The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution is a term usually applied to the social and economic changes that mark the transition from a stable agricultural and commercial society, to a modern industrial society relying on complex machinery rather than tools. There have been numerous debates to the use of this term because the word "revolution" suggests sudden, violent, unparalleled change. Even though there was an unparalleled change in the world, it was by no means sudden nor violent. The world's social and economic structures changed due to marvelous inventions and innovations. These inventions and innovations led to a factory system of large-scale machine production and greater economic specialization. Britain is credited for starting this revolution and the United States soon followed. However, we must examine the revolution and it's effects in other countries outside of Britain and the U.S.
In France, this Industrial Revolution came late because of the French Revolution. However, after the French Revolution came to an end, France began picking up it's pace in development. In fact, the French government played a much more active role in development than did the British government. The French government had funded railways, whereas the British railways were privately funded. Even though industrialization did pick up in France, handcraft production still remained a significant element of the French economy. And some industries, like furniture production, mechanization was very unpopular. However, mechanization did hurt some of the French farmers and French weavers so much, that they were forced to the cities and later induced a second French Revolution.
In Asia, Japan became the first industrial nation. In fact, the Japanese liked the idea of industrialization so much that the government made it a national goal in the late 19th century. In India, this idea of industrialization had a complete opposite effect.
India's economy survived on two major markets; the cotton market and the agricultural market. The cotton was grown by hand, picked by hand, and weaved by hand. Because of this, Indian cotton and cotton products were the best in the world and they carried a best in the world price. Beautifully hand woven cotton was very...