The First Industrial Revolution: Progressing Society
The First Industrial Revolution modified every aspect of daily life. According to Princeton University “Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants” (Princeton par. 6). The First Industrial Revolution brought along machines, a capitalist economy, and trade expansion. Machines increased productivity, capitalist economies boomed with inventions, and trade expansion accelerated transportation with innovations. Sources from BBC History to Lewis Hackett concur that the First Industrial Revolution changed human life forever by industrializing countries. (BBC History sec. 4; Hackett par. 1). Great Britain was one of those industrialized countries, but also the outset of industrialization.
The First Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain during the mid-to-late 18th century when Great Britain changed its primary energy source from wood to coal. To compensate for coal demands, companies had to utilize sea-side coal deposits. While mining from those deposits, water would obscure mining, thus horse-drawn pumps were used to extract the obscuring water. However, those horse-powered pumps weren’t good enough to extract water from deeper in the mines. The steam engine fixed this by being able to pump water from a longer distance. As so, the series of events that led to the revolution came with Britain’s open government sprouting from the Glorious Revolution. A lack of state-restrictions led to great minds along with adventurous entrepreneurs, and when combined with the Commonwealth’s navy and coal, sparked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (BBC History secs. 1-4).
According to the source “U.S. History,” The United States of America didn’t get involved in the First Industrial Revolution quickly due to its former rural lifestyle and resistance to invest in new ideas. However, in the early 19th century Samuel Slater smuggled an industrial mill blueprint from Great Britain to the states, and thus he was attributed with spreading the Industrial Revolution to North America. (U.S. History par. 2) Great Britain did not want incidents such as Slater’s to happen again, as royal documents from the late 18th century show they did not let factory workers or architects leave the country at the time. Slater started his own factory in the states which had machines that greatly increased the production speed of yarn, thus others followed him in the path of industrialization. Soon, new systems came about. These new systems included the Outwork system which allocated small parts of a large production, and the Factory system which did large-scale projects in one location. New systems and factories led to more work opportunities, and thus more workers which operated factory machines.
Those factories were powered by two sources: steam engine(s) or water mill(s). The...