Lecture 13: The Industrial Revolution
Summary Sentence: The industrial revolution was symptomatic of economic prosperity, an
increase in working and living conditions, and a jump in wages.
Question: Why was England the first country to industrialize?
The Industrial Revolution introduced great things to Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. England was the first to industrialize for three reasons; the availability of natural resources, the population, and war. Natural resources were very abundant in England, providing a large advantage. The growing population provided more potential buyers for England’s economy. The Napoleonic wars were over in England and there were rarely any more instances where the military had to get involved, making it the perfect time for a revolution. These combined qualities that England possessed created a strong bases for an industrial revolution that would forever benefit England.
a. The availability of natural resources was the first reason the English were able to industrialize first. England was the first to take the risk of being reliant upon new technologies; this gave them a head start in the coal and iron mining industry. This head start in mining created a cycle, the iron mined by England could be used to make machines that made the tools made of iron, that were powered by coal, that the tools mined. This cycle benefited England greatly, especially because of England’s vast water transportation options that allowed them to also increase their economic wellbeing. Natural resources greatly contributed to England’s success in becoming the first European nation to industrialize.
b. The increasing population in England also aided in England becoming the first to industrialize. The population was continuing to increase, therefore, so did the amount of potential buyers. The population also caused more people available to occupy jobs, lowering wages. Although the higher population lowered wages it also presented more people with the opportunity to start businesses and create more jobs. Although people also lost jobs due to the use of new technologies; jobs were created to build these machines. The population increase provided more opportunities for England from an economic standpoint.
c. The position of war in English society also played a role in it being the first to industrially revolutionize. The Napoleonic wars would have recently ended and this would let more of the nation’s funding go towards bettering the economy. If the wars were still going on the money would be spent on the military instead. The money could now be spent to aid scientists and inventors to create new materials and items to aid factories. This was a prosperous time for England in which they were really in good standing with mostly everyone. England was no longer at war with anyone during the industrial revolution, promoting the growth of new technologies.
The industrial revolution occurred due...