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Modern Western Civilization
Class 16: The Industrial Revolution: Technology
- Recap last lecture -looked at origins of Industrial Revolution
- had to explain
 the mobile labor force
 the availability of money for investment
 the growth of demand
- -did this by looking at
 effects of Agricultural Revolution
 the growth of internal and external commerce
 pop. Growth
- -also took into consideration
 the need for innovative approaches, especially in the area
 the special geographical and political circumstances of GB.
- -all these things were interconnected - came together to produce
II. What was Industrial Revolution?
The term only used at the end of the 19th Century -so this is
revolution in an odd sense of the word :
- Urbanisation of the population
- Massively increased production
This is was we are going to look at today.
III. Industrial Technology
- A. Introduction
- Idea of Industrial Rev. as a Process.
-one invention leads to another, which leads to new situations
which call for yet other changes. [discuss this idea]
- Why textiles were first?
Rapid growth - need for iron and power.
ove of population and industry to the North of England.
By merchant capitalists at first. Later most money came from
expanding areas themselves.
-profit promoted search for new methods
-only an already rich country like England could afford the first
- B. King Cotton and Manchester
- 1.Cotton Machines (one Machine leads to another)
Cotton was first industry to change - It was still new in 1760.
There were many putter-outers looking for a more efficient way
to produce cotton.
- Flying Shuttle 1733 - John Kay -led to a demand for
- Spinning Jenny 1765 - James Hargeaves
- The Water Frame 1769 - Richard Arkwright -led to a
need for more weaving
-These machines revolutionized industry.
-By 1790 10 times more yarn was being made than in 1770. By 1800
it was main Industry in UK.
-Spinning was now done in factories.
-First modern factories grow up in Eng. textile industry.
- The Mule 1790 - Richard Compton
-combined best features of other two -demanded more power than
humans could provide - led to factories by water. Weaving still
done by Hand - high wages now paid for weavers.
- Power Loom 1785 - Edward Cartwright invents a power
loom - but these were not perfected until about 1800 -led to need
for more cotton
- Cotton Gin 1800 - Eli Whitney -Led to economic revival
of the Old South.
- 2. Lancashire - Birthplace of the Ind. Rev.
- Weather - damp climate for cotton spinning
Manchester - entrepot
1811-1821 - 40%
1831-1831 - 47%
- -cotton towns/spinning - Rochdale
- -cotton towns/weaving - Burnley
- 3. Wool Machines
Wool old industry of England still important
Yorkshire/Other side of Pennines - Drier weather
- C. Power Machines
- 1. Recap power shortage
-the Mule made need for more power acute.
Early Machines dependent on water power -located near rivers.
- 2. Thomas Newcomen's Engine 1702 - highly inefficient
Use at Mines - but coal was the solution to the power problem.
- 3. James Watt (1736-1819)
1760's Studied steam engines [Story of the Kettle]
Steam Engine 1763 - saw principal while repairing a Newcomen Engine.
-to make something better he need precision tools.
Steam engine is the fundamental technological advance of the Industrial
Matthew Boulton and Watt - apply steam engines to textile machines
- begins to produce Steam engines (need for Sci. Rev. knowledge
- 4. "Steam is an Englishman"
-absolutely fundamental to the Ind. Rev.
-united Industrialization and Urbanisation
- 5. Results of Steam Power.
For first time virtually unlimited power available to people.
Was to be used in Factories first, then in Transportation.
- E. Steel and Sheffield
- 1. Iron Furnaces
- a. Need for intense heat - Charcoal or coke.
- b. Steam power made coking processs available.
1780s - Henry Cort improves pig iron making.
- c. Development of Steel.
1740 17,000 tons
1788 68,000 tons
1796 125,000 tons
1806 260,000 tons
1840 3,000,000 tons
- d. Heavy industry - concept
- 2. Sheffield
Manchester located due to its usefulness in cotton manufacture
(west coast/damp etc) Sheffield - in middle of a coal field +
near iron ore, + lots of cooling water.
- 3. What is Steel used for ?
Machines, railways, ships, iron buildings
IV. The Factory System - The Social Effects of
- A. The Factory System
- 1. Move to factories demanded by Machines
-Water power - Country factories
-Steam power - allows growth of Cities
-Rapid urbanization of a new type.
- 2. Early Stages
Whole families work/Use of child labor
Kinship ties preserved.
- 3. Factory Discipline
Rural Life - set own pace, but do not idealize it. Discipline
made factories hated
-Hours were long
-had to eat at set hours
-Monotony of Factory work
- 4. Factory Acts - 1830s
ended child labor, and limited women's hours to 12.
