"An industrial revolution is the term generally applied to the complex of economic changes which are involved in the transformation of a pre-industrial, traditional type of economy, characterized by low productivity and normally stagnant growth rates, to a modern industrialized stage of economic development, in which output per head and standards of living are relatively high, and economic growth is normally sustained."CIPOLLA, C.M.
(1975).This essay will critically examine a number of reasons for the take off of the industrial revolution in Britain. It will decisively explain a number of social changes which took place within Britain due to industrialisation. The article will then analyse the reasons why the state and industry would wish to work together and will evaluate the consequences of the industrialisation for the role of the state.
Rural Life & New TechniquesLife in rural England was hard. Poverty was rife. It was an effort to make ends meet and people were looking for ways of easing the pressures of the struggle to survive. Land enclosure had been taking place for centuries, and only now was it showing signs of it having had any real effect.
The enclosures had allowed land to be reclaimed from pasture (and had taken away the rights to land from the peasants) so that it would eventually be in shape for production.Land EnclosureEnclosures were the primary stages in rural development that resulted in the confiscation of what had usually been common land so as to prepare it for eventual farming. Enclosures slowly transformed English agriculture from the antiquated system of open fields farmed by the peasants, into a system of state run operations. Enclosures were created for different reasons at different times, although mainly for profit, and the response to the development depended on whether it was affecting valuable arable land or common wastes.The 'Open Field Enclosure System' in operation from 10th - 18th CenturiesAlong with the implementation of the new machinery came the incentives gained from new idea on crop rotation and animal husbandry, a follow on from the earliest of times when the first people settled with their crops and their animals, claiming patches of earth upon which to grow food. This would have been predominantly egalitarian to begin with, but would eventually have become a more isolated practice with boundary posts and fences being erected as a way of identifying territory as much as anything else.
Crop RotationThe Norfolk Crop Rotation SystemOnline at www.staffs.ac.uk"Crop rotation is the arrangement whereby the successive development of different crops in a specified order on the same fields is employed instead of the one-crop technique or a shoddy style." Micropedia Britannica.This pointed to the usefulness of selecting rotation crops.
Therefore the system proved to be a success and was continue, though agricultural development was a slow process that took shape over a long time period and was the result of a number of smaller changes such as..."More sophisticated irrigation, better tools made from iron, improved ploughs, the breeding of more productive varieties of crops, better crop rotation and the circulation of new crops from the 16th Century onwards." (PONTING, C. 2001:638)The agricultural revolution had also weakened the old feudal bonds that had been he core necessity of the structure for so long, and had required the cooperation of the peasantry by providing them with both support and protection.
New ideas were surfacing and the masses were no longer needed.Duel-Revolution"When cotton began to compete with wool, Lancashire had all the attributes needed to turn it into the workshop of the world: a moist climate, an experienced, honest work-force and, not least, a collection of talented and imaginative men whose inventive genius produced the machines that made the Industrial Revolution roll." Online at www.cottontimes.
co.uk. Accessed 13/02/04With the inventions of new machinery came increased productivity inasmuch that these new appliances considerably speeded up the process from sowing to harvesting, thereby reducing the time it took for the commodities to reach their destination. This created a much quicker link between the produce and the destination.The consequences of these agricultural changes is that, along with the ever reliable imports of Irish grain, butter and meat that had, until recently (and necessarily) supplemented the poor harvesting practices being followed in Britain until the agricultural revolution.
There was a population boom that far outstretched the imagination and created a labour surplus that coincided with the newly implemented farming practices and thus began the freeing up of the labour from rural Britain, and this labour motivated by the possibility of a new life headed for the cities where there had to be work."At the time, cereals were distributed into furrows ('drilling') by hand. However, Tull had noticed that traditional heavy sowing densities were not very efficient so he instructed his staff to drill at very precise, low densities. BBC History Webpage.IndustrialisationThe industrial revolution created machinery for the land that then freed the labour which moved away from rural Britain and into the cities thus creating a boom in the urban population. This urban population boom produced the manpower necessary for running the new industrial machinery which would revolutionize production.
Increased production in turn created more money which would be re-invested into the economy. Money was plentiful and was poured into the economic structure, including the transport system - both road and canals. New industry everywhere needed ample capital, and since it was seen as such a good risk, the money was made available..A former tower mill at Cottenham, Cambs.
This one was at Haverhill, Suffolk.Why would the State want to work so closely with industry...? Simple.
..for money. Industry offered the government a means of increasing its revenue no end. Industry would provide opportunities for the incoming now-itinerant rural labourers to work, therefore giving them increased spending power.
The government could tax the trade, it could tax the workers and it could tax the spending.The early-mid 19th century was a turning point for English innovation. Britain was to become a world leader in industry, a position it would hold for numerous decades.ClassMercantilism had procured the import of foodstuffs, tobacco, coffee and tea and other goods such as cloths, gold, silver and the ever-lucrative slave trade. This was fuelledby the increasing demand for exquisite items such as sugar, which was the major driving incentive of the slave trade. This is the origin of a large portion of the capital needed to fund the revolution.
The money was there to be invested, the incentives were there for those with the capital and the ideas were there for the industrialists. Things needed to change in England. It was a country of outdated and useless methods, but this was about to change.As the result of any industrialisation process comes the inspiration of a class structure, and this can no truer than for capitalism which is what the revolution was about.
