Origins of Industrial Revolution

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Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1795 Words
Date:  2021-03-19

Industrial revolution was the transition in the ways goods are produced and peoples way of life from, from human labor to machines. The industrial revolution led to the invention of machines which replaced human labor, the development of new energy sources that were used to power new machinery. Industrialization also led to the increased use of metals and minerals, improved means of transportation and communication and other developments, such as rural-urban migration, mass production of goods, development of factory system of production, development of capitalism and development of new socio-economic classes.

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The commercial revolution began in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. This commercial revolution saw to Europeans expanding their powers worldwide, an increase geographic knowledge, creation of colonies in the Americas and Asia, increase trade and commerce and also led to a state where guild system could not meet the demands of increasing numbers goods.

Scientific and Intellectual Revolution that began in the 17th and 18th centuries brought about an atmosphere of discovery and free intellectual inquiry, that is, greater knowledge of the world and weakened superstition and tradition which consequently, encouraged learning and the search for better and newer ways of doing things.

Development of the domestic system of production led to the industrial revolution Domestic system developed in England from late 1600s to the late 1800s. The domestic system of production involved, business people delivering raw materials to workers homes, the workers using the raw materials to produce goods in their homes and then business-people picked up the finished goods and paid workers wages based on a number of items. However, the domestic system could not keep up with the increased demand hence the development of the factory system.

The factory system was developed to replace the domestic system of production. The factory system was more efficient because it was a faster method of production because of use of machines which led to a large level of production. In the factory system, workers were concentrated in a set location, where they worked at set daily hours and also production was able to anticipate demand.

England is said to be the birthplace of Industrial Revolution. Industrial Revolution is only marked by gradual changes as it has no tangible start date. After 1750, these changes were noticeable first in England. This is because England was equipped with capital for investing in the means of production, colonies and markets for manufactured goods, necessary raw materials for production, workers to provide labor, merchant marine, and a strategic geography.

The Commercial Revolution had made English merchants very wealthy, hence, they had the capital to invest in the factory system. England also had more colonies than any other nation; its colonies provided it with access to huge markets and immense quantities of raw materials. England itself possessed the necessary raw materials and labor to create the means of production. England was the political center of Great Britain, an island with excellent harbors and ports, damp climate that benefited the textile industry, a government stable with no internal trade barriers. These factors encouraged the start of Industrial Revolution in England


The first Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and despite Great Britains attempt to ban the export of its methods and technologies, the United States industrialized after the War of 1812, France joined the Industrial Revolution after 1825 and later Belgium. This industrial revolution spurred great changes in agriculture and saw the development of industries and rural-urban migration in the period from about 1750 to 1870.

The second Industrial Revolution took place between 1870 and 1960 and spread to countries like Germany, which industrialized at a rapid pace, Japan and Russia also begun to industrialize by the year 1890. In the 2nd Industrial Revolution, electricity became the primary source of power for factories, farms, and homes. Electrical power use led to the entry of electronics such as radios, fans, television sets and electric lights into the market. There was also the introduction of mass production, especially that of consumer goods.

The transportation industry underwent a significant transformation during the Industrial Revolution. Railroads were introduced, where, industrialized countries laid railroads in their country and colonies. Russia built the Trans- Siberian railroad in 1891 to 1905. There was also an introduction and use of canals which included, the Suez Canal, which provided access to the Indian Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea, the Kiel Canal, and Panama Canal. Automobiles and airplanes were also introduced as modes of transport where by the 20th century there was the growth of commercial aviation.

Industrial revolution spurred great economic changes. There was an expansion of world trade; this was due to the search of new foreign markets for surplus goods. The expansion of world trade led to the introduction of free trade and tariffs. Other economic changes were seen through the introduction of the factory system, mass production of goods, industrial capitalism and increased standard of living. Although the Industrial Revolution brought about a positive economic changes, it also brought about unemployment. This unemployment was brought about due to overproduction, recessions, and depressions.

The industrial revolution also brought about political changes in the industrialized countries. There was a decline of the landed aristocracy, before the industrial revolution, power was in the hands of the landed aristocracy and monarchs. There was also growth and expansion of democracy, the middle and working class gained more rights. Other political changes included the increase of government involvement in society through government actions to help workers, consumers and also businesses, increase in power of industrialized nations and rise to power of business people.

