The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

Essay by thekrunalUniversity, Bachelor'sA, September 2010

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The industrial revolution in Great Britain

The Great Britain was the first country to undergo industrial revolution which according to Musson and Robinson (1969) is the "transformation of a predominantly rural, agricultural and handicraft society into a predominantly urban, industrial and mechanized society" (60). Indeed the modern world owes a lot to British pioneers of the 18th and 19th century like Abraham Darby, Richard Arkwright, John Wilkinson, Samuel Crompton, Thomas Newcomen and James Watt among others.

However, even though the British did a lot in the industrial revolution, they too owed a lot as well in different fields to Frenchmen, Germans and Dutchmen because scientific development and technology is never a one way traffic. During the time of industrial revolution, the Great Britain had the most growing monopoly in the ocean trade and this triggered a renewed interest in scientific discovery coupled with the financial security offered by the national banks, caught Britain already ripe for changes that were bound to happen.

Nonetheless, the industrial revolution took place in Great Britain because as Knowles (2005) noted:

she had a ready command of capital, a scarcity of hands, large and expanding markets, a free population, political security, a training in large scale business for over-seas markets, ease to access to those markets through her geographical position and her shipping, while her iron and coal fields provided her with the most valuable raw material and motive power for machinery and for iron smelting. (15)

The expanding and wealthier population of the 18th century demanded quality goods and this saw replacement of wood by coal and introduction of steam engines for draining water and also for raising coal from the mines.

The use of steam for power was the most vital development of the industrial revolution and the improved engine developed by...