Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

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The industrial revolution that took place in Great Britain was sparked off by a number of factors. The growth of industries gave way to development in trade. This event further strengthened the relations between other countries that carried trade with Britain. The event also marked the onset of revolution by workers. Many people got employed at various factories.

As mentioned earlier on, there were certain factors that contributed to the growth of industrialization in Great Britain. First and foremost the improved technology and the discovery of new machines made work much easier. The infrastructures that were constructed also necessitated the ease of movement through transportation (Schama, 21). Thus, transportation eased the movement of people transporting goods for trade hence making it easier for trade to flourish.

The improvement in social amenities and the establishment of schools and health facilities enabled the provision of quality education and health to individuals thus increasing knowledge on business and trade. The other factor that facilitated industrialization was the iron industry. Iron was highly valued by most traders of that time due to its value. Iron was exchanged by the traders and tourists.

The steam engines also facilitated the quick growth of industrial revolution. These engines were used to spin turbines hence enabling quick processing and manufacturing of goods at the factories. The other factor that led to industrialization in Great Britain was the Cotton factory. This factory gave individuals the chance to work and earn wages.

To sum up the meaning of industrial revolution, it can be explained as the time during the 16th century and early 17th and 18th Century when Britain became economically stable through the establishment of various processing industries. This event is marked by the growth of the iron industry, the cotton industry as well as the metal industries. At the time of industrialization, Britain received an inflow of minerals from traders. Thus industrialization brought the economy of Great Britain to an increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This period is recorded in history as one of the periods that influenced civilization of other nations. Today, the economy of Great Britain is still strong as the basic foundation still bears fruits. The establishment of the bank of England in 1694 created way for the circulation of money currency (Schama, 16). This exchange of money from one party to another led to the abolition of barter trade that was tedious. Barter trade served as the only form of exchange of goods and services thus it was faced by serious challenges. Goods were not easily exchanged since finding the person that you wanted to exchange with was the challenge.

The new scientific approaches to agriculture eliminated the use of intensive labor by individuals at the farms. Machines replace human labor making it much easier for production of cash crops as well as subsistence crops. Industrial revolution also led to a new form of culture whereby individuals were able to engage in diversified activities. The invention of machines for the spinning industry especially the cotton industry increased the production of cotton thus the exportation of cotton brought in gains to Britain.

The effects of industrial revolution in life can either be positive or negative. For the people of England, they encountered a new way of living from the past. For instance, the coming up of different industries necessitated the people to move from the rural areas to go work at the industries. Despite the minimal wages that they were paid, at least they were able to feed their families and take their children to schools. The factories also served as a training ground for professional workers (Ashton, 13). Each time an individual showed positive progress and hard work, he or she was given a chance to participate in other less labor intensive fields.

Life was also made easier due to the construction of roads. Much better roads were constructed to ease the movement of people as well as vehicles from one location to another. Transportation of produce from farms became an easy task to deal with. Markets were flooded with manufactured goods from the industries. People resorted to buying the already manufactured goods instead of eating raw food. Other foods were put in cans after processing thus ensuring that it was safe to eat after a few days. Storage of food became an easier thing and the traditional methods of food storage were replaced by the new methods of food storage.

The other positive reason for the industrialization was that health facilities were created to care for the individuals who got hurt during work. These services were improved and many individuals began visiting the health facilities in a bid to confirm their health statuses. Free treatment was given by the public hospitals that were subsidized by the then government.

Urbanization became a major concern during the industrialization period. Urban centers grew to a large extent. People began migrating to the urban centers in what is termed as the rural-urban migration. This led to an upsurge in the number of people living in the urban centers. Increased urbanization created certain problems. For instance, the increased number of people living in the urban areas led to congestion in the cities. Congestion was a serious problem that faced England as many individuals sought to work at the industries which were located at the urban centers (Ashton, 9)

Secondly, rural-urban migration led to increased crime rates. Those individuals who were not able to get employed by the industries decided to engage in criminal activities in order to sort their needs. Crime rates led to fear among other workers who feared that whatever they had worked for was going to be taken away.