Major social changes were also experienced in the industrialized countries. The industrial revolution saw to the development and growth of cities; this was due to the rural-urban migration and immigration to industrialized countries. There was an advance in the status and earning power of women, an increase in leisure time and population increase. On the other hand, there were an influx social problems, such as economic insecurity where workers relied entirely on their jobs for sustenance, there was increased the deadliness of war, the monotony of assembly lines and factory life and also the growth of urban slums.


The textile industry was the first industry to be industrialized. The Flying Shuttle was the first textile machine in the textile industry made by John Kay in 1733; it was a hand-operated machine which increased the speed of weaving. The spinning jenny was discovered after the flying shuttle in 1765 by James Hargreaves and in 1769, Richard Arkwright came up with the water frame, this was a water-powered machine that was too large to use in a home, hence lead to the creation of factories. Later in 1846, the sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe, this sewing machine greatly increased the speed of sewing.

Before Industrial Revolution, mills were over fast-moving streams and rivers for water power. These early water power had various challenges that led to the invention and use of steam power. Thomas Newcomen created a steam engine to pump water from mines in 1704. James Watt in 1769 improved Newcomens engine to power machinery and by the year 1800, the use of water wheels had started to be replaced by steam engines as sources of power for factories.

Before the industrial revolution, vast amounts of fuel were required to smelt iron ore to burn out impurities. Abraham Darby discovered in 1709, that, heating coal turned it into more efficient coke. Henry Cort also developed the puddling process which purified and strengthened molten iron in 1783.These inventions led to an increase in coal and the iron production between the year 1770 and 1800. Earlier, before the Industrial Revolution, it was hard and highly costly to produce steel. Henry Bessemer in 1856, developed the Bessemer process which brought on the Age of Steel. Other improvements in steel production included; open-hearth furnace, electric furnace and use of other metals to produce various types of steel.

Industrial revolution introduced trains, steamships, trolley and automobiles in the transportation system. Robert Fulton invented the steamboat in 1807, the Clermont operated the first regular steamboat route, running between Albany and New York City. In 1836, John Ericsson invented a screw propeller to replace paddle wheels and in 1838 the Great Western was the first ship to navigate across the Atlantic only on steam power.

Thomas Telford and John McAdam invented strong, hard roads. The macadamized roads had a smooth, hard surface that supported heavy loads without requiring a thick roadbed. This was an improvement over dirt and gravel roads. Modern roads are macadamized roads, with tar added to limit the creation of dust.

Communication revolution started with the invention of the telegraph in 1844, by Samuel Morse, the telegraph provided rapid communication across continents. The telephone was later invented in 1876, followed by an Atlantic cable in 1866, then the wireless telegraph in 1895 and a radio tube in 1907. Vladimir Zworykin invented the television in 1925.

Printing that is, iron printing and steam-driven press were invented between the year 1800 and 1830. Rotary press invented by Richard Hoe in 1870, printed both sides of a page at once. In 1844, Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the Linotype machine. As a result, newspapers became much cheaper to produce. Hence, the cost of a newspaper dropped and the number of newspapers increased


The various types of state powers include. First, Great Powers, for example, Roman, Napoleonic, British empires and USA/USSR post 1945. They have following features; they value its resources, strategic position, and military value. Secondly, Middle Powers e.g. France and Indonesia. Lastly, Small Powers, which do not affect BoP, are most insecure and can be flashpoints. These perceptions of power are still existent in the 21st-century world.

The nature of GPs is that they may seek concert for world domination and also universal empire through tools such as national power, alliances, diplomacy. There are various meanings for Balance of power which include:

Grotian Balance: Grotius argues that free-thinking self-interest makes stability a founding principle of the social order of states (e.g. in the Concert of Europe). It was used to limit conflict, grant compensation, and avert domination, eventually overcome hostilities.

Machiavellian Balance: it upholds that BoP is unavoidable. States only have long-lasting interests: keeping the scales in their favor, hence, Balance of Power fundamentally lacks stability.

Immanuel Kant: He debates reject the power. He believed that perpetual peace could be attained through universal democracy and international cooperation

There are radical rules for Balance of Power which are:

To be always able to increase capabilities, but pick diplomacy over war.

To go to war rather than a loose competency.

To oppose superiority by one Great Power.

Evade hesitation in eliminating other GPs or allowing a new order not centered on Power Political affairs

Preponderance rather than Balance

Preponderance of Power school of thought argues that equilibriums are unstable and benign control is better. It is more probable...

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