]
Transportation improvements, such as canals and improved roads, also lowered food
costs. Railroads were introduced near the end of the Industrial Revolution.
Housing

Over London by Rail Gustave Dorc. 1870. Shows the densely populated and polluted environments
created in the new industrial cities

Living conditions during the Industrial Revolution varied from splendour for factory owners
to squalor for workers.[citation needed]
In The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 Friedrich Engels described
backstreet sections of Manchester and other mill towns, where people lived in crude
shanties and shacks, some not completely enclosed, some with dirt floors. These
shantytowns had narrow walkways between irregularly shaped lots and dwellings. There
were no sanitary facilities. Population density was extremely high. Eight to ten unrelated
mill workers often shared a room, often with no furniture, and slept on a pile of straw or
sawdust.[89] Toilet facilities were shared if they existed. Disease spread through a
contaminated water supply. Also, people were at risk of developing pathologies due to
persistent dampness.
The famines that troubled rural areas did not happen in industrial areas. But urban people
especially small childrendied due to diseases spreading through the cramped living
conditions. Tuberculosis (spread in congested dwellings), lung diseases from the
mines, cholera from polluted water and typhoid were also common.

Not everyone lived in such poor conditions. The Industrial Revolution also created a middle
class of professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, who lived in much better conditions.
Conditions improved over the course of the 19th century due to new public health acts
regulating things such as sewage, hygiene and home construction. In the introduction of his
1892 edition, Engels notes that most of the conditions he wrote about in 1844 had been
greatly improved.
Clothing and consumer goods
Consumers benefited from falling prices for clothing and household articles such as cast
iron cooking utensils, and in the following decades, stoves for cooking and space heating.

Population increase
According to Robert Hughes in The Fatal Shore, the population of England and Wales,
which had remained steady at 6 million from 1700 to 1740, rose dramatically after 1740.
The population of England had more than doubled from 8.3 million in 1801 to 16.8 million in
1850 and, by 1901, had nearly doubled again to 30.5 million. [90] Improved conditions led to
the population of Britain increasing from 10 million to 40 million in the 1800s. [91][92] Europe's
population increased from about 100 million in 1700 to 400 million by 1900. [93]
The Industrial Revolution was the first period in history during which there was a
simultaneous increase in population and in per capita income.[94]

Labour conditions
Social structure and working conditions
In terms of social structure, the Industrial Revolution witnessed the triumph of a middle
class of industrialists and businessmen over a landed class of nobility and gentry. Ordinary
working people found increased opportunities for employment in the new mills and
factories, but these were often under strict working conditions with long hours of labour
dominated by a pace set by machines. As late as the year 1900, most industrial workers in
the United States still worked a 10-hour day (12 hours in the steel industry), yet earned
from 20% to 40% less than the minimum deemed necessary for a decent life. [95] However,
harsh working conditions were prevalent long before the Industrial Revolution took
place. Pre-industrial society was very static and often cruelchild labour, dirty living
conditions, and long working hours were just as prevalent before the Industrial Revolution.
[96]

Factories and urbanisation

Manchester, England ("Cottonopolis"), pictured in 1840, showing the mass of factory chimneys

Industrialisation led to the creation of the factory. Arguably the first highly mechanised
was John Lombe's water-powered silk mill at Derby, operational by 1721. Lombe learned
silk thread manufacturing by taking a job in Italy and acting as an industrial spy; however,
since the silk industry there was a closely guarded secret, the state of the industry there is
unknown. Because Lombe's factory was not successful and there was no follow through,
the rise of the modern factory dates to somewhat later when cotton spinning was
mechanised.

The factory system contributed to the growth of urban areas, as large numbers of workers
migrated into the cities in search of work in the factories. Nowhere was this better illustrated
than the mills and associated industries of Manchester, nicknamed "Cottonopolis", and the
world's first industrial city.[97] Manchester experienced a six-times increase in its population
between 1771 and 1831. Bradford grew by 50% every ten years between 1811 and 1851
and by 1851 only 50% of the population of Bradford was actually born there. [98]
For much of the 19th century, production was done in small mills, which were
typically water-powered and built to serve local needs. Later, each factory would have its
own steam engine and a chimney to give an efficient draft through its boiler.
The transition to industrialisation was not without difficulty. For example, a group of English
workers known as Luddites formed to protest against industrialisation and
sometimes sabotaged factories.
In other industries the transition to factory production was not so divisive. Some
industrialists themselves tried to improve factory and living conditions for their workers. One
of the earliest such reformers was Robert Owen, known for his pioneering efforts in
improving conditions for workers at the New Lanark mills, and often regarded as one of the
key thinkers of the early socialist movement.
By 1746, an integrated brass mill was working at Warmley near Bristol. Raw material went
in at one end, was smelted into brass and was turned into pans, pins, wire, and other
goods. Housing was provided for workers on site. Josiah Wedgwood and Matthew
Boulton (whose Soho Manufactory was completed in 1766) were other prominent early
industrialists, who employed the factory system.
Child labour

A young "drawer" pulling a coal tub along a mine gallery.[99] In Britain laws passed in 1842 and 1844
improved mine working conditions.

