Industrial Revolution | By Dr. Mahipal Singh Rathore | Free PDF Download

What is Industrial Revolution?

• The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes from about 1760 to 1870. It brought some radical changes to the world.

• This transition included : going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production, the increasing use of steam power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system.

• It began in England and later spread to France, Germany, Netherlands, Austro Hungary and other nations/empires.

• The Industrial revolution is continuing till this day in many ways

The Preceding Millenia

• Farming was the main occupation of majority of people
• They lived close to food sources
• All commodities were local, foreign goods were a rare
• Production of goods was for ‘use’, rather than profit
• Weapons which could kill few people at once
• Life expectancy ~ 35 years
• Travel and communication between far off places – non
existent or extremely slow

Factors leading to Industrial Revolution in England

• Agricultural surplus in England due to new techniques in farming – The ‘Agricultural revolution’ of 17th century

• Mercantilism – trading for profit , accumulation of wealth

• The long coastline – no region is far away from a sea port. This facilitated procurement of raw materials

• Semi skilled workers readily available

• Abundance of Coal and Iron – England was an initial pioneer in these field

• A government that encouraged improvements in transportation and used its navy to protect British trade

• The administrative and military expenditure of England was lower than other monarchies of Europe at the time

• Resource in the form of Colonies – cheap raw materials and ready markets

• Scientific inventions were facilitated and promoted

• Banks and Banking system

• Strong property Laws and political institutions

• Low population – high cost of labour

• Incentive to invent and adopt machines

Inventions that spurred and sustained the revolution

Textile Industry was the first to be affected by Industrial rev. It was completely mechanized by 1830s

• John Kay’s ‘Flying Shuttle’ – weaving industry
• ‘Spinning Jenny’ – enabling the spinning of 100s of yarns together together
• The Power loom

• Steam Engine – James Newcomen (1705)

• James Watt‘s Steam engine (1769) – heat energy into mechanical energy

Steam Locomotives


– Railroads Steam boats Stephenson’s Rocket

Who invented the telegraph in 1835?


The importance of Coal in Industrial Revolution

• Availability near surface

• Abundant in England

• Cheaper than other heat sources like wood (also forests were depleted) • Rudimentary Steam engines were first invented to pump water out of the coal mines. These were improved upon later

• Iron production at commercial level could be  done only due
to large quantity of coal – it led to a revolution in machine
tools, trains and myriad of other industries

Impact of the Industrial Revolution Positive

• Factory system

• Standardisation of factory work methods and processesmassive production quantities

• Means of communication and Transportation

• Roads,Bridges,railway tracks and Canals – transport+ travel for common man

• Urbanization – clean water, sewerage systems , public transport


• No more hunger and famine – surplus food could be transported easily

Negative effects

• Capitalism – philosophy of profit maximisation . Resources of production owned and controlled by few

• Exploitation of workers- long working hours ,no protective gear, hazardous and unhygienic working and living conditions often led to epidemics like Cholera

• Traditional weavers and workers were wiped out by machines

• Child labour flourished because it was cheaper to employ children (and also women) • More demand for Colonial expansion

• De-industrialization of colonies like India

• Population increase – growth of slums, low wages Europe ‘s population : 140 million in 1750 463 million in 1914

• Pollution – health and environment concern

• Dominance of European nations over world affairs in 18th and 19th century

The New Industrial Class Structure

The New Working Class The New Middle Class ** The many negative impacts of Industrial rev. led to the growth of a different strand of thinking in society – socialism – a model which believed in equality, where people collectively own and control means of production and the distribution of results is proportional.

The phases of Industrial Revolution

1st phase – 1760-1850 The mechanization of textile industry, mining and metallurgy, steam engine and its application in transport 2nd phase – late 19th century Scientific inventions take centre stage Steel, chemicals Growth of mass production (assembly lines) USA and Germany led this phase 3rd phase – late 20th century – ongoing Communication technology, Internet Energy Robotics Digitization of manufacturing – 3D printing In your opinion, do the benefits of Industrial revolution outweigh its sombre consequences?

World History | Free PDF


By Dr. Mahipal Singh Rathore

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