Audio recording started: 10:11 AM Thursday, October 3, 2013
Lecture 8 - Industrial Revolution
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Most of the revolutions in the 30s were crushed and defeated. Pretty much terminated. The sole
revolution was the French Revolution and the Belgian Revolution.
The Belgians succeeded on the grounds of international intervention. The support of the great
powers for Belgian independence was to prevent the unification between France and Belgium.
Otherwise, it is likely the Dutch would have rolled over the Belgians and reacquired their territory.
Industrial/Economic Revolutions were ongoing for half a century and was consequential for
European relations. Political life and more so everyday life after the revolution would never be the
same in Europe.
On a micro level --> throughout the previous centuries, the overwhelming majority of the
population did not wear underwear. They could not purchase underwear as the materials required
to make them were made of materials hey could not purchase. Even the middle class could not
afford it. What remained cheap and available was not suitable for underwear.
Come the second and third decade most people could afford purchasing cotton underwear and it
became a common practice.
On a macro level, a state's survival depended on industrialization. In mid 19th century there was a
major clash between liberal states, France and Britain, against the absolutist Russia. The Liberal
states were able to defeat Russia due to their steam powered ships and their industrialization.
The 'Other' Revolution
In Europe there was no industry to speak of, there were artisans specializing in a specific trade.
Industrial life was very local and cellular. A crafts guilds would have a monopoly over a
region/district or state. They would determine who would join that craft. This monopolistic
system gave the guilds control over production, scale and scope of it, and they could also control
the profits. These crafts were limited production, high quality, high profit but limited entry into
the production of that craft. Since the roman times this had not changed.
This all came to an end towards the end of the 18th century. For the first time a change in
technology, produced steam power, steam engines and resulted in "mass" production. This
revolution in technology in cotton (textile industry), a British inventor produced the first multiple
spindle that increased production 8 times. Two years later they produced the water frame, that
increased quality. This was turned into the mule that increased the production and quality
resulting in 300 times the manufacturing output.
The production of steam engines multiplied output from manufacturing 3000 times. This caused
the price of cotton to fall and made it accessible to the masses. Steam engines also resulted in the revolution of transportation. The creation of Railways allowed
for faster travel, great change in the mode of transportation. The Stephenson's Rocket, one of the
first successful railway locomotives revolutionized transportation and shocked Britain.
Immediately there was a correlation between industrialization and railway building. By the 1850s,
Britain was crises crossed by railways. This made the transportation of goods, natural resources
easier. This also allowed them to be taken throughout the world. For the first time, with this
industrialization, Indian textiles which had reigned supreme was destroyed, Britain became the
world supplier of cotton for 100 years.
Why Britain? Britain was successful and emerged as the top industrialized nation because of a
number of reasons:
Their colonies. They were better off than the rest of the continent in this aspect.
o The fact that Britain was an island nation was favorable to them, throughout the
revolutionary upheaval, Britain was not affected. Not a single international battle took place
on her soil. The very fact that Britain was an island protected them from political upheavals.
This political stability went hand in hand with industrial production. You continued investing
free capital into Britain as their were low chances of being occupied.
o Furthermore, the British aristocratic and bourgeois class had a number of businesses to
already invest in. The government even encouraged this investment by giving the