| The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
|The Early Industrial Revolution, 1760-1851
These series of interactive maps take you on a virtual
tour of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.
Internet Encyclopedia, British History 1700-1950: The Textile Industry
This comprehensive site presents numerous images of the
people, technology, machinery, and towns associated with the industrialization
of the textile industry.
Industrial Revolution: Cotton Textiles
This site offers several diagrams on the mechanical and
technological developments in cotton textile manufacturing in Great Britain
in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
of Textile Manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution: Key Technological
Some excellent historical illustrations of textile machinery
can be found at this site.
Within this site are numerous images depicting changes
in the manufacturing of iron during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth
This site's essay includes several detailed sketches
of this early steam engine.
Included with this site's essay are several images of
Watt's steam engine and laboratory.
Amazing Animated Steam Engine
Watch the process by which various steam engines operated
at this great site.
This site presents two images of the world's first hot-air
balloon, an eighteenth-century invention.
This site's exploration of this nineteenth-century British
inventor's life features a few images of his Analytical Engine, which was
an early version of a computer.
Internet Encyclopedia, British History 1700-1900: Railways in the Nineteenth
At this site you can find images of many early trains,
including George Stephenson's The Rocket.
History Sourcebook: The Spread of Railways in the Nineteenth Century
This site offers several colorful charts to illustrate
the railroad boom that occurred in the Western world after 1830.
of Crystal Palace
The Iron Bridge
This site offers contemporary images of the first cast-iron
bridge, located near Telford, Great Britain.
Inventors and Inventions
Among other items, this site presents a few images of
History Sourcebook: Tables Illustrating the Spread of Industrialization
These charts focus on the industrialization of the West
Internet Encyclopedia, British History 1700-1900: Child Labor
This site provides many historical illustrations of life
in nineteenth-century British factories.
The authors of Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its
Peoples (Second Edition) spend much time exploring the causes of the
Industrial Revolution. One important theme that they highlight is
the importance of the expansion of trade during the eighteenth century.
You might want to review Trade and Inventiveness on page 600. When
considering trade, the authors are not referring to the increase in trade
within Great Britain alone as a source of the Industrial Revolution, but
rather to the global revolution in trade that began with the maritime revolution
of the fifteenth century (see Chapter 17, The Maritime Revolution to 1550).
Industrialization was a global process from its beginning. To explore
this important theme further, go to A
Taste of Empire. As you read this article, reflect on the ways
in which the increased consumption of tea, tobacco, and sugar in Great
Britain contributed to the Industrial Revolution. Consider significant
developments associated with the expansion of global trade, such as financial
innovations, increased wealth, and the proliferation of the middle class.
Also review Mass Production: Pottery on pages 602-603 of the textbook.
After reading this section, explain the importance of the advances in global
commercial relations that you have explored in Chapters 17 through 22,
to the Industrial Revolution that began in Great Britain during the late
In terms of technology, the most important stimulus of
the Industrial Revolution was the development of the steam engine, which
created energy to propel machines, boats, and trains. However, the
process that produced this machinery did not emerge overnight; it took
more than a century for entrepreneurs to realize the engine's full potential
and for mechanical engineers to perfect its operation. To begin analyzing
this process, go to The
Miner's Friend and study the page's text and images. Then
click on the hyperlinked section "To the Gentlemen Adventurers in the Mines
of England" and read that text. Also click on the word "Description"
at the bottom of the page and review that site, which is a sales brochure.
What is its author, Thomas Savory, selling and why does he call his product
"the engine for raising water by fire"? Who is his audience and what
strategy is he using to convince these people that they need his product?
Thomas Savory, who marketed a machine that could pump water out of coal
mines, was one of many engineers who contributed to the development of
the steam engine. Next, go to The
Newcomen Engine. After reading this site's material, explain
Thomas Newcomen's major improvement to the steam engine? Now go to
Watt 1736-1819. (Be sure to click on the hyperlinks here and
watch the animation of Watt's steam engines.) Discuss how Watt improved
the steam engine and explain what factors allowed him to spend so much
time developing this technology? Do you think that these factors
demonstrate that more and more people were using this machine? How
did the introduction of steam revolutionize coal mining in Great Britain
during the eighteenth century?
Aside from reducing the costs of heating homes, the increase
in coal production made possible by the use of steam engines greatly affected
other sectors of the British economy during the eighteenth century,
particularly the manufacturing of iron. To understand this development,
go to The
Industrial Revolution: Andrew Darby. After reading the brief
introduction, click on "Next Page" at the bottom of the screen and read
the next section, "When was coal first used at Coalbrookdale?" Again,
click on "Next Page" at the page's bottom and then read the next section,
"Reynolds and the Reverbatory Furnace." How did entrepreneurs
utilize the increase in coal production to improve the production of iron?
What technological developments occurred in iron production during the
eighteenth century? What was iron used for during this period?
Discuss how improvements in iron production affected the British economy.
Do you think that there were new uses for iron as a result of the changes
in production? You might want to examine Invention
of cast-iron rails by Reynolds and The
First Iron Bridge for clues.
Another area of the British economy revolutionized by
steam engines was textile manufacturing. Read the essay and study
the images at The
Industrial Revolution: The Growth of Cottage Industry; then check
out the links provided there. Discuss the cottage industry by focusing
on the following questions. How and where were most cotton textiles produced
in Great Britain before the introducion of the steam engine?
At that time what eighteenth-century technological developments had helped
to increase the productivity of workers in the cottage industry?
These technological advancements had transformed the British textile
industry, making Britain one of the world's leading producers of textiles
by the end of the eighteenth century. Then steam engines revolutionized--or
completely altered--the British textile sector. The introduction
of steam disrupted the cottage industry and led to the birth of the factory
system. To explore this development further, read Modern
History Sourcebook: Richard Guest: The Steam Loom, 1823. Next,
view the image at the top of the page entitled "Power Loom Factory of Thomas
Robinson Esqr, Stockport (About 1835)" at Illustrations
of Textile Manufacture in the Industrial Revolution Key Technological Innovations.
Compare and contrast this image with those under the section "How Cottage
Industry Works" at The
Industrial Revolution: The Growth of Cottage Industry.
How did steam engines revolutionize the production of cotton textiles?
Did the introduction of steam change the nature of what was produced
or how it was produced?
The steam engine also lead to the development of whole
new enterprises, particularly in transportation. For example, engineers
began fastening steam engines to ships to improve on this existing mode
of travel. Some British engineers, however, utilized the steam engine
to create the railroad locomotive, a whole new form of transportation.
To understand this process better, go to Locomotives
of the 19th Century: Steam Locomotives. For more information
about the first passenger train, see The
Rocket. How did these engineers take advantage of the technological
advancements of the previous century? Explain what roles the invention
of the steam engine and improvements in iron production and coal mining
played in the development of locomotives? What impact did the growth
of railroads have on factory owners involved in the textile and the porcelain
industries? How did it affect ordinary people?
In the introduction to this chapter, the authors state
that the Industrial Revolution transformed "human life in unprecedented
ways." In particular, the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
were a pivotal era for women in the Western world. Chapter 23, Revolutionary
Changes in the Atlantic World, 1750-1850, points out that the introduction
of concepts such as equality and popular sovereignty caused
many women to adopt new attitudes and revise their self perceptions.
An even stronger influence was the Industrial Revolution, which completely
altered most women's lives. Go to Women
and World History Curriculum: The Plight of Women's Work in the Early Industrial
Revolution in England and Wales. Be sure to examine each document
at this site, starting with those relating to textile workers. Next,
read the section beginning with historian Stephen Lubar's description of
the Lowell textile mills at Mill
Workers. For a firsthand account of the Lowell mills in Massachusetts
during the early Industrial Revolution in the United States, see Harriet
Robinson: Lowell Mill Girls.
After reviewing these sites, answer the following questions.
How did the Industrial Revolution alter the lives of the women you read
about at these sites? Be sure to consider how much time they spent
working and being away from household responsibilities. Why did many
employers prefer to hire female labor? Also discuss the reasons why
the pay scale for women was lower than it was for male workers, despite
the higher demand for female employment. Why do you think that so
many women and children were susceptible to the kind of exploitation described
in the documents that you examined? Do you think that the early Industrial
Revolution gave women greater freedom from family obligations? Were
there any attempts during this period to improve the plight of working
women? Did these women do anything to improve their own situations?
Another dramatic transformation caused by the Industrial
Revolution was the rapid growth and change in cities. Begin your
analysis of this phenomenon by reading the brief essays and firsthand descriptions
(where applicable) at Manchester,
For another firsthand account of Manchester life, see Modern
History Sourcebook: Friederich Engels: Industrial Manchester, 1844).
City Transformed: Railroads and their Influence on the Growth of Chicago
in the 1850's. While reviewing these sites, consider the following
questions. What were these cities like before they were affected
by the Industrial Revolution, and what were they like afterwards?
What aspect of the Industrial Revolution particularly impacted their growth?
Did they expand due to increased manufacturing, the proliferation of the
railroads, or their locations near important sources of raw materials such
as coal? Perhaps a combination of factors contributed to their expansion.
How did observers describe the impact of industrialization on these cities?
Did they focus on the increase and amount of newly acquired wealth or on
environmental consequences such as poor sanitation and the spread of contagious
diseases? After reflecting on these questions, list all of the ways
in which industrialization altered the urban landscape. Be sure to
think in terms of population, economics, sanitation, transporation, quality
of life, and equality of wealth.