Youth delinquency was also another third negative factor that faced urbanization. This was due to the fact that the youth engaged in drug abuse as they were so idle. Misuse of drugs made it hard for the state to control the youth. Drug barons increased the supply of illegal drugs like marijuana into the market.

Fourth, there was a rise in slums. The urban centers became a haven for the establishment of slums which were in very poor conditions. The slums were created by individuals who were unable to travel to their rural homes as they were working on a daily basis. As a result cheap housing was the solution to living near their working stations. This vividly explains how the slums came about (Deane 55). The sanitation of these newly built houses was very poor. An outbreak of diseases was very common especially like cholera and typhoid. These diseases killed a number of children during the industrial revolution.

The fifth factor that was prevalent during the industrial revolution was prostitution. Prostitution was a common phenomenon especially during the time when men were paid their salaries. They went to enjoy themselves at certain locations to relieve themselves from work. The women who were left at the rural homes by their men encountered hard times looking after their children as the men were away. Some fathers did not take care of their children at all. Women experienced financial downturns since they did not have enough money to feed their children. Some men went and married other wives from the urban centers.

Women worked as prostitutes for money that could assist them to buy food and other essential basic needs. Food was their main problem then shelter and then clothing. Some women were raped and physically abused. Prostitution was a very serious problem that could not easily be controlled (Deane, 40)

The other problem that arose during the industrialization period was that of child labor. Children were given difficult tasks to perform whereas some were used as messengers. Child labor was very common at the factories whereby the owners misused children especially when it came to work (Wyatt, 12). Children could perform various difficult tasks that were deemed inhuman. It was rather disturbing to the children as a whole.

Industrialization was a major movement that led to both negative and positive factors. Some of the negative factors that were noted at this time included the exploitation of women and the vice of engaging minors in labor. It is noted that a number of children do engage in hazardous work whereby some are left to work in family businesses. In as much as the workforce does involve foreign workers that are immigrants, the natives do take the initiative of introducing their children illegally into the workforce. The period of industrialization saw the increase in the amount of trade activities that were taking place.

Industrialization also led to political instability whereby leaders were now to be selected in terms of democratic votes. Those who won could lead the nation of England into a sovereign state whereby the citizens rights were safeguarded. The industrial revolution also had another positive impact that involved the trade unions coming into place. Trade unions secured the rights of workers at all costs (Deane, 10). Workers were no longer going to be subjected to poor working conditions or low wages. The revolution further opened ways for more social activities. People could easily socialize through government forums.

The inventions of scientists like James Watt who invented the Watt Engine in the year 1774 made work easier for the industries (Wyatt, 33). This engine was able to enable the steam turbines to move hence making work much easier. However, there was population increase during this period that made it difficult for people to live in harmony, why? Because the amount of food that was available was depleted. Poverty was another challenge that faced the industrial period. Families received low wages that could not sustain their lives at all. It is this situation that made Great Britain a worse place to reside in.

In conclusion, the industrial revolution that occurred in Great Britain contributed greatly to the expansion of slave trade between nations. Trade involving both exports and imports improved and the ties between nations did too. The negative factors like pollution, overpopulation did affect the industrial revolution but were later controlled. These factors both negative and positive were as a result of the industrial revolution in Great Britain.


Deane, Phyllis Revolution. Cambridge [England: UP, 1965. Print.

Wyatt, Lee T. The Industrial Revolution. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.

Ashton, T S. The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830. London: Oxford UP, 1948. Print.

Schama, Simon. A History of Britain. New York: Hyperion, 2000. Print.

Deane, Phyllis, and Eric Pawson. "The Early Industrial Revolution: Britain in the Eighteenth Century." Economic History Review (1980): n. pag. Print.


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