Why did the first Industrial Revolution take place in Britainand what were its main consequences?
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Political Economy Assignment 1: The Industrial Revolution Samantha Arthington Why did the first Industrial Revolution take place in Britain and what were its main consequences? The first Industrial Revolution took place between 1750 and 1830. During this period industrialization began in Britain in which many industries, such as cotton, iron, machinery, and transportation industries developed. The Industrial Revolution can be said to be, in terms of the national economy, a key turning point in history. This is due to the reasons the Industrial Revolution took place and its main consequences. One explanation of why the Industrial Revolution took place is that Britain was a unique area in which to create an industry, with an established stance within the country; politically and economically. Due to this, Britain became one of the main countries to import and export goods. Capitalists saw Britain's natural and agricultural advantages. This is why the Industrial Revolution began in Britain rather than any other European country, or any other country around the world. Another reason is due to capitalist greed. The ruling classes wanted efficiency and speed and through the inventions of machinery, items can be made quicker and be more advanced than man could do it. Britain was the only country at the time that had all these accurate combinations of factors that was necessary as a basis for an Industrial Revolution to take place.
new labour code was introduced which improved conditions for the labour forces as well as reducing the amount of working hours within one day from 12-16 hours per day, to 8 hours. This change is still apparent today. In Britain at the time, especially in the north of England, most people lived in rural areas. So, the bourgeoisie moved to more urban areas and built farms, mills, and houses creating jobs. The workers then had to move to urban areas for work, where they were given employment and a home. Whilst the workers thought this was a beneficial agreement, the bourgeoisie had social control over their workers, and so they had no choice but to carry on working with nowhere else to go. This can be considered as a consequence to the Industrial Revolution in the social context as it caused a larger gap between the upper class bourgeoisie and the lower classes, as the rich became wealthier from property ownership, whilst the lower classes became at the mercy of the upper class, relying on them for wages, for housing and for work. On the other hand, this could be considered as a positive consequence of the Industrial Revolution as it created societies in urban areas, and allowed a sense of community of the lower working class to be created.
Also, due to the coal used for machinery and in mines, a lot of pollution was caused which affected the atmosphere as well as workers' lungs, which also caused sickness. Factory workers were given harsh punishments for mistakes, were given very low wages and were under constant exploitation from their employers and of the upper classes. So, whilst these negative consequences had major affects at the time, these affects were only short-term concerning citizens at the time. This shows that it has to be considered whether economic progression is worth the hardship caused, and to contemplate which is more important, people's lives or the nations' and worlds' development. In my opinion, progression is more important as it has improved people's way of life, and turned people away from old ideals and lifestyles for what can be thought to be a better way of living. In conclusion, during the Industrial Revolution, Britain became a rich, powerful country from simply being a small island of the world. This allowed Britain to be known as a place that created machinery, improved transportation, and improved the economy as well as transporting goods around the world. Whilst this historical time had many negative affects on the people at the time, such as bad working conditions, the positive consequences have changed the world in terms of progression and development and have collectively improved the life chances and improved the general quality of life of everyone.
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