The industrial revolution is a period that was characterized by a shift from agriculture to the use of machines and establishment of industries in Europe. The period of transformation was between 1760 and 1820 and climaxed at around 1840. The revolution led to imperialism because the Europeans wanted to acquire more empires so that they could quickly get access to raw materials. According to Horn (2007) the revolution brought about growth and change in the living standards of people and there was also new techniques used in production as technology was introduced. Similarly, Cambridge (1969) explains that Europe was the first continent to industrialize and Landes argues that the industrial revolution paved way for modernization and the change of social order, government and values among facets.
Additionally, Wrigley (2010) says that the English revolution did not stop and because of the continued expansion with a reduction in mortality rate there was an introduction and use of a comprehensive source of energy. Also, Beckert (2014) explains about the empire of cotton where the 18th century was characterized by a large plantation of cotton where mistreated slaves worked as forced laborers. Moreover, Matthias (2001) explores the industrial economy where he mentions that economic policies were made, the establishment of free trade, and the evolution of money markets and banking. Imperialism and the industrial revolution were linked because it is through the revolution that imperialism was made possible. It paved way as the Europeans needed raw materials and slaves to work in the industries and farms and they had to conquer more territories to achieve these goals. Similarly, it is through industrial revolution that imperialism was made possible as it created great military strength by facilitating the obtaining of sophisticated weapons and ships that were used to capture and get hold of empires.
In my view, this is the best historical topics that I have come across as it not only explores the transformation of the wealthy and civilized Europe but it gives a step by step progress that it made through industrial revolution and imperialism. First of all, I have to comment on the gradual but effective transformation from reliance on agriculture to the establishment of industries and the widespread use of technology. The change from the use of hand production techniques to the incorporation of machines characterizes this period. I noticed that the industrial revolution marked a turning point in the history of Britain as the lives of people changed from being peasant farmers to great industrialists. The significant technological advancements are; the invention of machines and tools, development of textile industries where spinning took place through the use of steam engines, iron making which was done through the use of coke which replaced charcoal. Also, there was an increase in steam power use. I can connect these readings to the present day inventions where technology that brought a total change in the lives of people during the industrial revolution has also transformed the lives of people. The use of machines has made work easier and life more interesting.
Similarly, as technology evolved during those days, it is now twice dynamic, and more discoveries are made every day. Although imperialism is no longer the case today, there is still a scramble for certain interests among the nations today, and this justifies the constant fights between and among nations across the continent. I must say that any reader is left with the task of comparing what happened then with what is happening today.
D. Landes, The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present (Cambridge, 1969).
E. A. Wrigley, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution (Cambridge, 2010).
E. J. Evans, The Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain, 1783-1870, 3rd ed. (London, 2001);
J. A. Auerbach, The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display (New Haven, Conn., 1999),
K. Morgan, The Birth of Industrial Britain: Social Change, 1750-1850 (New York, 2004);
L. Kriegel, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture (Durham, N.C.,2007).
P. Mathias, The First Industrial Nation: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1914, 3rd ed. (New York, 2001);
R. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2008).
S. Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (New York, 2014).
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