McCellan- The Industrial Revolution by David Barney

The industrial revolution that occurred in the eighteenth century had caused considerable changes to society like that of the Neolithic Revolution that occurred over 12,000 years ago where humans adopted food production. The onset of the industrial revolution had some unlikely origins as progress grew out of necessity rather than abundance. In England, the use of wood for fuel and shipbuilding had led to a shortage of wood in the country. Upon this realization, an alternative was needed.

The alternative to wood in England would be that of coal, although there still existed several problems with coal. As for smelting iron, coal was not entirely feasible to use in a blast furnace. It wasn’t until Abraham Darby discovered a method which worked by using coke or charred coal. The development of new smelting techniques would also lead to the development of the widely successful Newcomen steam engine. This engine would also be improved upon by James Watts. These discoveries were for the most part done without much previous scientific knowledge and mostly using tinkering.

The application of steam engines would further expand leading to more mechanization. Steam engines were initially used to clear water out of mine but eventually began to replace water mills as the primary source of mechanical power. Eventually, steam engines became more compact. This led to Richard Trevithick developing an early prototype of a locomotive. While unsuccessful, his locomotive did display potential application of the locomotive.

Before the locomotive, the fastest way to move a lot of goods at once was by boat. Canals would allow for boats to travel inland to more destinations. In the mid-18th century canals in England began to be constructed and becoming widespread after. Railroads would eventually take off in England in 1830 after the first public railway was opened between Liverpool and Manchester.

One of the earliest industries to experience the industrial revolution was the textile industry. Inventions such as the flying shuttle would speed up the process of making textiles but eventually, the process of textile would become more mechanized. By 1833 the textile industry would have over 100,000 power operating in England.

Along with technological revolutions came considerable social changes. Prior to the industrial revolution, over 90% of the European population lived in rural areas. The creation of large factors led to an influx of people moving to urban areas. Factories themselves began to replace the small-scale cottage industry. A large number of low paid workers also resulted in different social classes of people emerging. With a working class emerging new ideas such as those proposed by Karl Marx in this book Das Kapital which envisions the working class as the ruling class.

While many of the inventions created during the industrial revolution were done mostly independent of science, a scientific revolution would occur. The Royal Society would be a scientific society that would include engineers such as James Watt and John Smeaton.

The industrial revolution would over the course of a few hundred years change societies around the world dramatically. As it started in England, the revolution itself spread across Europe and North America. While inventions such as the steam engines and power loom made certain aspects of society easier, it also led to dramatic social changes. For the most part, a shortage of trees in England resulted in the development of several new technologies and political ideologies like Marxism.

(Word Count 565)

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/industrial-revolution/pdf/teacher_guide.pdf

https://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution/industrial-revolution

The first line is about the industrial revolution as it had occurred in the United States. The article mentions had the revolution began from Samuel Slater bring technologies over from England to the United States. In the United States, there was widespread construction of canals and railroads. The article also brought up the fact that the Civil War occurred during the American Industrial Revolution. Industrialist such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller would become prominent figures for their wealth and contributions to American industrialization. Similar to the McCellan article, in the United States, social changes would also occur as result from industrialization such as the progressive movement.

(Word Count 108)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *