The Industrial Revolution
His 104: World Civilizations II
July 29, 2010
In the late 18th century Europe a revolution occurred that’s power was so immense, and strong, it would change the course of World history forever. This wasn’t a violent, or political one either, it was one that changed profoundly the way goods were created and sold in Europe. This was the Industrial Revolution, and it marked a time in history when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, social and economic changes. These changes began rapidly in Europe, and spread virally throughout the World. Such changes like the cotton gin, changed the face of slavery, or the use of ...view middle of the document...
Basic elements for doing agriculture remained deep rooted in agricultural societies, and new inventions ceased to exist for up until this point. Historians have realized why the Industrial Revolution did not start earlier in World history because of the simplicity of the manufacturing system. Domestic manufacturing used simplistic equipment, that they purchased themselves, requiring very little amount of investment. Wealthier members of society purchased raw materials to be manufactured into sellable goods, and arranged for their sales. Output only expanded because of population growth, not technology. Although the system worked in producing goods to sustain smaller economies, the low wages that were paid reduced the inspiration to implement technological change.
The agricultural changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution led to major population growth with the larger food supply it produced. By the late 17th century major changes in agriculture led to large growths in population. This started primarily by the way they grew crops. Up until this time grains were the primary form of agricultural products. The major problem with growing grain was the lands were left fallow because the initial growth of product robbed the soil of vital nutrients for production. It was eventually learned that certain crops like potatoes, often looked with scorn because of the high calorie, and the misunderstood use, became a major staple. This happened because the crop actually added nitrogen to the soil, and land wasn’t needed to fallow because it didn’t rob the soil of nutrients like grain did. The Dutch also showed the World new methods of draining marshlands, and uses of fertilizer, expanding more land available for crop production. With more crops equaled more people. At this time there was also a lag in mortality rates from disease like the Black Death, which decimated 1/3 of Europe centuries prior. The growth of the population required people to push further than they were used to into society to find work. They often were subjected to taking new and sometimes unpleasant jobs, providing growing markets for inexpensive goods.
Vast improvements in European science added another avenue for the Industrial Revolution to take place. Europe was already starting to be more active commercially, when advances in science became a driving force. Scientists and researchers got with merchants and manufacturers to talk about the very real possibility of inventions to be made that would advance society at a whole. Chemistry advancements during this time expanded exponentially. New techniques for manufacturing and glazing pottery came about through these changes. A more impressive use for chemistry was the research that led to understanding of how gases worked. This scientific discovery pushed the invention of using steam, and the power it held. Before this discovery wind, and water were used, but both of these mediums required certain rules that...