Wheaton Glass Works, November 1909. Photographed by Lewis Hine.

The Industrial Revolution led to a population increase but the chances of surviving
childhood did not improve throughout the Industrial Revolution, although infant mortality
rates were reduced markedly.[100][101] There was still limited opportunity for education and
children were expected to work. Employers could pay a child less than an adult even
though their productivity was comparable; there was no need for strength to operate an
industrial machine, and since the industrial system was completely new, there were no

experienced adult labourers. This made child labour the labour of choice for manufacturing
in the early phases of the Industrial Revolution between the 18th and 19th centuries. In
England and Scotland in 1788, two-thirds of the workers in 143 water-poweredcotton
mills were described as children.[102]
Child labour existed before the Industrial Revolution but with the increase in population and
education it became more visible. Many children were forced to work in relatively bad
conditions for much lower pay than their elders,[103] 10%-20% of an adult male's wage.
[104]
Children as young as four were employed.[104] Beatings and long hours were common,
with some child coal miners and hurriers working from 4am until 5pm.[104] Conditions were
dangerous, with some children killed when they dozed off and fell into the path of the carts,
while others died from gas explosions.[104] Many children developed lung cancer and other
diseases and died before the age of 25.[104] Workhouseswould sell orphans and abandoned
children as "pauper apprentices", working without wages for board and lodging. [104]Those
who ran away would be whipped and returned to their masters, with some
masters shackling them to prevent escape.[104] Children employed as mule
scavengers by cotton mills would crawl under machinery to pick up cotton, working 14
hours a day, six days a week. Some lost hands or limbs, others were crushed under the
machines, and some were decapitated.[104] Young girls worked at match factories, where
phosphorus fumes would cause many to develop phossy jaw.[104] Children employed
at glassworks were regularly burned and blinded, and those working at potteries were
vulnerable to poisonous clay dust.[104]
Reports were written detailing some of the abuses, particularly in the coal mines [105] and
textile factories,[106] and these helped to popularise the children's plight. The public outcry,
especially among the upper and middle classes, helped stir change in the young workers'
welfare.
Politicians and the government tried to limit child labour by law but factory owners resisted;
some felt that they were aiding the poor by giving their children money to buy food to
avoid starvation, and others simply welcomed the cheap labour. In 1833 and 1844, the first
general laws against child labour, the Factory Acts, were passed in Britain: Children
younger than nine were not allowed to work, children were not permitted to work at night,
and the work day of youth under the age of 18 was limited to twelve hours. Factory
inspectors supervised the execution of the law, however, their scarcity made enforcement
difficult.[104] About ten years later, the employment of children and women in mining was
forbidden. These laws decreased the number of child labourers, however child labour
remained in Europe and the United States up to the 20th century.[107]
Luddites
Main article: Luddite

Luddites smashing a power loom in 1812

The Great Chartist Meeting onKennington Common, 1848

The rapid industrialisation of the English economy cost many craft workers their jobs. The
movement started first with laceand hosiery workers near Nottingham and spread to other
areas of the textile industry owing to early industrialisation. Many weavers also found
themselves suddenly unemployed since they could no longer compete with machines
which only required relatively limited (and unskilled) labour to produce more cloth than a
single weaver. Many such unemployed workers, weavers and others, turned their animosity
towards the machines that had taken their jobs and began destroying factories and
machinery. These attackers became known as Luddites, supposedly followers of Ned Ludd,
a folklore figure. The first attacks of the Luddite movement began in 1811. The Luddites
rapidly gained popularity, and the British government took drastic measures, using
the militia or army to protect industry. Those rioters who were caught were tried and
hanged, or transported for life.
Unrest continued in other sectors as they industrialised, such as with agricultural labourers
in the 1830s when large parts of southern Britain were affected by the Captain
Swing disturbances. Threshing machines were a particular target, and hayrickburning was
a popular activity. However, the riots led to the first formation of trade unions, and further
pressure for reform.
Organisation of labour
See also: Trade union History
The Industrial Revolution concentrated labour into mills, factories and mines, thus
facilitating the organisation ofcombinations or trade unions to help advance the interests of
working people. The power of a union could demand better terms by withdrawing all labour
and causing a consequent cessation of production. Employers had to decide between
giving in to the union demands at a cost to themselves or suffering the cost of the lost
production. Skilled workers were hard to replace, and these were the first groups to
successfully advance their conditions through this kind of bargaining.
The main method the unions used to effect change was strike action. Many strikes were
painful events for both sides, the unions and the management. In Britain, the Combination
Act 1799 forbade workers to form any kind of trade union until its repeal in 1824. Even after
this, unions were still severely restricted.
In 1832, the Reform Act extended the vote in Britain but did not grant universal suffrage.
That year six men from Tolpuddle in Dorset founded the Friendly Society of Agricultural
Labourers to protest against the gradual lowering of wages in the 1830s. They refused to
work for less than 10 shillings a week, although by this time wages had been reduced to 7
shillings a week and were due to be further reduced to 6. In 1834 James Frampton, a local
landowner, wrote to the Prime Minister,Lord Melbourne, to complain about the union,
invoking an obscure law from 1797 prohibiting people from swearing oaths to each other,
which the members of the Friendly Society had done. James Brine, James Hammett,
George Loveless, George's brother James Loveless, George's brother in-law Thomas
Standfield, and Thomas's son John Standfield were arrested, found guilty, and transported
to Australia. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs. In the 1830s and 1840s
theChartist movement was the first large-scale organised working class political movement

