Industrial Revolution

Overview and Causes of the Industrial Revolution
– Period of global transition towards manufacturing processes
– Succeeded the Agricultural Revolution
– Occurred from around 1760 to 1820-1840
– Transition from hand production to machines
– Rise of mechanized factory system
– Development of trade and rise of business
– Technological and architectural innovations
– Britain’s leading commercial nation with a global trading empire
– Military and political hegemony on the Indian subcontinent
– Economic growth and increase in standard of living

Timeline and Debates of the Industrial Revolution
– Debate on the precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution
– Rapid industrialization in Britain, followed by Europe and the US
– Economic recession in the late 1830s to early 1840s
– Rapid economic growth after 1870 in the Second Industrial Revolution
– Etymology of the term Industrial Revolution
– French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto’s use of the term in 1799
– Raymond Williams’ mention of the term’s usage in literature
– Friedrich Engels’ reference to the industrial revolution in 1844
– Credit given to Arnold Toynbee for popularizing the term in 1881
– Debate among historians on the gradual nature of the changes

Factors and Requirements for Industrialization
– Six factors facilitating industrialization, including agricultural productivity and natural resources
– Importance of managerial and entrepreneurial skills
– Need for transportation infrastructure and political stability
– Availability of financial capital for investment
– Exportation of industrial expertise to other countries, such as Western Europe and Japan

Textile Manufacture
– Britain imported large amounts of raw cotton in the 18th century
– The cottage industry in Lancashire spun and woven most of the imported cotton
– Productivity in Britain was three times higher than in India
– The British textile industry used increasing amounts of cotton over time
– Cotton factories in Britain numbered approximately 900 in 1797
– Wool spinning was mechanized during the Industrial Revolution but lagged behind cotton
– The first highly mechanized factory was John Lombes’ water-powered silk mill
– Cotton textiles had a long history in regions like India, China, and the Middle East
– Europe struggled to obtain cotton before colonial plantations in the Americas
– The cotton gin solved the problem of removing seeds from upland green seeded cotton
– European colonial empires played a significant role in the textile trade
– Cotton textiles were purchased in India and sold in Southeast Asia
– Indian textiles were in demand in Europe, but cotton consumption was minor until the early 19th century
– Flemish refugees began weaving cotton cloth in English towns in the 17th century
– The British government passed Calico Acts to protect the domestic woollen and linen industries

Iron Production
– The reverberatory furnace allowed for increased iron production
– The Iron Bridge in Shropshire, England, was the world’s first iron bridge
– Bar iron was the commodity form used for making hardware goods
– Charcoal and coke were used in iron production
– The production of cast iron and bar iron increased over time
– Coal replaced wood and bio-fuels as the primary fuel in iron production
– Abraham Darby made progress using coke to fuel blast furnaces in 1709
– Coke pig iron was mainly used for cast iron goods, while charcoal was still preferred for making wrought iron
– The scarcity of water power for blast bellows was overcome by the steam engine
– The use of coal in iron smelting started before the Industrial Revolution, using coal reverberatory furnaces known as cupolas
– The use of coke made the column of materials flowing down the blast furnace more porous and allowed for increased furnace height
Cast iron became cheaper and widely available, leading to its use as a structural material for bridges and buildings
– Conversion of cast iron to wrought iron was done in a finery forge before the development of potting and stamping processes
– Henry Cort’s puddling process, developed in 1784, produced structural grade iron at a relatively low cost
– Puddling involved slow oxidation of molten pig iron in a reverberatory furnace, manually stirred by a puddler
– Rolling was an important part of the puddling process, expelling slag and consolidating the mass of hot wrought iron
– Puddling became widely used after 1800, reducing the need for iron imports in Britain
– British iron production increased, leading to a decline in imports and the country becoming a net exporter of bar iron
– The use of limestone and low sulfur coal helped reduce the sulfur content in iron production
– The use of coke in iron production made the process more efficient and allowed for the production of larger quantities
– The increased capacity of blast furnaces and the use of coke made cast iron a widely available and cheaper materialSources: