The Industrial Revolution was not a sudden revolution. It happened gradually. The mass production of goods brought revolutionary changes in the political, social, and economic life of the people. The Main Causes of the Industrial Revolution are as follows
Causes of the Industrial Revolution
- The beginning of the Renaissance and the Reformation led to an awakening among the people in Europe. Inventions by the British scientists brought a revolution in the industries of Great Britain.
- The invention of the ‘Spinning Jenny’ by James Hargreaves in 1769 increased the speed of spinning. The invention of the ‘Water Frame’ by Richard Arkwright produced stronger and harder yarn as compared to the Spinning Jenny and ushered in the factory system.
- England had a large colonial empire. It procured raw materials from colonies at cheaper rates for its industries. India was one of the countries from where it purchased raw materials like cotton at extremely low rates.
- England not only brought raw materials at cheap rates but also sold its manufactured goods in the colonial markets. Thus, the availability of markets led to the flourishing of industries in England.
- Several raw materials such as iron and coal were available in England. Further, it was a supreme naval power. It was able to procure raw materials from other parts of the world by ships. The moderate climate of England helped in the development of textile industries.
- As England began to reap huge benefits from international trade, industries in England began to expand bringing about an increase in the production of goods and materials. Napoleonic Wars had damaged the trade and industry of the continental countries.
- However, since these wars were never fought in Britain, a long period of peace prevailed which led to the development of industrial production in England.
- The decline in feudalism resulted in a large number of unemployed peasants. They came to cities in search of jobs, and thus, laborers were easily available for factories in England.
- The use of charcoal and tar enabled the construction of roads in many European countries. In 1804, the locomotive engine was manufactured by George Stephenson. This improved the transport system in England.
- The invention of the steam engine by James Watt led to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. In 1813, the railways ran with the help of steam.
- Many protestant artisans of Spain and France migrated to England for the fear of religious persecution in their own countries. The English government provided them with shelter and monetary help. Their skills helped in the development of industries in England.
After the Industrial Revolution began in England, it gradually spread to Europe and America. The cotton textile industry became a leading industry in 1820. Iron and steel and chemical industries opened in France, Russia, Germany, and Japan. In Russia, industries were nationalized after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Also, Read Renaissance