Industrial Revolution

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's November 2001

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An Industrial Revolution is the shift at different times from a traditionally agricultural based economy to one based on the mechanized production of manufactured goods on a large scale(Bookshelf 1994). By definition, industrialization leads to a rise of national income per capita as well as changes in the distribution of income, living and working conditions. The Industrial Revolution was the transformation of the production of handmade good to ones made by machines.

The first attempt at American Industrialization was by Eli Whitney. He introduced and developed the idea of interchangeable parts rather than custom parts. This allowed some broken products such as guns, to be fixed at a lower cost. Whitney also invented the cotton gin in 1798. Sir Richard Arkwright used Whitney's cotton gin in developing new methods of weaving cloths. As a result, textiles, particularly cotton goods were the major factory made products during the early 19th century.

James Watts' steam engine was one of the biggest technological breakthroughs in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. It enabled many factory owners to operate without being close to a constant water supply. The steam engine also lead to the development of the steam locomotive and steam powered ships.

The Industrial Revolution sparked the start of the changes that would enhance our world and help build a brighter and better tomorrow. At the time, the thought of having a machine make products for you was a novelty. People looked at these machines with awe and admiration. People continued to improve upon the machinery. A great example of someone who was a pioneer of industry in the early 20th century was Henry Ford. He came up with the idea of the assembly line.

It totally revolutionized the manufacturing business because one person created one part of a product instead of...