which campaigned for political equality and social justice. Its Charter of reforms received
over three million signatures but was rejected by Parliament without consideration.
Working people also formed friendly societies and co-operative societies as mutual support
groups against times of economic hardship. Enlightened industrialists, such as Robert
Owen also supported these organisations to improve the conditions of the working class.
Unions slowly overcame the legal restrictions on the right to strike. In 1842, a general
strike involving cotton workers and colliers was organised through the Chartist movement
which stopped production across Great Britain.[108]
Eventually, effective political organisation for working people was achieved through the
trades unions who, after the extensions of the franchise in 1867 and 1885, began to
support socialist political parties that later merged to became the British Labour Party.

Other effects
The application of steam power to the industrial processes of printing supported a massive
expansion of newspaper and popular book publishing, which reinforced rising literacy and
demands for mass political participation.
During the Industrial Revolution, the life expectancy of children increased dramatically. The
percentage of the children born in London who died before the age of five decreased from
74.5% in 17301749 to 31.8% in 18101829.[100]
The growth of modern industry since the late 18th century led to massive urbanisation and
the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities
brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas. In 1800, only
3% of the world's population lived in cities,[109]compared to nearly 50% today (the beginning
of the 21st century).[110] Manchester had a population of 10,000 in 1717, but by 1911 it had
burgeoned to 2.3 million.[111]

Industrialisation beyond Great Britain


Continental Europe
The Industrial Revolution on Continental Europe came a little later than in Great Britain. In
many industries, this involved the application of technology developed in Britain in new
places. Often the technology was purchased from Britain or British engineers and
entrepreneurs moved abroad in search of new opportunities. By 1809, part of the Ruhr
Valley in Westphalia was called 'Miniature England' because of its similarities to the
industrial areas of England. The German, Russian and Belgian governments all provided
state funding to the new industries. In some cases (such as iron), the different availability of
resources locally meant that only some aspects of the British technology were adopted.
Belgium

Workers' housing at Bois-du-Luc(18381853) in La Louvire

Belgium was the second country, after Britain, in which the industrial revolution took place
and the first in continental Europe:
Wallonia (French speaking southern Belgium) was the first region to follow the British
model successfully. Starting in the middle of the 1820s, and especially after Belgium

became an independent nation in 1830, numerous works comprising coke blast furnaces
as well as puddling and rolling mills were built in the coal mining areas
around Lige and Charleroi. The leader was a transplanted Englishman John Cockerill. His
factories at Seraing integrated all stages of production, from engineering to the supply of
raw materials, as early as 1825.[112]
Wallonia exemplified the radical evolution of industrial expansion. Thanks to coal (the
French word "houille" was coined in Wallonia),[113] the region geared up to become the 2nd
industrial power in the world after Britain. But it is also pointed out by many researchers,
with its Sillon industriel, 'Especially in the Haine, Sambre and Meuse valleys, between
the Borinage andLige, (...) there was a huge industrial development based on coal-mining
and iron-making...'.[114] Philippe Raxhon wrote about the period after 1830: "It was not
propaganda but a reality the Walloon regions were becoming the second industrial power
all over the world after Britain."[115]"The sole industrial centre outside the collieries and blast
furnaces of Walloon was the old cloth making town of Ghent."[116] Michel De Coster,
Professor at theUniversit de Lige wrote also: "The historians and the economists say that
Belgium was the second industrial power of the world, in proportion to its population and its
territory (...) But this rank is the one of Wallonia where the coal-mines, the blast furnaces,
the iron and zinc factories, the wool industry, the glass industry, the weapons industry...
were concentrated" [117]
Demographic effects

Wallonia's Sillon industriel (the blue area in the north is not in Wallonia)

