The Effect Of Industrial Revolution On Britain

2204 words - 9 pages

The Effect of Industrial Revolution on Britain

"An industrial revolution is the term generally applied to the complex
of economic changes which are involved in the transformation of a
pre-industrial, traditional type of economy, characterized by low
productivity and normally stagnant growth rates, to a modern
industrialized stage of economic development, in which output per head
and standards of living are relatively high, and economic growth is
normally sustained."

CIPOLLA, C.M. (1975).

This essay will critically examine a number of reasons for the take
off of the industrial revolution in Britain. It will critically
explain a number of social changes which took place within Britain due
to industrialisation. The essay will then analyse the reasons why the
state and industry would wish to work together and will analyse the
consequences if the industrial system for the role of the state.

Rural Life & New Techniques

Life in rural England was hard. Poverty was rife. It was an effort to
make ends meet and people were looking for ways of easing the
pressures of the struggle to survive. Land enclosure had been taking
place for centuries, and only now was it showing signs of it having
had any real effect. The enclosures had allowed land to be reclaimed
from pasture (and had taken away the rights to land from the peasants)
so that it would eventually be in shape for production.

Along with the implementation of the new machinery came the incentives
gained from new idea on crop rotation and animal husbandry, a follow
on from the earliest of times when the first people settled with their
crops and their animals, claiming patches of earth upon which to grow
food. This would have been predominantly egalitarian to begin with,
but would eventually have become a more isolated practice with
boundary posts and fences being erected as a way of identifying
territory as much as anything else.

"Crop rotation is the arrangement whereby the successive development
of different crops in a specified order on the same fields is employed
instead of the one-crop technique or a shoddy style." Micropedia

This pointed to the usefulness of selecting rotation crops. Therefore
the system proved to be a success and was continue, though
agricultural development was a slow process that took shape over a
long time period and was the result of a number of smaller changes
such as…

"More sophisticated irrigation, better tools made from iron, improved
ploughs, the breeding of more productive varieties of crops, better
crop rotation and the circulation of new crops from the 16th Century
onwards." (PONTING, C. 2001:638)

The agricultural revolution had also weakened the old feudal bonds
that had been he core necessity of the structure for so long, and had
required the cooperation...

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