Define the meaning of industrialisation and give examples.

Essay by purplemiss18College, Undergraduate May 2004

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Industrialisation was a slow transformation that took place in Europe during the first half of the nineteenth century. It affected many people and countries. Lots of areas of society and the economy improved during this time for example banking, transportation and communication all changed for the better. 'Western Europe underwent a period of rapid urbanization' (Merriman, 1996, p.669). The population grew so the manufacturing industry had to change and improve in order to keep up with demand. Before industrialisation people earned less than they paid for food. During industrialisation people began to make up this difference by working longer hours and more days in a year, and by women and children also going to work. (Riley, 2001, p.261).

There were developments before industrialisation, which helped to pave the way for the changes of the nineteenth century. Starting in the eighteenth century there was a rise in population in Europe. This paved the way for industrialisation because 'as the population expanded, demand increased for manufactured goods.' (Merriman, 1996, p.669). More people started to work in industry and manufacturers began to use bigger factories to increase production. There was also more agricultural productivity, which was needed for the bigger population. There are several ways that industrialisation can be recognised. There is often an increase in manufactured goods due to the population expansion and urbanisation. This shows that number of people living in towns and cities grew faster than the percentage of people living outside of the main areas of production. (Merriman, 1996, p.669). However other historians are of the opinion that industrial production started to take place in the countryside before the recognised beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (Houston, 2001, p.154). Developments in transportation meant that it was easier for raw materials to be moved from one area of a...