Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution Population Increase (in Europe) With the introduction of crops from the Columbian Exchange like thepotato, nutrition vastly improved in European nations and the populationsubsequently increased substantially. This new amount of people meant alarger demand for many products – and thus a larger supply, meaning the creation of the Industrial Revolution to provide these necessary items.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution Adam Smith’s Laissez-Faire & Capitalism Adam Smith, educated at The University of Glasgow, wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776. His works chronicled how the European government could augment their wealth by advocating certain economic policies. His philosophy of “laissez-faire,” or “hands off”, relates heavily to capitalism, which became a driving force during the Revolution and fueledthe Europeans and Americans to industrialize. Laissez-faire removed barriers from factory owners and facilitated their growth by eliminating and advocating the restriction of government-imposed laws that might hinder economic growth.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution A new banking systemAfter the Commerical Revolution, Europe developed a new financial system that would fuel the new industry to take place. Expansion had in turncreated the concept of private banking, and new trading organizations also formed, like the Hanseatic League. Credit organizations and new government promissory notes helped facilitate consumer spending.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution The Cottage Industry As the 18th century waned, Europe was still primarily a farming orientedland. The harsh winters however made agriculture a daunting task, so manypeople took up textile making in their homes to provide a little extra income. Such a modest industry became quite popular with urban merchants, and thus the European economy was primed for the later Industrial Revolution by the boost in trade that simultaneously occurred.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution The Sewing Machine (courtesy of Elias Howe)With the advent of the sewing machine, patented in 1846, the average number of stiches per minute changed from 35 to nearly 3000 – making mass production of textiles possible for Europe’s new booming population. Thisprompted the creation of “mill towns” (like Lowell in America) and offered women an opportunity to enter the factory work force.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution ChartismEnglish working men banded together and encouraged new political reforms during the Revolution, including Chartism. Chartism demanded that therebe universal male suffrage, annual parliaments, vote by ballot, and abolitionof the property qualification. Such a movement garnered much support from the poorest of the European social classes who were still in economic depression despite the tough workdays and dangerous jobs of the Revolution.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution Nationalism, Imperialism and Colonialism With the Industrial Revolution came a boon in national pride, as well as the need to seek new markets for the abundance of manufactured goods. Those countries subjected to the Revolution looked to overseas colonies andexpansionism to rid themselves of excess goods and to gain new sources of raw materials. The primary place for this expansion occurred in Africa, which was almost entirely controlled by Europe by 1914.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution In response to the social and safety conditions created by the Industrial Revolution raised by the Saddle Report in 1833, the UK Parliament implemented a series of acts titled “The Factory Acts” that limited work hours, ordained that employers provide education and lodging, required proper ventilation in factories, set certain child labor laws (no child under 9, no children under 18 working night shifts, etc)., and dictated when women would be allowed to work and for how long.The Factory Acts
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution Luddites & LuddismAnger from workers became directed at employers who reduced wages andbegan to replace skilled workers with unskilled workers who could be paidless and still work the new machines of the Revolution. This movement (in it’s extreme) became known as Luddism, where angered workers wouldbreak into factories and demolish equipment. The events primarily occurred in England, and although most violence was confined to factories, some of the chaos ended up inflicting injury on actual people as well.
Causes & Effects of Industrial Revolution Broken Family UnitsBecause the Industrial Revoltion meant many family members would labor for nearly eighteen hours a day, family contact was much reduced and tenementhousing meant squeezing families together. Child education suffered, nutritioncould also suffer and result in stunted growth, and behavior became an issue as proper parenting skills were neglected. (It would be wrong to characterize allsocial effects as negative, however, for by 1820 most workers made better wages than before and mass starvation was reduced with the advent of some health reforms for the slums.)