Gallow frame of the Crachet inFrameries IN Wallonia's FrenchChssis


molettes or Belfleur (FrenchChevalement

Official Poster of the Lige's World fair in 1905

Wallonia was also the birthplace of a strong Socialist party and strong trade-unions in a
particular sociological landscape. At the left, the Sillon industriel, which runs from Mons in
the west, to Verviers in the east (except part of North Flanders, in another period of the
industrial revolution, after 1920). Even if Belgium is the second industrial country after
Britain, the effect of the industrial revolution there was very different. In 'Breaking
stereotypes', Muriel Neven and Isabelle Devious say:
The industrial revolution changed a mainly rural society into an urban one, but with a strong
contrast between northern and southern Belgium. During the Middle Ages and the Early
Modern Period, Flanders was characterised by the presence of large urban centres (...) at
the beginning of the nineteenth century this region (Flanders), with an urbanisation degree
of more than 30 per cent, remained one of the most urbanised in the world. By comparison,
this proportion reached only 17 per cent in Wallonia, barely 10 per cent in most West
European countries, 16 per cent in France and 25 per cent in Britain. Nineteenth century
industrialisation did not affect the traditional urban infrastructure, except in Ghent (...) Also,
in Wallonia the traditional urban network was largely unaffected by the industrialisation
process, even though the proportion of city-dwellers rose from 17 to 45 per cent between
1831 and 1910. Especially in the Haine, Sambre and Meuse valleys, between
the Borinage and Lige, where there was a huge industrial development based on coalmining and iron-making, urbanisation was fast. During these eighty years the number of
municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants increased from only 21 to more than one
hundred, concentrating nearly half of the Walloon population in this region. Nevertheless,
industrialisation remained quite traditional in the sense that it did not lead to the growth of
modern and large urban centres, but to a conurbation of industrial villages and towns
developed around a coal-mine or a factory. Communication routes between these small
centres only became populated later and created a much less dense urban morphology
than, for instance, the area around Lige where the old town was there to direct migratory
flows.[118]
France
The industrial revolution in France followed a particular course as it did not correspond to
the main model followed by other countries. Notably, most French historians argue France
did not go through a clear take-off.[119] Instead, France's economic growth and
industrialisation process was slow and steady through the 18th and 19th centuries.
However, some stages were identified by Maurice Lvy-Leboyer:

French Revolution and Napoleonic wars (17891815),

industrialisation, along with Britain (18151860),

economic slowdown (18601905),

renewal of the growth after 1905.

Germany
Main article: Economic history of Germany

The BASF-chemical factories inLudwigshafen, Germany, 1881

Based on its leadership in chemical research in the universities and industrial laboratories,
Germany became dominant in the world's chemical industry in the late 19th century. At first
the production of dyes based on aniline was critical.[120]
Germany's political disunitywith three dozen statesand a pervasive conservatism made
it difficult to build railways in the 1830s. However, by the 1840s, trunk lines linked the major
cities; each German state was responsible for the lines within its own borders. Lacking a
technological base at first, the Germans imported their engineering and hardware from
Britain, but quickly learned the skills needed to operate and expand the railways. In many
cities, the new railway shops were the centres of technological awareness and training, so
that by 1850, Germany was self-sufficient in meeting the demands of railroad construction,
and the railways were a major impetus for the growth of the new steel industry. Observers
found that even as late as 1890, their engineering was inferior to Britain's. However,
German unification in 1870 stimulated consolidation, nationalisation into state-owned
companies, and further rapid growth. Unlike the situation in France, the goal was support of
industrialisation, and so heavy lines crisscrossed the Ruhr and other industrial districts, and
provided good connections to the major ports of Hamburg and Bremen. By 1880, Germany
had 9,400 locomotives pulling 43,000 passengers and 30,000 tons of freight, and pulled
ahead of France[121]
Sweden
Main article: Economic history of Sweden
During the period 17901815 Sweden experienced two parallel economic movements:
an agricultural revolution with larger agricultural estates, new crops and farming tools
and a commercialisation of farming, and a protoindustrialisation, with small industries
being established in the countryside and with workers switching between agricultural work
in summer and industrial production in winter. This led to economic growth benefiting large
sections of the population and leading up to a consumption revolution starting in the
1820s.
During 18151850 the protoindustries developed into more specialized and larger
industries. This period witnessed increasing regional specialisation with mining
inBergslagen, textile mills in Sjuhradsbygden and forestry in Norrland. Several important
institutional changes took place in this period, such as free and mandatory schooling
introduced 1842 (as first country in the world), the abolition of the national monopoly on
trade in handicrafts in 1846, and a stock company law in 1848.
During 18501890, Sweden experienced a veritable explosion in export, dominated by
crops, wood and steel. Sweden abolished most tariffs and other barriers to free trade in the
1850s and joined the gold standard in 1873.
During 18901930, Sweden experienced the second industrial revolution. New industries
developed with their focus on the domestic market: mechanical engineering, power
utilities, papermaking and textile.

