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Industrial Revolution

Unit 5: c. 1750-1900

Main Ideas:

  • Many factors (e.g. waterways, coal, etc.) enabled the Industrial Revolution, which led to an increase in specialization of labor

  • Industrialization spread from Britain throughout Europe then to US & Japan → Increased their share of global manufacturing

  • Industrialization made it possible to take advantage of Earth's resources to boost energy production

  • Increased use & scope of railroads, steamships, and telegraphs made communication easier → Increase trade and migration

  • As the influence of Industrial Revolution grew, many states adopted policies to favor industrialization

  • The industrial economy produced large-scale global businesses, which relied on free-market economics, which also led to an increase in consumer goods

Causes of Industrialization

Britain had most of the Features that Enabled Industrialization → Britain Started it

List of Causes of Industrialization:

Access to Waterways

Britain had lots of canals & rivers → Used those for transport & waterwheels

Coal & Iron

Britain had lots of coal & iron ore → Used them in factories

Access to Capital

Britain had a strong central bank that could support & finance industrialization

Agricultural Productivity

More agricultural production → Less people needed in farms → More people can migratee to cities


More urbanization → More people can work in factories (which were in cities)

Foreign Resources

Britain had many overseas colonies → Used their resources for industrialization

Spread of Industrialization

Industrialization Spread from Britain to Mainland Europe then to US & Japan

Key Ideas:

  • Rapid industrialization of Northwest Europe → Increased their share of global manufacturing → Decreased the global share of manufacturing of Middle Eastern & Asian countries

    • Indian & Egyptian handmade textile industries declined as European industrially-produced textiles were much cheaper

  • Industrialization spread to US, Japan, and Russia as it was already successful in Northwest Europe
    • Industrial success in Northwest Europe inspired US, Japan, and Russia to industrialize as well

Technological Developments

Industrialization → More Energy Available for use & led to more Global Interconnectivity

Key Ideas:

  • Development of machines (steam engine, internal combustion engine) allowed people to take advantage of fossil fuels to generate energy

  • 2nd Industrial Revolution (late 1800s) led to the use of steel, chemicals, and electricity to make useful products

    • Automobiles, radios, telegraphs, steel buildings, etc.

  • Railroads, steamships, and telegraphs made travel & communication easier → More migration & trade

    • Many people migrated from rural to urban centers or from Europe to the Americas in search of work

    • Railroads were built throughout states to facilitate travel & transport of raw materials

Government's Role in Industrialization

Many States Adopted Policies to Favor Industrialization

Key Ideas:

  • As industrialization became more successful in Europe, many states adopted policies to favor industrialization to boost their nation's economy
    • Japan realized it was economically behind Europe → Rapidly industrialized in an event called the Meiji Restoration (1868)

    • Muhammad Ali (Ruler of Egypt) promoted the development of an industrial textile industry in Egypt

    • In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II employed Sergei Witte to help Russia industrialize

  • More US & European influence in Asia → Japan had internal reforms to promote industrialization → Japanese power in East Asia grew

    • Japan was very isolationist in 1800s, but in the Meiji Restoration (1868), Japan rapidly industrialized as it realized it was economically behind other nations​

    • Japan used its industrial strength to regain power in East Asia → Defeated China & Russia in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) & Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) → Gained control of many lands in East Asia such as Taiwan & Korea

Economic Developments

Nations Adopted Economic Policies to Supplement their Industrial Economies

Key Ideas:

  • Western European nations abandoned mercantilism & adopted Adam Smith's free-market (laissez-faire) economics
    • Adam Smith promoted the idea that the gov should not interfere with the economy, an idea known as capitalism, or free-market economics

    • Western Europeans stopped believing in mercantilism (the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world) & switched to free-market economics

    • Western European nations adopted free trade policies to allow people to trade with little tariffs or gov intervention

  • Many global businesses emerged that relied on new financial methods & facilitated the global trade of industrial products and wealth

    • New financial practices such as the stock market and limited-liability corporations (a company isn't responsible for its debts) → Large-scale companies could perform riskier ventures

    • These global businesses were either banking businesses or businesses that got raw materials from overseas colonies and sold industrial goods in return

    • HSBC (Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp.) was one such banking company

  • Industrial capitalism → Increased standard of living for some people & led to a market of a variety of consumer goods

    • Improvements in manufacturing processes made production much quicker → Factories produced variations of product to give consumers more choices

    • The middle class had extra money they could use toward pleasure purchases → Vibrant market for consumerism & consumer goods

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