The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in the United Kingdom, and then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, Northern America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world. The industrial revolution in Europe occurred in two phases; The old phase was from 175-1850 and began in Britain and spread to other European countries like France (1825), Germany (1840), Belgium (1870) and Russia (1890). In USA, it began after the American civil war of 1861 to 1865. In Japan it began in 1900. In Kenya, it is hoped to be done by 2030.
Science is the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe based on observation. The scientific revolution refers to the history of science in the early modern period, where sudden development in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed views of society and nature.
This change, which occurred between 1750 and 1830, happened because conditions were perfect in Britain for the Industrial Revolution. The transformation was facilitated by the following factors;
Availability of coal and iron ore which served as a basis for heavy industries. Coal was a source of energy for use in the industries. Iron was used in the manufacture of machinery.
The agrarian revolution ensured that important raw materials were available for the industries and also made food more available for the many factory centres
Existence of a large population which provided steady internal market for the manufactured goods/domestic local markets. There was also Availability of external markets in her colonies for the industrial produce.
Existence of cottage industries which acted as a base for industrial take-off in Britain. It was easier to turn to mass production of goods on the basis of the small scale production in cottage industries.
Due to the enclosure act, many peasants became available to offer unskilled labour especially following their displacement from the rural areas.
Political stability and strong leadership that existed at the time created a contusive environment for investments when compared to other European countries.
Well developed transport and communication network e.g railway, canals, bridges, harbours and roads which promoted industrialization.
Existence of good banking and insurance systems which gave financial help and security to the industries.
Britain had a strong navy that guarded her trade routes thus protecting her merchants from foreign competition.
Policy of free trade encouraged industrialization/ existence of the merchant and middle class who formed pressure groups that forced the government to adopt measures favoring their industries.britain had no internal customs barrier to hurt her industrial growth.
Availability of wealth/capital that stimulated industrial revolution. Britain had accumulated a lot of wealth from her trade with other countries and her colonies in America and africa.e.g. The steam engine was made in Britain by a wealth Briton.
Availability of industrial raw materials in her vast colonies.
Industrialization in the third world countries (South Africa, Brazil, India)
The term ‘Third world’ refers to developing nations of Africa, Asia and South America. Most of them are former colonies of European powers and there resources were used to develop the mother countries during the colonial period.
Industry is defined as the skill of making other products from raw materials. It involves extraction and processing into finished products of raw materials
Early Sources of Energy.
Energy is the ability to do work. The following are the early sources of energy that can be identified. Wood. Wood was developed as a source of energy after the discovery of fire. It was used as follows;
a) Making fire which provides heat to warm people during cold seasons lighting, to cook roots and roast meat, for hunting(bushfires), tool-making to harden tips, means of communication, food preservation
b) Charcoal made from wood fuel provided heat that was used for steaming water to provide steam power for steam engines during the industrial revolution. This is a form of energy still in use today since it is cheaper and easily available.
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