Industrial Revolution Essay Example and Tips

industrial revolution essay example


The road to the Industrial Revolution was opened by the rapid development of transport networks – for the first time since the Roman Empire. From the very beginning of the reign of George III, a network of channels developed in the country, which provided many places with those benefits that London had long enjoyed. The channels were conducted in all regions of the country, and for their time they meant a lot, although after the introduction of the railway communication the channel age ends. For the same reason, hard-surfaced roads with their regular carriages are also rapidly becoming obsolete.

The industrial revolution is a rather lengthy process for setting up a modern industrial scale for the production and marketing of goods. This process begins with the invention of the first looms and the establishment of the production of cotton fabrics back in the 18th century. Soon in Lancashire there is an industry – for the moment on a small scale – in small factories (mills), on which machines for water traction are installed. A similar kind of production occurs in Liverpool. During the XIX century, an increasing proportion of the population is connected to mass production of goods, and factories are displacing more and more home and agricultural productions from the market. Fortunately, when factories became the usual place of work for the majority of the population, some of its worst aspects were corrected: from 1833 the state conducted inspections and regulates the activities of producers, which could only be envied by workers employed in small manufactories at an old-style home.


The next big step was the invention of the steam engine by James Watt in 1764 (patented in 1769.) After that, together with his assistants, he continued to work on the engine, perfecting it for all sorts of tasks. Soon, the most diverse industries – coal mines, Cornwall tin mines, New River Company – all began to use steam traction, and thus the steam tract gradually began to replace the traditional less powerful water.

Another important step was the use of coal in the smelting of iron ore. Previously, wood was used for this, but by that time there was little forest in the country, and the use of pure coal made the iron fragile. The output was found when the first time coal was obtained from coke. In 1740, the Yorkshire watchmaker, Huntsman, opened the recipe for steelmaking, smelting iron with a small admixture of coal. As a result, over forty years, iron production is growing 10-fold. Throughout the island, there are new plants, each with its own version of the steam boiler. Together with these plants a new class is developing in the country – a modern mechanic.

Modern industry has produced a new class – a class of well-educated and well paid engineers, to whose advice hundreds of producers throughout the country listened with reverence. To this very class belonged the family of Stevenson from Tyneside, the inventor of the railway communication. The inventor of the locomotive did not belong to the bourgeois class – he was from among the workers, and he learned to read only at the age of 17. The slogan of the new time was “help yourself,” and the emerging mechanical institutions were a new model of higher education.

For the first time since Anglo-Saxon times, the north-western part of the country, the ancient Northumbria and Mercia, were no less important than the agricultural south, or London with its suburbs. The old textile centers in East Anglia were in the shadows because of the stubborn competition with the new centers. Until the end of the Napoleonic wars, these new centers did not require political influence, but subsequently this shift of power, finance and political influence to the north and west was the reason for the forthcoming reform of the parliament.

The industrial revolution caused a turning point in the centuries – this was the time of mass migration of the population. Men and women were gradually moving to the industrial regions of the country, and on the lands around these areas, the incredibly low price of labor of an agricultural wage worker has become blatantly evident. But the living conditions of the new working class were extremely difficult, and became even more severe because of high prices, lack of goods and unemployment, which were the consequence of the Napoleonic wars.

The perversions were more than sufficient for the first period of the formation of the new economic formation, but they were in many ways a consequence and augmentation of the evils of old industries, rather than new vices. Coal mines existed for centuries, in them miners were always paid little, provided them with terrible housing and were forced to work incredibly much. Until 1815 in Northumberland or Durham, it was not customary to investigate the circumstances of the death of miners. Women and children also worked in the mines, and they worked in horrific conditions in the damp darkness of the mine. The industrial age has simply shown these unpleasant aspects of people’s lives more sharply.


The essence of the industrial revolution lies in the transition to mechanized labor. During this process, a significant part of the production operations was transferred from the person to the machine, and the worker was assigned the role of the machine operator.

Until the beginning of the last century, the mechanization of production was carried out in all countries, which are now among the world’s economic leaders (except China). The change in the mode of production entailed a mass breaking of the established life stereotypes, radically changing the basic principles of people’s existence (that is why the term “revolution” is used for this phenomenon). Despite the talk about the emergence of a “post-industrial society,” humanity lives on these principles today, and a retreat from them for the time being threatens it with serious economic troubles, which was clearly demonstrated by the last global financial crisis.

