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Why was Industrial Revolution started in Britain?

Mar 14, 2019 19:11 IST
Why was Industrial Revolution started in Britain?

With the advent of geographical discoveries and inventions like Steam Power, Use of Mechanical Power opens new avenues of trade and commerce. This makes the bedrock of Industrial revolution as mismatch between demand and supply led to new innovative ways of enhancing production.

What is Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution refers to the transition of hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system.

Why was Industrial Revolution started in Britain?

There were many factors that support Britain to become the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution. Important factors are given below:

1. Continental European countries could not adopt Industrial Revolution as early as Britain because Europe faced political instability.

2. French Revolution and Napoleonic wars kept the Europe engaged. Belgium was first to follow British footsteps. Germany also has its ‘Ruhr’ are Industrialized. Soon other European nations followed suit.

3. Britain had adequate capital which was accumulated through colonialism.

4. Disappearance of serfdom (a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord) and ‘enclosure movement’ provided huge surplus agricultural labour which looked for employment and became source of cheap labour.

5. Britain was rich with natural resources. Iron and coal proved twin pillars of Industrial Revolution and Britain was lucky to have them in close proximity. If not then their colonial policy fulfil their need of resources.

Apart from above factors, faster means of communication, commodification of labour with introduction of wage System, development of new sources of energy like coal, new durable materials like steel were the other supporting factors for the rise of Industrial Revolution.

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Impact of the Industrial Revolution

Every revolution has some advantages and disadvantages. Therefore Industrial Revolution had also some disadvantages which are given below:

1. Social Impact: This Revolution supported the rise of new urban centres like Manchester but also indirectly helped in the emergence of terms like slums, nuclear family, urbanization, exploitation of women and children.

2. Economic Impact: Profit making became the core of all economic activities. Hence, it had helped in the emergence of capitalist ideology and transnational trade.

3. Political Impact: This revolution divided the world in terms of economic activities into developed and under-developed. Capitalism led to the emergence of Socialism and Marxism. Labour law and Child labour became relevant.

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