THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
THE SECOND INDUSTRIAL
By the mid-1800s technological changes were occurring at a staggering pace. This growing
wonder was due to collaboration among scientist, inventors and engineers.
1. SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
1. HOW DID THE STEAM ENGINE AFFECT TRANSPORTATION?
In 1807 Robert Fulton, an American inventor installed a steam machine on his boat,
revolutionizing water transportation and by about 1870 steamships had largely replaced sailing ships on
The steam engine also revolutionized land travel. In 1829, George Stephenson, an engineer, built
a locomotive, which pulled a train of connected cars on iron rails at the then unheard of speed of 30
miles per hour. Soon railways were built across Britain, the rest of Europe and the United States to carry
cargo and passengers.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
2. WHAT WERE THE FOUNDATIONS OF SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION?
In the years following 1850, a second Industrial Revolution swept over Britain and the rest of
industrializing world. This second Industrial Revolution was built on electricity, steel and oil.
The first dynamo (or electric generator) was developed in
1831; in 1837 two Englishmen learnt how to send electric
signals over a wire, thus inventing the telegraph; Samuel Morse
invented a code, a system of short dots and long dashes, as a
means of communicating over the new lines. Soon the entire
world was being crossed with telegraph wires and undersea
In 1876 Graham Bell invented the first telephone, and in 1901 Marconi sent the first radio
transmission across the Atlantic. The 1870s also marked the use of electric motor to replace steam
machines because they were cleaner. In 1879 Edison invented the light bulbs.
STEEL AND PETROLEUM
Steel started to replace iron in industrial development, because ironmasters purified low-quality
iron ore into steel, causing a prices fell. With cheap, plentiful steel, railway expansion boomed. Steel,
which was harder and more flexible than iron, also changed the face of cities, particularly after the
invention of the elevator.
Oil replaced coal in industry. In 1867 the internal combustion engine was created by a German, so
in 1886 Daimler and Carl Benz put an engine on a horse carriage to create the first automobile. In 1889
their firm began manufacturing Mercedes cars.
In 1903 American aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers used a gasoline-powered engine to fly
the first heavier-than-air plane.
During the Second Revolution, the area which was most developed was chemical industry. It
began with the search for new dyes and clying techniques, but in the late 1800s chemist also combined
their efforts with industry to develop other products such as medicines and fertilizers. The 1800s were
also a period of enormous development in civil engineering: roads and bridges were designed and built.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
3. WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF NEW BUSINESS PRACTISES IN LATE 1800s?
All the activity and growth during the second Industrial Revolution was expensive and
contributed to the development of new business methods such as corporations (business organizations
in which large number of people purchase share of stocks since they achieved large amounts of capital
for investment). As they attracted large number of investors, the scale of business grew enormously.
In 1901, for example, the American banker J.P. Morgan and associates formed the United States
Steel Corporation, only the first of many billon-dollar corporations. Businesspeople like Morgan were
not industrialist but financiers, buying companies and investment.
Competition among companies was often fierce. Some corporations, like Standard Oil of the
United State, bought so many smaller companies that they created a monopoly, which meant that they
controlled the production and sale of a product or service in order to dominate a particular work.
Companies also built trust (combination of similar businesses grouped together under the
direction of a single entity). Monopolies and trusts reduced competition thus allowing companies to
stabilize prices and earn high profits.
4. HOW DID INDUSTRIALIZATION IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND RUSSIA DIFFER FROM
INDUSTRIALIZATION IN BRITAIN?
Before 1850 only Great Britain had been industrialized significantly; although the British tried to
prevent their industrial techniques from spreading (even they prohibited industrial workers and
ingineers to travel out carring any industrial equipment), industrialization began to spread. After Britain,
the next European country to industrialize was Belgium, while other countries industrialized more
In France, due to politic problems and conservative rulers, industrialization was only applied in
textil production, however Germany and United States industrialized quickly, because both were plenty
of iron ore deposits, and their governments support. The slowest major European country to
industrialize was Russia because of its autocratic government, but after a socialist revolution Russia
became one of the most important industrial countries.
2. CHANGES IN WESTERN SOCIETY
1. HOW DID THE WEALTH PROVIDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AFFECT THE
After 1850 more Europeans shared the prosperity of the industrial age: a growing middle class a
more prosperous working class configuring the new consumer age. In 1876, one of the first department
stores was opened in Paris, where everything from furniture to clothing was located in one bulding.
