Essay on the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

Essay on the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain
📌Category: Economics, Industry
📌Words: 882
📌Pages: 4
📌Published: 15 April 2021

There were many factors that led to the industrial revolution in Britain. One of these factors is the discovery of water, coal, and power that allowed them to fuel the many machines that they would need. The second one of these factors was iron ore to help them construct these new machines and tools. The third was rivers for inland transportation of the goods and supplies they would need to power, supply, and build these factories. And finally, fourth was harbors from which merchant ships could sail to and from to deliver and sell these goods. 

The importance of these changes was massive. When Eli Whitney created the first cotton gin, the ability to create textiles in a large amount was a reality. The cotton gin allowed people to quickly separate cotton fibers to then create into cloth. Then, John Kay invented the spinning frame. The spinning frame went with the cotton gin and allowed the then separated cotton fibers to be spun into much wider woven fabrics. Richard Arkwright further revolutionized the ability to create goods at a much faster rate by creating the water frame.  The water frame allowed the spinning wheel to spin much, much faster. Overall, the Industrial Revolution allowed goods to be produced at a much faster rate. This helped Britain flourish economically and made it possible to provide goods to all their people at a cheaper price. As things became cheaper, more people bought and then more was produced.  

Rise of Steam Power And Hardships of Industrial Labor 

When James Watt invented the revolutionary steam engine, it made transporting one thing to another place much easier than before. Robert Fulton had one day ordered a steam engine from James Watt and his business partner, Mathew Boulton; from then, he created a steamboat that would allow things to be moved across water much quicker and easier than previously. His steamboat was called the Clermont, and it would later ferry passengers up and down the Hudson River in New York. Across the ocean in England, they were quick to build canals to allow them to boat goods and people to other parts of England. Then, Richard Trevithick created his own locomotive, winning several thousand dollars when he won a bet proving how strong it was. 

George Stephenson was an early railroad engineer who built upon previous locomotive models. He already had a good reputation as he had built over 20 engines for miners in England. Then, in 1821 he broke history and began working on the first railroad line. It ran 27 miles from the coal mines in Yorkshire to the ports of Stockton on the North Sea. Finally, in 1825 it opened and used four locomotives that Stephenson himself had built. Effects of the railroads were worldwide. First, they allowed industrial growth by providing manufacturers and factories easy ways to transport their built goods from one place to another. Second, new jobs were created both on the railroad and off. Then, railroads helped agricultural and fishing industries grow by providing a way to transport goods to far off cities. 

The industrial revolution did not change living conditions. Life was still hard and child labor was a very prevalent thing. Due to the rapid growth of England’s cities, there were no plans for sanitary or housing. People’s waste was dumped in the streets and education was almost non-existent. Homes were dark and dirty and had no sense of code.  Elizabeth Gaskell wrote in a novel that the “smell was fetid as to almost to knock the two men down”.  

A survey found the average lifespan to be 17 years, a large contrast to a surrounding rural area which was 38 years. Factory work wasn’t much better, either. Children were practically slaves to their bosses.  AT around 3 pm they’d become drowsy after waking up at 5 in the morning to begin work, and at that time adult overseers would whip them. They had no break for lunch and ate on the go, nor was there a break for dinner. Children and adults alike worked 14 hours a day with one day off a week on Sundays. Factories were not well lit, nor were they clean so accidents happened often. All in all, it was a hell to live in. (i am so sorry for the small font it wouldn’t fit)

New Ideas For Social Reform

When Robert Owen entered the government of New Lanark, people had no clue of the reforms he planned to make. As Owen said, he did not want to be a “mere manager of cotton mills, but to introduce principles in the conduct of the people.” He denied typical ideas of other competitors, choosing instead to have one man's gain to be everyone’s gain. He believed everyone should cooperate to create a happy, thriving, and productive community. Owen created a new, secular community called Harmony Hall. He was mocked, often being denied as a socialist and instead called a “Utopian Socialist”. Karl Marx was a communist socialist who believed that everyone should have equal power. He thought that if wage-labor continued being a thing, then there would always be class struggle. 

The Communist Manifesto was a book that was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and it was about the ideas and what was wanted in the outcome of communism. The bourgeoisie was the class that came to own the factories whose only societal concerns was the distribution of property and preservation of the capital. The proletariat was the opposite, however, made up of the working class who owned next to nothing. The proletariat's vision of the future was to be able to industrialize and maintain a decent economy.


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