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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION The rise of mechanical power and the capitalistic factory system occurring in the towns replacing the more traditional rural farm work and cottage industries, especially in England from roughly 1770s to 1830s. Sometimes called the English Revolution - to associate the social change it incurred with the French Revolution and American Revolution. However unlike the other two revolutions it was not always beneficial. Engels first used the term in 1844. Before the Industrial Revolution most of the Working Class lived in the country as farm labourers. In off-seasons some turned to nail making, weaving, and other product-making jobs to supplement their farm wages. This work was usually done in the living room of their cottages - in between growing their own food and attending to other family responsibilities. Once they had finished a product they then had to hawk it around the countryside looking for a buyer. Husbands, wives and children all worked from dawn to dusk at these tasks. Whenever they could afford to they would take holiday from this monotonous, energy-sapping and hazardous work. Injuries and permanent deformities were common. With the improvement of steam power and machines Capitalists built factories to concentrate the artisans into one location and had them work for set wages or piecemeal. This decreased the rural population and built up the towns - and because of the lack of amenities also the slums. Compelled under the factory system the workers couldn't tend to family matters as readily as when they worked at home. The capitalist made huge profits but life reward and conditions for the workers didn't improve, indeed it often got worse. Why Britain? Britain did not lead the industrial revolution because its populace was any more Intelligent than their Continental cousins but because of several interrelated factors. * The land was rich in minerals, esp iron ore and coal. * By the 16th century much deforestation had occurred, thereby forcing the improvement of existing metal technology and coal power to compensate for the lack of wood as fuel and building material.
Labour Supply: Very important to old, labour-intensive industries. This is why many of them located in the inner cities, so that there was a huge pool of potential workers close by. With the growth in car ownership, and industries becoming more mechanised labour supply is not such an important factor for most industries. However, some industries rely on it. Many of the quaternary industries in the UK are found near the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge, as they wants to attract skilled, knowledgeable graduates for their industry. Markets: Access to markets is vital, and this ties in with the section on communications. In the last 19th Century the market for most industries would be fairly local. Into the 20th century the market widened with improved transport technology. Now, the market for many companies is a global one. The changing location of industry in the United Kingdom Over the past two hundred years, industry has changed remarkably in the United Kingdom. From the cottage industries of the early 19th century, through the Industrial Revolution and the growth of heavy manufacturing, to the decline of those industries and the growth of footloose, hi-tech industries. The graph in the section on 'Employment structures' showed how the employment in the different sectors has changed. Case Studies Manufacturing industry: South Wales South Wales has experienced both growth and decline as an industrial area. During the 19th Century Southern Wales became a vitally important industrial area, for both iron and steel production. The steep valleys, with their fast flowing rivers, provided power and transport. The hills were rich with raw materials, such as coal, iron ore and limestone, and the area was close to the ports of Cardiff and Swansea. In 1860 there were over 30 iron works in the valleys of South Wales. They provided vital employment for the local villages, which became almost solely dependent on the new industries.
Sharing too much information might worry multi-national companies, as they could find themselves with increased competition from local companies. Transport: Advantages: The new companies often help to improve transport links around the area. Disadvantages: The transport links that do receive financial help from the multi-nationals often only serve the direct routes and needs of that company, not the wider area as well. Employment: Advantages: They create jobs for the local population. Disadvantages: Often the jobs are highly skilled and so the company brings in their own people to do them. Also, the technological nature of many of these companies means that there aren't as many jobs as there might have been. Growth poles: Advantages: The new multi-national companies act as growth poles for other similar companies. They could encourage more companies to locate in that country once they see the benefits that it brings. Disadvantages: Only a limited range of companies find that moving to a Developing World location is beneficial. They will only move there if it makes economic sense for the country. They do not consider the potential benefits to the host country. Environment/Safety: Advantages: Companies bring with them the technology and expertise to reduce harmful pollution and create a safe working environment. Disadvantages: Many multi-national companies have very poor records on pollution and worker safety. They have been accused of trying to cut corners with both safety and pollution in order to keep costs down. Multi-national companies in Brazil: Brazil has encouraged multi-national companies to locate in the industrial areas around the major cities of Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo. Excellent transport links to most places in the world have encouraged companies to locate in the area. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Fiat and Volkswagen all have located in this area. There are plentiful natural resources, a large workforce and lots of suitable land for large-scale factories. Large industrial areas have been specifically set up outside of these great cities for the companies to locate in.
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