..the creating of a more productive state that would fill the pockets of the bourgeoisie at ever increasing speeds. And you can only have a bourgeoisie when you have something to compare it with..
.the proletariat...the working class, and, arguably, the backbone of any industrialised society.
The profits from mercantilism were poured into both scientific research and the building of new technology and factories. This investment produced machinery that would fast increase productivity and the growth of trade which in turn accelerated the growth of the cities because of the growing need for larger premises and housing for the incoming, and now homeless ex-rural inhabitants.Science, funded by the state that now saw the possibilities in industry in terms of taxation, was producing the goods. New machinery was being introduced, such as the Spinning Jenny (1770) for the textile industry and the water frame (1769) used to drive the machines in the factories.
"The water frame was arguably the core innovation that powered the drive in to the industrial revolution, as it was the influence behind the power". Online at www.schoolshistory.org.uk.It is not difficult to see why the state and industry would want to work together in the imposition of such a massive enterprise.
..the taxes that could be gained from this endeavour would have been astronomical. The government would have been in a position to tax at every turn. They would have been in a position to loan at least some of the money needed for the many ventures in operation at that time, they could have then ensured a reasonable return on this money as it was as sure a bet as they had probably seen in decades.
New factories were being built with the capital profit provided by investors, namely through the mercantilist traders from overseas dealings. There were jobs for the working class, a new term created as a consequence of the revolution. There was increased urban squalor due the sheer numbers of people and the inadequacy of the services on offer.An experimental windmill After a conversion into a waterwith a wheel in place of the sails tower.
None now surviveThere was, as a result of the population boom, a rise in the services of prostitutes as people were forced to make ends meet in any way they could, and so they did. The increase in national tax revenue and national wealth went through the roof. Money was coming out of the woodworkThe influence of the middle class bourgeoisie in political terms mounted as their grip on the industrial economy strengthened. The national infrastructure was better than it had ever been. Immigration increased as people learned about the better standards of living to be had in England. Things were really on the move.
The industrial revolution created the need to revamp the many inferior public services on offer to the masses. The health problem brought about by the increase in demographic figures was such that in the 1830's the Central board of Health, along with 1200 local Boards, was created to combat the growing problem of TB, Typhoid, Measles, Whooping Cough and Scarlet Fever.The 19th century also saw a rise in professional services. Along with the increase of manufacturing power came the necessity for skilled labour.
People were needed to drive the new power that had been harnessed. People were needed to build bridges using the heavy machinery. People were needed to oversee the work, to pay the wages and to keep account of the money changing hands at ever increasing speeds.The expansion was endless. Architects were needed, as were secretaries and insurance agents.
Due to the increasing danger of accidents due to the close proximity of the worker to the machinery and its ever-increasing size, there was a growing need for medical staff.A former windmill following conversion, incorporating a house in 1914.All these changes affected the application of the one service that would be needed by most of these professions...
education. There was a need to school the workers in the employment of the innovative engineering equipment."The speed of the growth of industry expanded the need for a literate working class, and, when simple education was not enough, technical education needed to follow." CIPOLLA, C. M. (1973).
Natural ResourcesThe two main natural reserves that Britain has are coal, iron and steel which were central to the industrial revolution. The conversion of coal to coke made it cheaper to smelt iron ore, while also producing gas for lighting from the early 19th century. Coal was used to fuel the boilers that provided steam power for the draining of mines, factory machinery and the locomotives. This increased their capacity for speed therefore cutting down on energy consumption and time wastage.With a steady increase in the demand for iron at home, the overseas market was also developed.
This was a bonus for the Welsh iron and steel industry. The miles of rail track went..."from 6000 in 1850 to 13,500 by the end of the 1860s". Online at www.
revision-notes.co.uk (2004).The need for raw materials and new markets was so pressing an issue that the industrialised nations (particularly Britain) took control of Africa, China, India, South East Asia, and others. The Empire had a negative effect these cultures, in that it destroyed their economy and prevented development. Colonialisation did not completely end until after World War II.
Britain's roads were bad...most traversable routes went only a short way from town before you were bogged down, so a series of turnpikes was built between..
."1751 & 1771."(www.revision.co.
uk - 2004). This made the travelling of stage and horse easier over longer distances, even though the roads needed repairing again by the start of the 1800s.Turn of the Century Transport'Forder Royal' Hansom Carriage, from an advertisement in Kelly's Directory of Warwickshire (1896)Two Scots, McAdam ; Telford, sorted this out when they conceived of the idea that more substantial surtfaces were needed..."crushed rock packed in thin layers and large flat stones respectively.
" ."(www.revision.co.uk - 2004).
As a result, the road were faster and smoother to travel which also increased the delivery speeds for manufactured goods.ConclusionThe industrial revolution was both cause and consequence of the pulling together of a myriad parts including, demography, technology, agrarian, commercial and transportation. It was the dragging up of a country from pre-historic attitudes to one of values. The revolution brought with it fresh human ethics, the way people gaze upon each other and to the way the State viewed both.The drive in technology created the beginnings of a societal structure that was now able, at least in principle, to provide for its citizens. The State had become paternalistic.
The State was now looking towards its people as being part of the communal set up, and not simply as individual entities best left to fend for them selves.The country had begun to pull together, and as a result was becoming a nation of forward thinkers. This was the beginning of the welfare state that has avoided definition since its inception following this massive turnaround in British history.