How the Industrial Revolution change society
Q Where did the Industrial Revolution start?
A The home of the Industrial Revolution
was in Britain. By the eighteenth century,
Britain was one of the richest nations in the
world. It had supplies of coal and iron, two of
the most important raw materials of industry.
Inventions like the steam engine had
improved transportation. More roads were
built. Canals were dug for barges and these
were used to move raw materials to factories
and take finished goods to cities and ports.
Q How did manufacturing change?
A Machines took over most types of
manufacturing. Before the Industrial
Revolution, about 70 per cent of the work
was done by muscle power and with simple
tools. During the Industrial Revolution, people
began to burn coal instead of wood. This
provided more energy to produce more goods.
1. What were some of
the early machines
like? What did they do?
Machines helped speed
up almost all kinds of
work. In 1563, Rev
William Lee of
England invented the
Stocking Frame to knit
2. What was the Cotton
Gin meant for?
In 1793, Eli Whitney,
an American, invented
the cotton gin to
remove seeds from
cotton. Until then,
African slaves spent
hours removing the
seeds by hand.
3. Did the Industrial
Revolution have any
obvious advantages –
health improved and
more people were
educated. However, it
created huge slums
and shanty towns
where people with less
money lived in
Some turned to crime.
Roads and cities were
built, wiping out forests
Factories burning fuel
spread pollution, the
effects of which are still
One of the early factories
of the Industrial Age,
this bicycle factory
used methods of mass
developed in the United
States by Henry Ford
for the Model-T Ford car.
Mass production allowed
factories to make many
products exactly like
one another, far more
quickly and cheaply
than before. A greater
range of products was
manufactured, and more
people could afford them.
The iron horse
The steam engine was
improved by James
Watt (1736–1819) so
that it could be used
to pull trains and
in factories. Trains
opened up vast new
areas to development.
Iron – the most important metal in
industry – could now be made into different
shapes. Iron was used to make more
machinery and other industrial equipment.
Q How did the Industrial Revolution
A The effects of machinery were first seen
in agriculture. In 1708 Jethro Tull’s seed
sower helped plant seeds in neat rows very
quickly. The machines did the work faster
and better than people. Many farmers had to
move to cities and work in factories. Things
that used to be made at home or in small
workshops were now mass-produced.
Handicraft that had developed over hundreds
of years died out. Cities grew larger. Soon, the
Industrial Revolution spread to other parts of
Europe and America. Since countries were
rivals for buying and selling goods, they
needed larger armies to help them
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