United States
Main article: Technological and industrial history of the United States

Slater's Mill

See also: History of Lowell, Massachusetts


The United States originally used horse-powered machinery to power its earliest factories,
but eventually switched to water power. As a result, industrialisation was essentially limited
to New England and the rest of Northeastern United States, which has fast-moving rivers.
The newer water-powered production lines proved more economical than horse-drawn
production. However, raw materials (especially cotton) came from the Southern United
States. It was not until after the Civil War in the 1860s that steam-powered manufacturing
overtook water-powered manufacturing, allowing the industry to fully spread across the
nation.
Thomas Somers and the Cabot Brothers founded the Beverly Cotton Manufactory in 1787,
the first cotton mill in America, the largest cotton mill of its era,[122] and a significant
milestone in the research and development of cotton mills in the future. This mill was
designed to use horse power, but the operators quickly learned that the horse-drawn
platform was economically unstable, and had economic losses for years. Despite the
losses, the Manufactory served as a playground of innovation, both in turning a large
amount of cotton, but also developing the water-powered milling structure used in Slater's
Mill.[123]

Bethlehem Steel, founded in 1857, was once the second-largest manufacturer of steel in the United
States; its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, location has been transformed into a casino.

In 1793, Samuel Slater (17681835) founded the Slater Mill at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
He had learned of the new textile technologies as a boy apprentice in Derbyshire, England,
and defied laws against the emigration of skilled workers by leaving for New York in 1789,
hoping to make money with his knowledge. After founding Slater's Mill, he went on to own
13 textile mills.[124] Daniel Day established a wool carding mill in the Blackstone
Valley at Uxbridge, Massachusetts in 1809, the third woollen mill established in the US
(The first was in Hartford, Connecticut, and the second at Watertown, Massachusetts.)
The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor retraces the history
of "America's Hardest-Working River', the Blackstone. The Blackstone River and its
tributaries, which cover more than 45 miles (72 km) from Worcester,
Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island, was the birthplace of America's Industrial
Revolution. At its peak over 1100 mills operated in this valley, including Slater's mill, and
with it the earliest beginnings of America's Industrial and Technological Development.

Men working their own coal mines. Early 1900s, USA

Merchant Francis Cabot Lowell from Newburyport, Massachusetts memorised the design of
textile machines on his tour of British factories in 1810. Realising that theWar of 1812 had

ruined his import business but that a demand for domestic finished cloth was emerging in
America, on his return to the United States, he set up the Boston Manufacturing Company.
Lowell and his partners built America's second cotton-to-cloth textile mill at Waltham,
Massachusetts, second to the Beverly Cotton Manufactory. After his death in 1817, his
associates built America's first planned factory town, which they named after him. This
enterprise was capitalised in a public stock offering, one of the first uses of it in the United
States. Lowell, Massachusetts, using 5.6 miles (9.0 km) of canals and 10,000 horsepower
delivered by the Merrimack River, is considered by some as a major contributor to the
success of the American Industrial Revolution. The short-lived utopia-like Waltham-Lowell
system was formed, as a direct response to the poor working conditions in Britain.
However, by 1850, especially following the Irish Potato Famine, the system had been
replaced by poor immigrant labour.
The industrialisation of the watch industry started 1854 also in Waltham, Massachusetts, at
the Waltham Watch Company, with the development of machine tools, gauges and
assembling methods adapted to the micro precision required for watches.

Japan
Main articles: Meiji Restoration and Economic history of Japan
The industrial revolution began about 1870 as Meiji period leaders decided to catch up with
the West. The government built railroads, improved roads, and inaugurated a land reform
program to prepare the country for further development. It inaugurated a new Westernbased education system for all young people, sent thousands of students to the United
States and Europe, and hired more than 3,000 Westerners to teach modern science,
mathematics, technology, and foreign languages in Japan (O-yatoi gaikokujin).
In 1871, a group of Japanese politicians known as the Iwakura Mission toured Europe and
the USA to learn western ways. The result was a deliberate state-led industrialisation policy
to enable Japan to quickly catch up. The Bank of Japan, founded in 1877, used taxes to
fund model steel and textile factories. Education was expanded and Japanese students
were sent to study in the west.
Modern industry first appeared in textiles, including cotton and especially silk, which was
based in home workshops in rural areas.[125]

Second Industrial Revolutions


Main articles: Second Industrial Revolution and Suez Canal

Schsische Maschinenfabrik inChemnitz, Germany, 1868

Bessemer converter

Steel is often cited as the first of several new areas for industrial mass-production, which
are said to characterise a "Second Industrial Revolution", beginning around 1850, although
a method for mass manufacture of steel was not invented until the 1860s, when Sir Henry
Bessemer invented a new furnace which could convert molten pig iron into steel in large
quantities. However, it only became widely available in the 1870s after the process was
modified to produce more uniform quality.[126][127] Bessemer steel was being displaced by
the open hearth furnace near the end of the 19th century.
This second Industrial Revolution gradually grew to include chemicals, mainly the chemical
industries, petroleum (refining and distribution), and, in the 20th century, the automotive
industries, and was marked by a transition of technological leadership from Britain to the
United States and Germany.
The increasing availability of economical petroleum products also reduced the importance
of coal and further widened the potential for industrialisation.
A new revolution began with electricity and electrification in the electrical industries. The
introduction of hydroelectric powergeneration in the Alps enabled the rapid industrialisation
of coal-deprived northern Italy, beginning in the 1890s.
By the 1890s, industrialisation in these areas had created the first giant industrial
corporations with burgeoning global interests, as companies like U.S. Steel, General
Electric, Standard Oil and Bayer AG joined the railroad and ship companies on the
world's stock markets.

