Introduction

The Industrial Revolution was a period of major industrialization which moved the world away from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. It began in Great Britain in the mid-18th century and spread to other European countries, including Belgium, France and Germany, and to the United States. The cotton industry was fundamental to the revolution while inventions were the primary reason due to which it flourished. The Industrial Revolution is regarded as a major turning point in history which ushered in the modern era in which we live. It brought about major changes including making capitalists leaders of the world economy; giving rise to socialism; and having a major adverse effect on the environment. Know all about the Industrial Revolution including interesting facts about it; its causes; its inventors and inventions; important dates and its effects.

Interesting Facts

Industrial Revolution Facts Featured

The cotton trade was the biggest driver of the Industrial Revolution. However, Great Britain, where the revolution began, did not grow cotton because of its cold climate; and it did not have enough manpower to meet the demand. However, Britain had political control over India, the leading cotton industry in the world. This control enabled Britain to make India into a raw cotton exporter. And then innovations in spinning technology like the spinning jenny (1764), water frame (1769) and steam engine (1760s) solved the labour issues and thus Britain became the textile producer of the world. This, in turn, made Great Britain a global superpower. Read more to know more interesting facts about the Industrial Revolution and get a basic overview of this historic event.

Causes

Industrial Revolution Causes Featured

In the mid-18th century, several European nations were rising colonial powers, none more so than Great Britain. Britain also benefited from unprecedented rise in agricultural production in the nation and because it was more politically stable than its challengers like France and Spain. More importantly, Britain had control over India, the cotton producing and manufacturing hub of the world. These factors, along with the Scientific Revolution in Europe, fuelled the demand for labour saving devices leading to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain and then spread to the rest of the world. Read more to know what exactly caused the Industrial Revolution.

Inventors

Industrial Revolution Inventors Featured

The driving force behind the Industrial Revolution was the inventions and innovations which continuously fuelled the event by providing better and better means to increase productivity, develop new processes and enhance distribution. To name a few, Richard Arkwright used his water frame to usher the factory system which transformed the textile industry; James Watts’ steam engine powered locomotives and ships during the revolution; Henry Bessemer invented a process that allowed for mass production of steel; Thomas Edison patented a practical electric light bulb which would revolutionize indoor lighting; and the Wright Brothers initiated the age of aviation through their work in the field. Read more to know about the top inventors of the Industrial Revolution and their contribution.

Inventions

Industrial Revolution Inventions Featured

The Industrial Revolution couldn’t have occurred without the constant inventions that streamlined process and revolutionized the industry. Innovations like the spinning jenny, water frame and power loom transformed the cotton industry, which was the biggest driver of the revolution; James Watts’ steam engine powered locomotives and ships to revolutionize transportation; the telegraph changed the face of communication and laid the base for future innovations of telephone, fax machine and the Internet; and the light bulb stimulated a lighting industry that quickly spread through cities and towns across the world. Read more to know about the most important inventions during the Industrial Revolution.

Effects

Industrial Revolution Effects Featured

Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in human history which greatly effected the way people led their life. It brought about a greater volume and variety of factory-produced goods and raised the standard of living for many people, particularly for the middle and upper classes. However, life for the poor and working classes continued to be filled with challenges. Wages for those who laboured in factories were low and working conditions could be dangerous and monotonous. Children were part of the labour force. Additionally, urban, industrialized areas were unable to keep pace with the flow of arriving workers from the countryside, resulting in inadequate, overcrowded housing and polluted, unsanitary living conditions in which disease was rampant. Read more to know about the positive as well as negative consequences of the Industrial Revolution.

Important Dates

Industrial Revolution Dates Featured

Some of the most important dates of the Industrial Revolution are the days on which major inventions took place. These inventions revolutionized industry accelerating the revolution. Apart from inventions, other watershed moments of the event include British victory over India in the Battle of Plassey which greatly aided in making Britain the textile producer of the world; and Samuel Slater taking the closely guarded secrets of British designs to the United States leading to the American Industrial Revolution. Read more to know about the watershed moments of the Industrial Revolution.

Industrial Revolution

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