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Economic Changes During The First Industrial Revolution

1421 words - 6 pages

HUM102-03Research projectInstructor: Keith Green, Ph.D.Shuxian ShenEconomic changes during the First Industrial RevolutionThe First Industrial Revolution evolved into the Second Industrial Revolution in the transition years between 1840 and 1870, when technological and economic progress gained momentum with the increasing adoption of steam-powered boats, ships and railways, the large scale manufacture of machine tools and the increasing use of steam powered factories. It started in the United Kingdom, and spread throughout the world quickly. Almost every aspect of the world was influenced in some way. Economy is one of the major parts which can show how the Industrial Revolution changed the world.Global transport infrastructure was improved a lot during the Industrial Revolution. Road network, canal network, and railway network were developed and completed during the Industrial Revolution. New transport machines such as steam-powered ships were also developed. For these reason, raw materials and finished products could be moved more quickly and cheaply than before. Both the source of materials and the finished product need more markets, and as a result, world trade increased. However, the improvement of transportation wasn't the only reason for the expansion of world trade. (Herbert, 186)Most products today are turned out swiftly by the process of mass production, with using power-driven machines. However, before the Industrial Revolution, most goods were produced by hands in small workshops or at home. Workers had to spend long, tedious hours of hand labor even on simple objects. Industrialization led to the changes of factory system and changed the way things were made. New power-driven machines invented in the 1700s and 1800s made it possible to mass produce goods in factories with a lower cost and a more efficient way. Because the new products were devised, and important advances were made in the system of mass production, goods needed a bigger market. As "Commerce and industry have always been closely related. Sometimes one is ahead and sometimes the other, but the one behind is always trying to catch up." The more production increased the more demands it had to achieve. When factories produced more than could be consumed internally, manufacturers needed to find international market. As the factory system and global transport infrastructure improved, globalization of trade was inevitable. (Danton, 29)The Industrial Revolution is the name given the movement in which machines changed people's way of life as well as their methods of manufacture. Is the industrial revolution meant a much higher standard of living for ordinary people? It depends on the definition of "standard of living".Economic historians usually equated the standard of living with monetary measures such as real income. "Real income" is usually defined as money income adjusted for the cost of living, but not for effects of things such as health, longevity, unemployment,...

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