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The Industrial Revolution Essay

2012 words - 8 pages

Think about your life for one second: you communicate with people, travel, make purchases, and utilize those commodities. But have you ever wondered what made those things possible? After all, you go to the store to buy things you need. You drive a car to work and to visit your friends. If you need to talk to someone, you simply pick up your phone or computer. However, none of this would be possible without a means of communication, factories to manufacture the products you need, places to work, and ways to travel and transport goods. And what made these possible? The answer is the Industrial Revolution, which started in Europe around the year 1730. A revolution is a major change or turning point in something. The Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in history and in the way people lived. Their careers, living situations, location, values, and daily routines all changed, and they needed it desperately. The ideas for new life changed and spread, much like a balloon. As the air—or ideas—grew, the balloon expanded. When one man betrayed his country, the figurative balloon exploded. Then, all the ideas that had been contained inside the balloon grew and spread.
As the philosopher Plato stated, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” However, change usually begins with diversity. Like those points, the Industrial Revolution was based on the ideas and theories of many brilliant minds. One famous author and philosopher, Adam Smith, wrote all of his ideas in a book entitled Wealth of the Nations. His ideas included division of labor, the system by which one item is made by first breaking production into steps and giving each person one simple job. They continued to perform that task repetitively until, at the end of the line, there was a stack of completed goods waiting to be shipped out to consumers. This would mean that product could be more readily available, enriching the customers' lives and allowing business owners to build thriving companies. Another idea in Mr. Smith's books was the Market's Hand. This hand controlled what people purchased, the price of goods, and the popularity of certain items. For example, the hand determined that imported goods were more affordable than goods manufactured in the consumer's own country. On the other hand, people bought more items made in their country if the prices were lower than those on imported items. The theories were simple, and aligned perfectly with common sense. While machinery that could spin thread or remove cotton did increase the production rates, there were parts of the process that were still slacking.
The first breakthrough was that of James Hargreaves' in the 1730s. Mr. Hargreaves had been working with other inventors of that time, experimenting with mechanics in general. The result of one of his projects was a machine that spun thread, check for seeds, and then twist and tighten it into a thin thread. It could take one person a whole day to make thread, and his machine could...

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