HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Industrial Revolution, Spinning Frame, Patent Office

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31 Jul 2011

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Jan. 17th, 2011
Industrial Revolution I, 1750-1850
Revolution based on demand for consumer goods, & mechanical goods
Acceleration of economic growth that had economic & social consequences,
emergence of capitalist economy
Rise of new modes of production, the development of the factory system and all
its problems
Substitution of machines instead of human effort
Improvements in the income of workers
Central to the growth of the capitalist economic system that developed starting
in the Middle Ages (Mercantilism)
Capitalism first flourished in Italy and in the lower European countries
Limited by controls placed on it by a centralized government - Mercantilism
(France placed restrictions on trade) this was considered unnatural & inefficient)
2 Pillars: private property and profit motive
Importance of consumer consumption consumption increases as the middle
class desires to have what the upper classes do, however less expensive versions
Freeing up trade could generate vast amounts of wealth
Physiocrats (rule of nature)
Put their faith in land, heart of economic success was agriculture,
manufacturing did not interest them as much, didnt believe it could create as much
wealth as agriculture could
Manufacturing considered a sterile form of capitalist production
Pushed for introduction of their ideas in France
Tried to transform the system, unable to do so due as result of old regime
Rigid regulations in mercantile economy
Played a role in opening up trade in the later part of the 18th cent.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)
Advocated Conservative political creed, ideas of enlightened economic theorists
How do individuals obtain domestic opulence?
Specialization division of labour (pin factory example)
Wealth of Nations - Bible of laissez faire capitalism
Explores nature of wealth and how the benefits could be measured
Wanted to see more tangible benefits, wanted to see nation focus on internal
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Regulation restored a natural balance of industry
Capitalism creates wealth and markets, operated in such a way as to create
incentive for workers (part of hidden hand that moves the economy)
Why did the industrial revolution begin in England?
England possessed a number of prerequisites for industrialization:
1) Available capital to finance new industry:
Private entrepreneurs needed excess money to make their businesses grow
English had the bank of England that offered low-interest loans, private
bankers offered loans, investors keen to invest in the bank because it was stable
Financial revolution helps pave the way for the industrial revolution
French and the Spanish did not have a bank, difficult to loan money to establish
commercial interests
Duke of Bridgewater had an entrepreneurial spirit, sent goods across Europe
Allowed citizens to invest money into economy to allow it to grow
Quakers made up half of the leading industrial entrepreneurs
2) Social and intellectual environment that favoured technological
Entrepreneurs were hardworking and innovative
Intelligent artisans in England, science taught in schools not very good (English
schools lagged behind those of the French, Italians, & Germans)
English patent office supported new inventions, patents granted albeit slowly
but protected these inventions
Group of artisans capable of creating mechanisms necessary for the revolution
3) England had many natural resources:
Coal deposits
Breakthrough in iron production, improving its quality
Coal industry fueled the iron industry and vice versa, both continuing to grow
Coal is difficult to mine, & transport; thus there had to be a way to carry it
London, leading to creation of light-rail tram systems pushing the coal into a canal
A pumping system was also required to mine deeper for coal eventually the
steam engine is applied to coal mining and then rail systems
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4) Road & water ways for transportation:
Canal system was used to transport coal, as well as goods to London
For ex. Bridgewater Canal: 1760s canal used to transport coal for powering of
McAdams technique of using tar for roads to improve their conditions, roads
were muddy (Scots invented techniques to improve British roads)
5) Agricultural Workers:
By 1750 there was no longer an English peasantry individuals free to leave the
land to find work elsewhere, no longer bound to the land
England also underwent an agricultural revolution along with a financial one
Owners enclosed more land and put effective farming techniques to use
Enclosure drove off small landowners, dislocated sectors
Increased yields, fields were turned into pastures for crops
Farmers worked the lands effectively; & fields were no longer fallow (Townsend:
clover used to replenish lands, then for animals to eat fertilizer created)
Tull: different types of grasses introduced
Potatoes used to sustain the growing population
*Population doubled due to agricultural innovations, decline in smallpox and
the plague due to inventions in inoculations, sanitary improvements
Case Study: The Textile Industry
Industrialization of the textile industry allowed the revolution to come to
Cotton replaced wool products, was brought from colonies such as India
Merchants allowed to trade at a low cost, slavery trade
English were trading partners with the US, purchased cotton
Cotton industry where the first great strides took place, which allowed the
industrial revolution to take place
New inventions created to deal with bottlenecks
More thread required as looms created more than spinning wheels more
cotton yarn was needed (i.e Spinning Ginny invented)
Richard Arkwright: invention of spinning frame that required water, created
high quality thread
Frame was then attached to Watts steam engine creating an effective system
for factories using steam & water power
More cotton available stimulated the market, available to more people
System of supply and demand spiraled
Iron work expanded, deeper coal mines
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