But, if the industrial revolution brought certain benefits to humanity, today we would live in an ideal world. As in any case, a global reorganization has spawned both its own problems and its victims.


The main and most obvious advantage of mechanized production is a sharp increase in its volume and a reduction in the cost of production. Improvement of the quality should also be mentioned – the machine works more accurately than a person, avoiding random flaws. Statistical data on the volume of production in the leading industries in those countries where the industrial revolution was actively going on, shows an increase in the output of goods at times for 20-30 years. Thus, there was a saturation of the market with goods with a simultaneous decrease in prices for them. Thanks to mechanization, a very large number of people were able to take advantage of industrial production.

The industrial revolution facilitated communication between people living at a considerable distance from each other. Mechanization came in transport and communications, because accelerated production required accelerated delivery of raw materials, accelerated shipment of finished products and timely information on various manufacturing nuances. But as a result, everything was available by the use the railway, telegraph and telephone.

Mechanization contributed to the growth of education and awareness of people. The profession of an engineer appeared and became very popular. The workers were also forced to study: they had to get acquainted with the instructions to the machine, study the drawings of standardized parts. Only representatives of unskilled professions could remain uneducated, but they also tried to learn at least something if they understood that without this they would never receive any decent work.

In turn, mechanical printing machines could produce many cheap newspapers and inexpensive books. The telegraph instantly delivered information about events in remote countries. A small price for printed products made it accessible to the poor, and their horizons expanded.

Also, the industrial revolution has forever put an end to the monopoly of the church in the affairs of spiritual life and education. Future engineers needed to be taught mathematics, physics and chemistry. The restriction of church intervention in secular life can not be considered positive – it was a great step towards true free-thinking.

Finally, mechanization simply eased the labor of the workers. Machines were used on the most labor-intensive production processes.


But here’s the paradox: at the dawn of the industrial revolution, Europe was swept by the Luddite mass labor movement (after the half-legendary founder, the English weaver Ned Ludd). Luddites demanded the destruction of machines and a return to heavy manual labor! They were enemies themselves, or what? Of course not. Enemies were the entrepreneurs who conducted the mechanization of production. Because it was not done to improve the life of mankind. There was only one goal there. It is the banal greed of entrepreneurs, their complete indifference to the destinies of others, created the “shadow” side of the industrial revolution. And terrible things appearing there:

  • Significant increase in unemployment, lower wages.
  • Increase the working day (sometimes up to 16 hours!).
  • The use of female and child labor (as early as the beginning of the twentieth century no one in the United States could be surprised by the 6-year-old workers).
  • Complete ignoring of labor safety standards (with the usual lack of compensation for the injured).
  • The aggravation of social conflict (the defeat of the Paris Commune of 1871 deprived the capital of France of 100,000 inhabitants, the civil war in Russia was even more expensive).
  • Emergence of crises of overproduction, among which – the famous “great depression” (the goods were not sold out, because those who needed them did not have money to buy).

Greed also explains another dangerous consequence of the industrial revolution – environmental problems. No one thought about limiting the extraction of raw materials or cleaning emissions – this does not bring profit. The consequences of the non-standardized extraction of raw materials and uncontrolled emissions into the atmosphere are “hoarded” by mankind to this day.

But practice has shown that these negative manifestations sharply decreased when the state realized its responsibility for the destinies of all its citizens, and not just the business elite. At the moment, it is rational state power that saves us from the dark sides of mechanization (and now automation) by:

  1. Creation and maintenance of a system of social guarantees (minimum wages, pensions, assistance in case of disability).
  2. Formation of environmental legislation and control over its implementation.
  3. Restrictions on superprofits (for example, introducing a progressive tax).

Similar methods are applied in all countries and give results. Of course, for this, the government must be effective. But this in the current reality largely depends on ordinary citizens.


The industrial revolution, introducing machines into the production process and concentrating it in factories and urban areas, has gradually brought to naught two types of rural production. First, it destroyed the production of tissue at home by women and children in rural-economic areas, and secondly, such handicrafts for men as watchmaking, weaving baskets, the production of carts and carriages, milling, brewing, dressing of shoes, etc., have disappeared. Because of this, the village remained only an agricultural link in production, as a result, villagers lost their independence.

The largest landowners and large farmers used actively fencing policies for intensive land use, but this invariably hit the most vulnerable segments of the population, who had to withdraw from the land and join the growing class of the workers.

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