The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

Excerpt

There is no drudgery about labor unless you make it your master.

—From Manufacturer and Builder, Vol. 24
(November 1892), 242

Beginning in the last half of the 18th century and extending into the early 20th century, first Great Britain and then Western Europe, the United States, and several other parts of the globe experienced the vibrant stirrings of a major technical and economic transformation. This development was in great measure the culmination of forces that had gained momentum in Western civilization during the Renaissance of the 14th and 15th centuries and continued with the dramatic discoveries of the Scientific Revolution over the next 200 years. The theoretical and analytical mysteries unlocked by the scientific community laid the foundation for the application of more practical techniques and approaches to harness the new sources of power, the reduction on the sole reliance on traditional sources of labor, and the creation of new organizations and enterprises. The result was the emergence of a new demographic, economic, political, and social map of the Western world and the unparalleled increase in wealth and national prosperity after 1750.

In the 1820s British and French writers coined the phrase Industrial Revolution to identify the changes in manufacturing and production that had initially occurred in Great Britain and by the early 19th century had appeared in the new American republic and on the continent of Europe. These writers compared the dramatic impact of industrialization to the political and social upheaval caused by the French Revolution. Two decades later, Friedrich Engels reinforced the use of the term in his influential work, The Conditions of the Working Class in England. Indeed, historians have long debated the causes, characteristics, expansion, and results of the economic . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.