Intellectual paradigms and criticism


Capitalism
Main article: Capitalism
The advent of the Age of Enlightenment provided an intellectual framework which
welcomed the practical application of the growing body of scientific knowledgea factor
evidenced in the systematic development of the steam engine, guided by scientific
analysis, and the development of the political and sociological analyses, culminating in
Scottish economist Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. One of the main arguments for
capitalism, presented for example in the book The Improving State of the World, is that
industrialisation increases wealth for all, as evidenced by raised life expectancy, reduced
working hours, and no work for children and the elderly.

Socialism
Main article: Socialism
Socialism emerged as a critique of capitalism. Marxism began essentially as a reaction to
the Industrial Revolution.[128] According to Karl Marx, industrialisation polarised society into
the bourgeoisie (those who own the means of production, the factories and the land) and
the much larger proletariat (the working class who actually perform the labour necessary to
extract something valuable from the means of production). He saw the industrialisation
process as the logical dialecticalprogression of feudal economic modes, necessary for the

full development of capitalism, which he saw as in itself a necessary precursor to the


development ofsocialism and eventually communism.

Romanticism
Main article: Romanticism
During the Industrial Revolution an intellectual and artistic hostility towards the new
industrialisation developed, associated with the Romantic movement. Its major exponents
in English included the artist and poet William Blake and poets William
Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
The movement stressed the importance of "nature" in art and language, in contrast to
"monstrous" machines and factories; the "Dark satanic mills" of Blake's poem "And did
those feet in ancient time". Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein reflected concerns that
scientific progress might be two-edged.

Causes

Regional GDP per capita changed very little for most of human history before the Industrial Revolution.

The causes of the Industrial Revolution were complicated and remain a topic for debate,
with some historians believing the Revolution was an outgrowth of social and institutional
changes brought by the end of feudalism inBritain after the English Civil War in the 17th
century. As national border controls became more effective, the spread of disease was
lessened, thereby preventing the epidemics common in previous times.[129] The percentage
of children who lived past infancy rose significantly, leading to a larger workforce.
The Enclosuremovement and the British Agricultural Revolution made food production
more efficient and less labour-intensive, forcing the surplus population who could no longer
find employment in agriculture into cottage industry, for example weaving, and in the longer
term into the cities and the newly developed factories.[130] The colonial expansion of the 17th
century with the accompanying development of international trade, creation of financial
markets and accumulation of capital are also cited as factors, as is the scientific
revolution of the 17th century.[131]
Until the 1980s, it was universally believed by academic historians that technological
innovation was the heart of the Industrial Revolution and the key enabling technology was
the invention and improvement of the steam engine.[132] However, recent research into
the Marketing Era has challenged the traditional, supply-oriented interpretation of the
Industrial Revolution.[133]
Lewis Mumford has proposed that the Industrial Revolution had its origins in the Early
Middle Ages, much earlier than most estimates.[134] He explains that the model for
standardised mass production was the printing press and that "the archetypal model for the
industrial era was the clock". He also cites the monasticemphasis on order and timekeeping, as well as the fact that medieval cities had at their centre a church with bell ringing

at regular intervals as being necessary precursors to a greater synchronisation necessary


for later, more physical, manifestations such as the steam engine.
The presence of a large domestic market should also be considered an important driver of
the Industrial Revolution, particularly explaining why it occurred in Britain. In other nations,
such as France, markets were split up by local regions, which often imposed tolls
and tariffs on goods traded among them.[135] Internal tariffs were abolished by Henry VIII of
England, they survived in Russia till 1753, 1789 in France and 1839 in Spain.
Governments' grant of limited monopolies to inventors under a developing patent system
(the Statute of Monopolies in 1623) is considered an influential factor. The effects of
patents, both good and ill, on the development of industrialisation are clearly illustrated in
the history of the steam engine, the key enabling technology. In return for publicly revealing
the workings of an invention the patent system rewarded inventors such as James Watt by
allowing them to monopolise the production of the first steam engines, thereby rewarding
inventors and increasing the pace of technological development. However, monopolies
bring with them their own inefficiencies which may counterbalance, or even overbalance,
the beneficial effects of publicising ingenuity and rewarding inventors. [136] Watt's monopoly
may have prevented other inventors, such as Richard Trevithick, William
Murdoch or Jonathan Hornblower, from introducing improved steam engines, thereby
retarding the industrial revolution by about 16 years.[137][138]

Causes in Europe
Main article: Great Divergence

A 1623 Dutch East India Companybond.


European 17th century colonial expansion, international trade, and creation of financial markets produced
a new legal and financial environment, one which supported and enabled 18th century industrial growth.

