• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Causes of the Industrial Revolution in Britain

Extracts from this document...


The Causes of the Industrial Revolution in Britain The period in British history known as "The Industrial Revolution" brought about unprecedented changes to British society, culminating in the transition from a mainly cottage industry-based economy around the time of 1750 to a almost fully industrialised and machine-based economy around 1850. This period of change experienced increases of output in agriculture where "both output per hectare and output per person rose" and also in manufacturing industry where "there was spectacular growth in output and labour productivity in two industries, cotton textiles and iron smelting" (both from More, 1997). The growth increases in these two sectors lead to greater specialisation in terms of trade, and also spurred an accelerated rate of growth in the economy as a whole. However, despite the transformations made to the British Economy during the Industrial Revolution, economic historians are still in dispute as to what actually caused the Industrial Revolution - was it due to the supply side factors or were the demand side factors the more influential? David Landes (1969) states that there was a, "piling up of various factors which triggered off a chain reaction." The demand side factors had the effect of not just simply increasing aggregate demand in the economy, but additionally exerting upwards pressure on prices, which then provided incentives for producers to increase production. ...read more.


The improvements in farming that were made at this time significantly lowered farmer's long-term costs, thus providing an incentive to increase output which, in itself, effectively lowered prices. This coincided with an increase in population which, through increased demand, would have caused significant price rises had it not been for the balancing effect provided by the increase in agricultural output at the same time. As mentioned earlier, Britain did not fall into a Malthusian trap during this period, and as food prices did not increase greatly, there was no cut in consumer's effective purchasing power, which would have caused a decrease in demand for consumer goods and would have greatly hindered Britain's industrial progress. Additionally, the "Agricultural Revolution" caused an increase in demand for specific farming goods, such as iron ploughs that many farmers used to great effect to increase their total output. Demand also increased for wood, and one can assume that growth in many other industrial sectors remained steady as a result of the increases in demand caused by the increase in agricultural output. However, the role of agriculture was seen as only passive, not decisive due to the fact that industrial growth was helped by the increases in agricultural output but not caused by them. ...read more.


Due to the population growth experienced at this time, labour was also in strong supply and coal was already readily available after extensive mining for centuries (a fact that would later assist the development of the steam engine). As shown in the arguments above, there were many crucial factors in instigating the Industrial Revolution, both on the demand side and the supply side. Population growth and the increase in foreign trade were vital in creating a vibrant economy for industry to flourish. This was assisted by an agrarian revolution that occurred at the same time that provided the means for consumers to continue to purchase consumer goods and increased demand for various manufactured goods. On the supply side, technical innovation and the agreeable state of labour and capital, effectively managed by risk-taking entrepreneurs, provided the means for industrial growth to escalate. Due to the obvious importance of many of the factors, it is difficult to distinguish between supply side and demand side as being the more crucial, with both being intertwined with one another. However, there is much evidence to suggest that demand was the decisive factor as the increases in demand due to population growth and the growth in trade ultimately led to producers being stimulated to innovate and lower which would cause the growth in output so vital to sustaining the Industrial Revolution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Marketing & Research section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Marketing & Research essays

  1. The importance of having a business plan and the factors that can affect it.

    The plan can allocate milestones to specific individuals and ultimately help management to monitor progress. Once written, a plan can be disseminated quickly and will also prompt further questions and feedback by the readers helping to ensure a more collaborative plan is produced.

  2. Marketing Research

    the sampling plan 6.3 SAMPLING TECHNIQUES 6.3.1 PROBABILITY SAMPLING TECHNIQUES 6.3.2 NON PROBABILITY SAMPLING TECHNIQUES 6.4 TYPES OF ERRORS IN MARKETING RESEARCH The previous chapter covered in detail stage 3 of step 3 i.e questionnaire design. This chapter will take a close look at stage 4 of step 3 of marketing research namely "SAMPLING PLAN".


    The share of public sector and private sector in the production of steel during 1990-91 was 46% and 54% respectively, while during 2001-02 the same was 32% and 68% respectively. This change was brought about by deregulation and decontrol of the Indian iron & steel sector in 1991.

  2. Applied Business Studies

    * Shared profits - owners within the partnership campaign have to share their profits, which may cause a disturbance within the company. The more owners they have, the less profit and wages they get for themselves. * Shared liability - all the debts are not placed on one person's shoulders, its spread out from within the company.

  1. Business Enterprise unit 5

    service will be like hobby to me, rather that a full time job and its always good to do somerthing you enjoy doing. I also know that most people own cars today and some family's even have two cars and due to the busy lifestyle they will not have time

  2. Aravind Eye Hospital - Case

    visited the United States for the first time to attend a conference on the rehabilitation of the blind. It was at this conference in New York that Dr. V. struck a life-long friendship with Sir John Wilson, the founder of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (now known

  1. Consumer Decision Making Process for Purchasing Property in Spain

    Gender of Respondents and Efficiency of Information Gathered (n=101) 51 Figure 14. Source of Advice and the Reason for Purchase (n=101) 52 Figure 15. "Did the Information You Gathered Help You Make a Better Purchase Decision?" (n=101) 53 Figure 16. Amount of Information Provided by the Company Used and Purchase Satisfaction (n=101)

  2. Before 1750 Elsecar was a small out-of-the-way place Discuss.

    The map from 1711 shows me that Elsecar was an out of the way settlement before 1750. The map is 39 years before 1750 so it is useful because it shows just one house representing Elsecar, but two coal collieries were opened between 1711 and 1750 so the map could be different in 1750.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work