- 5. Alienation
- B. New Classes
- 1. The Factory Owners
Perhaps the first people to think of themselves as a class
in the modern sense. They were locked into a highly competitive
There was a lot of mobility in early Ind. Rev. -no need for massive
But by mid 19th C. - move to assimilate with old ruling classes
- buying titles and sending Kids to private schools - less mobility.
- 2. Origins of the Working Class.
Movement into cities
-Factories destroy old communities but new ones come into being.
-Methodism (E P Thomson)
-by 1850 - awareness that Ind. Rev was creating riches
- aim was to get it for the working people.
-origins of trade unions (will be discussed under lecture on Socialism)
- C. Was the Industrial Revolution Good for People?
- 1. Introduction
By 1851, Great Exhibition, UK was workshop of the world
- - 2/3 of worlds coal,
- 1/2 its Iron and Cotton.
1800-1851 rose 3 1/2 times
1780 - 9 Million
1851 - 21 Million
- Was it all worth it?
Explain that Ind. Rev was necessary to cope with rising population,
if that pop. was to have any standard of living.
Ireland did not industrialize - no infrastructure - dependence
on potato - pop increase 3 to 8 Million from 1725 to 1845 - famine
in 1845, 1846, 1851 - led to 1.5 M dead + massive emigration -
economy remained agricultural and impoverished - this was the
alternaive to Industrialisation]
- The debate on Good or Bad has gone on since Ind. Rev.
-Poets such as Blake and Wordsworth protested the treatment of
workers + Dickens. -Others such as Ure and Chadwick claimed life
was improving. The answers sometimes depend on what sources you
- Rural Life
Rural life was not always happy - it too could be dirty and
-Movement off the land had already led to filthy cities before
the Ind. Revolution
- 2. Marxist Views - Oppression of Workers
- -F. Engels: The Condition of the Working Class in England
"At the bar of world opinion, I charge the English middle
class with mass murder, wholesale robbery and all the other crimes
in the calendar"
- -Blue Books
The first generation was sacrificed to the Ind. Revolution. Conditions
worse in England than elsewhere as later industrializing countries
followed English social improvements.
- -Child Labor
- -hours of labor increased.
- 3. Revisionist Views - Material standards did rise.
T.S. Ashton and Hartwell
Use statistical methods.
1750-1790 Conditions improve
1792-1810 Conditions decline as prices rise.
1815-1850 Wages rise again.
-Material Standard of living goes up
-meat, sugar, teas consumption all rises.
-wages also rose. or stayed static while prices decline.
-wages increase from #13/1801 to #24/1850
-it seems there was substantial improvements
Other Revisionist Ideas -
-Child Labor a result of economic improvement as more children
lived longer - also due to labor shortage as men resisted working
in factories to start with.
-The idea of poverty being bad is new - only Ind. Rev. makes idea
of abolishing poverty possible.
- 5. Quality of life Issues
Counter Attack on Revisionists - Eric Hosbawm
Industrial worker was like a slave - but not looked after like
slaves in old age. number of hours worked increases. strange to
see Marxists repeating arguments made by Southern slave owners)
Stress on loss of workers independence and idea of Alienation.
- nostalgia for village life.
- 6. [Class Discussion of Sources]
- What emotions does Disraeli appeal to ?"
- Who would have mad up his audience
[bring out middle class philanthropy + the British Conservative
party as kinder to workers than the liberals]
- Sadler Committee
- What industry ? What is Flax ?
- what do you think about the hours kids and women worked?
- Does the argument for rising wages compensate for these conditions?
- Do you think regimentation was a necessary part of industrialisation.
- Child Labor
- Conditions of child labor?
hours, places - pit, chimneys, death rates position of parents
- why were children used ?
- Conditions of life in the new towns?
[no public authority, no police, pollution]
- Housing? Cattle sheds for human beings ?
Where does Ure work ?
[University, not a factory][major industry of Glasgow - tobacco]
- What does he blame workers for ? [strikes, breaking `economic
- Do you think workers had reason to protest?
- Do you realize from Ure that Unions were hardly legal, and could
not force membership?
- Can you see a need for Unions?
- What is Ure describing here? [a lockout, strikebreaking]
- What do you think of Ure's view of child labor? Is it realistic
? Does he mention how much they were paid?
- What about his comments on the inactivity of factory life ?
- Why do you think Ure writes as he does?