One question of active interest to historians is why the industrial revolution occurred in
Europe and not in other parts of the world in the 18th century, particularly China, India, and
the Middle East, or at other times like in Classical Antiquity[139] or theMiddle Ages.
[140]
Numerous factors have been suggested, including education, technological
changes[141] (see Scientific Revolution in Europe), "modern" government, "modern" work
attitudes, ecology, and culture.[142] However, most historians contest the assertion that
Europe and China were roughly equal because modern estimates of per capita income on
Western Europe in the late 18th century are of roughly 1,500 dollars in purchasing power
parity (and Britain had a per capita income of nearly 2,000 dollars[143]) whereas China, by
comparison, had only 450 dollars.
Some historians such as David Landes[144] and Max Weber credit the different belief
systems in China and Europe with dictating where the revolution occurred. The religion and
beliefs of Europe were largely products of Judaeo-Christianity, andGreek thought.
Conversely, Chinese society was founded on men like Confucius, Mencius, Han
Feizi (Legalism), Lao Tzu(Taoism), and Buddha (Buddhism). Whereas the Europeans
believed that the universe was governed by rational and eternal laws, the East believed
that the universe was in constant flux and, for Buddhists and Taoists, not capable of being

rationally understood.[citation needed] Other factors include the considerable distance of China's
coal deposits, though large, from its cities as well as the then unnavigable Yellow River that
connects these deposits to the sea.[145]
Regarding India, the Marxist historian Rajani Palme Dutt said: "The capital to finance the
Industrial Revolution in India instead went into financing the Industrial Revolution in
Britain."[146] In contrast to China, India was split up into many competing kingdoms, with the
three major ones being the Marathas, Sikhs and the Mughals. In addition, the economy
was highly dependent on two sectorsagriculture of subsistence and cotton, and there
appears to have been little technical innovation. It is believed that the vast amounts of
wealth were largely stored away in palace treasuries by totalitarian monarchs prior to the
British take over.

Causes in Britain

As the Industrial Revolution developed British manufactured output surged ahead of other economies.
After the Industrial Revolution, it was overtaken later by the United States.

Great Britain provided the legal and cultural foundations that enabled entrepreneurs to
pioneer the industrial revolution.[147] Key factors fostering this environment were: (1) The
period of peace and stability which followed the unification of England and Scotland; (2) no
trade barriers between England and Scotland; (3) the rule of law (respecting the sanctity of
contracts); (4) a straightforward legal system which allowed the formation of joint-stock
companies (corporations); and (5) a free market (capitalism).[148]
Geographical and natural resource advantages of Great Britain were the fact that it had
extensive coast lines and many navigable rivers in an age where water was the easiest
means of transportation and having the highest quality coal in Europe. [86]
There were two main values that really drove the industrial revolution in Britain. These
values were self-interest and an entrepreneurial spirit. Because of these interests, many
industrial advances were made that resulted in a huge increase in personal wealth. These
advancements also greatly benefitted the British society as a whole. Countries around the
world started to recognise the changes and advancements in Britain and use them as an
example to begin their own industrial revolutions.[149]
The debate about the start of the Industrial Revolution also concerns the massive lead that
Great Britain had over other countries. Some have stressed the importance of natural or
financial resources that Britain received from its many overseas colonies or that profits from
the British slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean helped fuel industrial investment.
However, it has been pointed out that slave trade and West Indian plantations provided
only 5% of the British national income during the years of the Industrial Revolution. [150] Even
though slavery accounted for minimal economic profits in Britain during the Industrial
Revolution, Caribbean-based demand accounted for 12% of Britain's industrial output. [151]
Instead, the greater liberalisation of trade from a large merchant base may have allowed
Britain to produce and use emerging scientific and technological developments more
effectively than countries with stronger monarchies, particularly China and Russia. Britain
emerged from the Napoleonic Wars as the only European nation not ravaged by financial
plunder and economic collapse, and having the only merchant fleet of any useful size

