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Industrialization of Europe

Essay by review  •  March 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  768 Words (4 Pages)  •  845 Views

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Industrialization of Europe

Booming factories, tall smoke stacks and open city sewers replaced small farms, families and large open sky. Great Britain showed the world what factories and manufactured goods could do for a country. The road to industrialization began with the agricultural revolution and continues on to the attainment of industrialization and even continued the revolution one step further with reconstruction and big business.

The agricultural revolution was a major factor leading up to industrialization in Great Britain. Due to new farming techniques large farm owners were able to employ less people then before and still produce more food and in turn create a bigger profit for themselves. As a result, many small time farmers as well as employees of these large farms were forced deeper into poverty as they lost their source of income. At the same time, the demand for manufactured goods was increasing drastically in the cities. With no hope for an income in rural areas, the lower class began to flock to the cities. Cottage industries became popular leading up to the industrial revolution as it allowed families to stay in the home and often do monotonous work involving taking raw materials and turning them into fine products. This big population influx was brought on by factors such as earlier marriages and healthier living conditions which increased the birth rate and decreased the death rate. As a result of such a large labor force, working wages decreased and food prices increased. This in turn led to food riots, crime, poverty and child abandonment.

During the years 1780-1850 the Industrial Revolution came into full swing in Great Britain as more than half of the nations population lived in the cities. Britain had many advantages which helped propel the revolution. Water transportation and the Suez Canal helped Western and non Western worlds come together. Raw materials such as coal, iron and cotton were easily attainable, entrepreneurship was valued and cheap labor wasn't hard to find. During this period food prices began to decrease which left the population with more money to spend on manufactured goods. Changes in cotton production and the discovery of smelting iron with coal led to many new developments. The steam engine came into use and became a reliable source of power. The rising demand for coal virtually intertwined mining and manufacturing. By 1820 the modern railroad had been formed which transported goods and people faster then ever before. All of these achievements created new jobs, but at the same time destroyed old ones. The middle class prospered as they ran their factories and continued with their entrepreneurial skills. The working class however, stuck in factory labor continued to suffer. Job insecurity was a fact of life as well as physical dangers due to the lack of safety provisions causing a decrease in life expectancy and

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