Middle class and working class people started to enjoy an increasing time off work, and leisure
activities such as theater, opera or sporting events became important.
Meanwhile, members from middle-class started to see that work and home were separated, so
they had a new idea: the separated spheres (men belonged to the public world of business, while
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
women ran the household). Middle-class women assumed responsability for creating a beautiful and
peaceful environment for raising wealthy children. When women from middle-class looked for a job
outside home, they often found jobs like nursing or teaching, which were seen by many as extensions of
their domestic role.
2. WHAT EFFECT DID INDUSTRIALIZATION HAVE ON DEMANDS FOR ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL
REFORM IN BRITAIN?
The Industrial Revolution transformed society and many groups, such as working class, started to
demand reforms. First demands were related with working class' life conditions. Bristish workers
denounced that children and pregnant women had bad conditions in factories since in 1819 British
Parliament prohibited children under 9 years old from working in factories and set a maximum 12 hours
workday for children aged 9 to 12.
In 1833 Parliament regulated new rules for women and children in mines, since in 1842 work in
mines was prohibited for both. To enforce the regulations, Parliament provided for government
inspectors who would investigate conditions in factories.
Abuses often continued, but the general standard of living for workers as well as other classes
began to rise after about 1850.
In 1832, Bristish workers got the Reform Bill which gave industrial cities representation in
Parliament for the first time. It also gave the middle-class men, increasing the number of elegible voters
by about 50% and reducing the power of the aristocracy. In 1836 William Lovett, a shopkeeper, started a
new political reform asking for universal manhood suffrage, which was known as Chartists.
Throughout the 1800s women gained political experience in various reform movements, but they
did not gain the right to vote, this is why women's suffage became to be a new granting. The more
aggressive wing of the women's suffrage movement was led by Emmiline Goulden Pankhurst, a dynamic
activist from Manchester. She created a movement which became violent when their demands were not
accepted. She was arrested many times but she could see her dream only for a few weeks, when women
gained the right to vote on the same basis as men in 1928.
3. WHAT NEW ADVANCES WERE MADE IN SCIENCE, AND HOW DID THESE DEVELOPMENTS
AFFECT THE SOCIAL SCIENCE?
The success of the Industrial Revolution confirmed humanity's
capacity to solve problems.
One of the greatest contributors to scientific thinking was Charles
Darwin, a naturalist who sailed around the world gathering data on the
plants and animals. He spent 20 years studying the natural world since in
1859 he publish the sythesis of his ideas in On the Origin of Species by
Means of Natural Selection. This book changed the way many people
thought about the world around them. He argued that life-forms were
involved in a perpetual struggle for survival. Those that were better
adapted to their environment survived long. Darwin called this process: natural selection.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The physical sciences also saw rapid advancement. In medicine causes and cures for many
diseases were being discovered. Mendel discovered the laws of heredity; physicists Faraday and Maxwell
formulated the laws governing magnetism and electricity. Danton discovered that all matter is
composed of minute particles called atoms. Louis Pasteur dicovered small micro-organism called
bacterias, and he could developed vaccines for deadly diseases. Marie Curie worked in the field of
radioactivity together with her husband and they found two new elements: polonium and radium and
she worked on X-rays applications.
Some people applied sientific methods to the study of society. For example, by the end of 1800s
psychologists worked about human behavior and Pavlov demonstrated than behavior could be
conditioned by outside factors.
By the end of the 1800s, the fields of sociology, history, economics, anthropology and archeology
were growing into so-called social science. For example, Herbert Spencer, tried to apply Darwin's
theories to society. Herbert said, in his social Darwinism, that nations were into a struggle for survival,
and according to his view, wealthy (or European nations) were better than poor non-Europeans.
is called as SCIENTIFIC SCIALISM too. Fredrich Engels
and Karl Marx, were two of the most important socialist of 1800s. They
collaborated in “The communist Manifesto”, where they wrote that “the
history of all existing society is the history of the class struggles”. Marx
said that industrial capitalism had created a new working class, the
proletiariat, but proletiarist, after sufficient abuse, would rise up and
overthrow the capitalist through violent revolution. Once in power, they
would establish a temporary “dictatorship of the proletariat”. This
dictatorship would then abolish private property, take over the means
of production, and thus establish communism. Once this had happened,
Marx concluded, the state itself would naturally wither away.