(European merchant fleets were destroyed during the war by the Royal Navy[152]). Britain's
extensive exporting cottage industries also ensured markets were already available for
many early forms of manufactured goods. The conflict resulted in most British warfare
being conducted overseas, reducing the devastating effects of territorial conquest that
affected much of Europe. This was further aided by Britain's geographical positionan
island separated from the rest of mainland Europe.
Another theory is that Britain was able to succeed in the Industrial Revolution due to the
availability of key resources it possessed. It had a dense population for its small
geographical size. Enclosure of common land and the related agricultural revolution made
a supply of this labour readily available. There was also a local coincidence of natural
resources in the North of England, the English Midlands, South Wales and the Scottish
Lowlands. Local supplies of coal, iron, lead, copper, tin, limestone and water power,
resulted in excellent conditions for the development and expansion of industry. Also, the
damp, mild weather conditions of the North West of England provided ideal conditions for
the spinning of cotton, providing a natural starting point for the birth of the textiles industry.
The stable political situation in Britain from around 1688, and British society's greater
receptiveness to change (compared with other European countries) can also be said to be
factors favouring the Industrial Revolution. Peasant resistance to industrialisation was
largely eliminated by the Enclosure movement, and the landed upper classes developed
commercial interests that made them pioneers in removing obstacles to the growth of
capitalism.[153] (This point is also made in Hilaire Belloc's The Servile State.)
Britain's population grew 280% 15501820, while the rest of Western Europe grew 50-80%.
70% of European urbanisation happened in Britain 17501800. By 1800, only the
Netherlands was more urbanised than Britain. This was only possible because coal, coke,
imported cotton, brick and slate had replaced wood, charcoal, flax, peat and thatch. The
latter compete with land grown to feed people while mined materials do not. Yet more land
would be freed when chemical fertilisers replaced manure and horse's work was
mechanised. A workhorse needs 3 to 5 acres (1.21 to 2.02 ha) for fodder while even early
steam engines produced 4 times more mechanical energy.
In 1700, 5/6 of coal mined worldwide was in Britain, while the Netherlands had none; so
despite having Europe's best transport, most urbanised, well paid, literate people and
lowest taxes, it failed to industrialise. In the 18th century, it was the only European country
whose cities and population shrank. Without coal, Britain would have run out of suitable
river sites for mills by the 1830s.[154]

Transfer of knowledge

A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery (ca. 1766). Informal philosophical societies spread scientific
advances

Knowledge of innovation was spread by several means. Workers who were trained in the
technique might move to another employer or might be poached. A common method was
for someone to make a study tour, gathering information where he could. During the whole
of the Industrial Revolution and for the century before, all European countries and America
engaged in study-touring; some nations, like Sweden and France, even trained civil
servants or technicians to undertake it as a matter of state policy. In other countries,

notably Britain and America, this practice was carried out by individual manufacturers eager
to improve their own methods. Study tours were common then, as now, as was the keeping
of travel diaries. Records made by industrialists and technicians of the period are an
incomparable source of information about their methods.
Another means for the spread of innovation was by the network of informal philosophical
societies, like the Lunar Society of Birmingham, in which members met to discuss 'natural
philosophy' (i.e. science) and often its application to manufacturing. The Lunar Society
flourished from 1765 to 1809, and it has been said of them, "They were, if you like, the
revolutionary committee of that most far reaching of all the eighteenth century revolutions,
the Industrial Revolution".[155] Other such societies published volumes of proceedings and
transactions. For example, the London-based Royal Society of Artspublished an illustrated
volume of new inventions, as well as papers about them in its annual Transactions.
There were publications describing technology. Encyclopaedias such as Harris's Lexicon
Technicum (1704) and Abraham Rees's Cyclopaedia (18021819) contain much of
value. Cyclopaedia contains an enormous amount of information about the science and
technology of the first half of the Industrial Revolution, very well illustrated by fine
engravings. Foreign printed sources such as the Descriptions des Arts et Mtiers and
Diderot's Encyclopdie explained foreign methods with fine engraved plates.
Periodical publications about manufacturing and technology began to appear in the last
decade of the 18th century, and many regularly included notice of the latest patents.
Foreign periodicals, such as the Annales des Mines, published accounts of travels made by
French engineers who observed British methods on study tours.
Protestant work ethic
Main article: Protestant work ethic
Another theory is that the British advance was due to the presence of
an entrepreneurial class which believed in progress, technology and hard work.[156] The
existence of this class is often linked to the Protestant work ethic (see Max Weber) and the
particular status of the Baptists and the dissenting Protestant sects, such as
the Quakers and Presbyterians that had flourished with the English Civil War.
Reinforcement of confidence in the rule of law, which followed establishment of the
prototype of constitutional monarchy in Britain in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and the
emergence of a stable financial market there based on the management of the national
debt by the Bank of England, contributed to the capacity for, and interest in, private
financial investment in industrial ventures.
Dissenters found themselves barred or discouraged from almost all public offices, as well
as education at England's only two universities at the time (although dissenters were still
free to study at Scotland's four universities). When the restoration of the monarchy took
place and membership in the official Anglican Churchbecame mandatory due to the Test
Act, they thereupon became active in banking, manufacturing and education.
The Unitarians, in particular, were very involved in education, by running Dissenting
Academies, where, in contrast to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and schools
such as Eton and Harrow, much attention was given to mathematics and the sciences
areas of scholarship vital to the development of manufacturing technologies.
Historians sometimes consider this social factor to be extremely important, along with the
nature of the national economies involved. While members of these sects were excluded
from certain circles of the government, they were considered fellow Protestants, to a limited
extent, by many in the middle class, such as traditional financiers or other businessmen.
Given this relative tolerance and the supply of capital, the natural outlet for the more
enterprising members of these sects would be to seek new opportunities in the
technologies created in the wake of the scientific revolution of the 17th century.

See also