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"The expansion of heavy industry from c1850 was the key point in making Britain a fully industrialized society by 1914." How far do you agree with this judgement?

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"The expansion of heavy industry from c1850 was the key point in making Britain a fully industrialized society by 1914" How far do you agree with this judgement Industrial Revolution could be argued to be "the most fundamental transformation of human life in the history of world."i Furthermore, the definition of the industrial revolution is as abstract as what had enabled it to happen. A French economist, Jerome-Adolphe Blanqui, first used the term industrial revolution in 1837, when he claimed that the social and economical change in Britain is parallel to the French revolution of 1789, in the manner of the speed and impact. His view was later criticised by Sir John Clapham, who argued that the process of industrialisation in Britain at the time took a more evolutionary line, and that there was no empirical evidence of change by 1851. Nevertheless, the definition of industrial revolution can be approached in three ways. The first view considers an industrial revolution as a process which altered certain important sectors of the economy, notably heavy industry and the development of factory production, in a relatively short time period. The second view would place emphasis upon the changing nature of employment from primary activities1, to secondary activities2 and eventually tertiary activities3. A third attributable to W.W. Rostow sees the industrial revolution as a dramatic complex changes triggered by the transformation of Britain's cotton industry into a full blown multiplier effect of the economy, thus resulting in a 'self sustained' growth. It does become questionable whether Britain was a fully industrialised society by 1914. Yet again, it depends on what is considered a 'fully industrialised society.' Is it the shift of employment nature, as argued by the second view mentioned above. Alternatively, it could be an alteration in the social classes, by the addition of the 'middle-class,' a term that began to be used in 1812, people, who benefited from the industrial revolution, as Bruce Robinson remarks, "the modern world was opening up new opportunities for those ...read more.


However, it must be considered the fact that without the developments in heavy industry, in particular development of iron and steel, as most of the machinery is made of steel and operated by coal or steam. Also, it could be argued that technical change in the cotton industry only induced change in other textile industries. It also becomes questionable whether the cotton industry is the turning point of the industrial revolution c1850, as data suggests that the golden age of the cotton and textiles industry has past, hence the fact that only 16% of Britain's labour force was employed in the textile industries in 1901, a decrease of 13% of it's value in 1851. It is difficult to think of any aspects of life, which was not touched and changed by the coming of the railways, steam locomotion and other transportation methods, such as the opening of canals. In particular, the development of railways became the most evocative and perhaps powerful symbol of the Victorian progress. The first railway opened with the route of Stockton to Darlington in 1825. What followed is what could only be called as a 'railway mania.' Three major investment instalments occurred in 1837, 1847 and 1862, stimulated the growth of the railways, enabling it to grow from 1500 miles of track in 1840 to 13000 miles of track in 1870, most of these tracks are still in use today. The mammoth growth of the railways did not, however, constitute as a turning point; it's the impacts of its growth. The railway development also helped the progress of several professions. Railway engineering and construction required specialised and skilled labours, thus resulting in the emergence of mechanical and civil engineering. The legal profession gained profitable employment in sorting out the often-contentious area of land ownership, sale and conveyancing. The actuarial side of railway business also helped the emergence of accountancy as a separate profession. ...read more.


apprentice houses, the textile industries is also responsible for various diseases linked to pollution in the factory (includes inflammation of lungs, mill fever and bronchitis, all of which were fatal in the 19th centuryit was also responsible for the numerous cases of child deformities (these deformities include various ankle injuries, 'knock knees,' occurs when knees bends inwards, distortions of pelvis bones, accidents causing loss of body parts and 'hollow bone,' where the marrow of the bone totally disappears) due to their heavy machinery and process of production(children were usually given the 'scavenger' job, which was picking up cotton from machines that were still operating ) 21 Railways enabled people to commute to and from work, thus people became able to move out from the center of the city 22 Railway construction often displaced ordinary people and many dwellings were knocked down to make room for tracks 23 Such as Crewe, Swindon and Wolverton 24 Coal was the mineral which provided the power for railway engines 25 Those individuals whose managerial skills and willingness to invest in industrial ventures created the factories, mines and workshops 26 Allowed banks to expand and operate through a joint stock system, enabling them to possess greater reserves and brought a greater degree of stability to the financial sector. i E.J. Hobsbawn, The Age of Revolution 1789-1848 (London), 1962 p.28 ii Bruce Robinson, "Industrial Revolution," taken from www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_economy/economy/industrialisation/speed_01.shtml, august 2001 iii Michael Lynch, An Introduction to Nineteenth-century British History1800-1914, Hodder and Stoughton iv taken from a popular song "Humphrey Hardfeatures," 1820 v Phil Chapple, The Industrialisation of Britain 1780-1914, Hodder and Stoughton vi Phyllis Deanne, The First Industrial Revolution vii W.W. Rostow, Stages of Economic Growth viii Phyllis Deane, The First Industrial Revolution ix Phil Chapple, The Industrialisation of Britain x T.R. Gourvish, "Railways 1830-70," in Transport in Victorian Britain, M.J. Freeman and H. Aldcroft (Ed) 1988 xi Eric Evans, The Birth of Modern Britain xii WD Rubinstein, Capitalism, Culture and Decline in Britain 1750-1990 (1993) Aryani Prathita Prabowo 1 ...read more.

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