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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

2009 © Vera Pavri Lecture 5: The Industrial Revolution I. Characteristics of First Industrial Revolution - starts in England in 1780s th - England undergthng large population growth: 5.5M at end of 17 century; by end of 18 population is 9M - This leads to scarcity of resources like land - Development of new technologies and methods of production created to help sustain growing population - major changes include a shift to machine production; machines operated by water and steam power; factory system of production; new methods of communication and transportation, and new forms of managing labor - rapid technological change with creation of textile (cotton) mills, mass- produced iron, coal, steam engine, railroads - example: rise in iron production: 700000 tons in 1830 to 4M by 1860 - this increased growth in the British economy also leads to creation of new technologies that help eliminate “bottlenecks” that were limiting trade and growth of industry in fields like iron making, spinning and weaving, mining, transportation - example: roads not suited for increased transportation of bulk goods like coals; leads to construction of new water routes (canals) - first two canals constructed to link Manchester to coal fields in 1757, 1764 - major industries start to experience sustained growth as production levels increase in many areas of manufacturing and production - agricultural surplus: Norfolk system (4 field crop rotation); rise in meat production with increased turnip and clover production - closure of common lands – marginalizes farmers, frees them for labor pool - shortages of timber and other natural resources: price of timber in England raised 5x; firewood 10x - this is because many industries (shipbuilding, bread, beer, glassmaking) needed to use wood for fuel and could not initially substitute it with coal because this would ultimately ruin the product II. Features of the Industrial Revolution A. New Energy Sources - human, animal, wind and water power - wood a renewable energy source - replaced by use of non-renewable energy sources like coal and oil - development of steam engine (see below) - energy consumption rises greatly (5-10x) 2009 © Vera Pavri B. Factory System - Although factory system is an important feature of industrialization, it is important to remember that this method of production was just of one many; shop or household based centers of manufacturing remained popular in many areas - production is standardized and centralized in factory system; use of machines to power production - Richard Arkwright’s cotton textile mills in 1770’s and 1780’s were some of the first factories constructed - wage labor, hierarchy of workers, increased use of clock to regulate worker production - highly skilled workers no longer always necessary; semi-skilled and unskilled labor forces increase - money economy as opposed to trading goods and services - exploitation of labor: wages unchanged in early 1800’s even though production of cotton has increased 4x and profits 2x; worker productivity 2x between 1830-1850 - almost 2/3 of Arkwright 1150 employees were children - 1799 Parliamentary Act makes it illegal for workers to unionize in hopes of bettering their working conditions - social changes: migration from countryside to cities, larger urban populations, factory workers, public schools, jails - division of labor: men and women with different duties C. Industrialization and New Methods of Financing - global markets increasingly needed to support industrial production - Britain accumulates lots of capital through its colonial trading practices - sugar and slaves increases amount of accumulated capital in England - capital needed to build new factories and other industrial centers - development of private banks to fund new industries - low interest rates = cheap money = allows for capital needed to build factories - stock trading: London Stock Exchange opens in 1773 D. Changes in Ideology - mercantilism (economies are state controlled and free trade is restricted to help boost exports and increase state’s resources) versus open markets and free trade - 1776: Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is published which argues for laissez-faire capitalism - age of Enlightenment: universal human rights; belief in progress - critics of new economic philosophy: Frederick Engels and Karl Marx 2009 © Vera Pavri - Marx is supported by Frederick Engels who is son of prominent manufacturer - irony: Engels supports Marx financially from manufacturing profits - Marx writes Das Kapital around 1867 and argues that new factory system exploits labor and only benefits owners who control the means of production - war between classes thus inevitable - theory behind ideologies like socialism and communism III. Science and Technology in the Industrial Revolution - most technological innovations do not rely on scientific knowledge - opposite usually true - although scientific knowledge is appreciated and supported by state, remains largely separated from craft knowledge - craftsman, artisans and engineers responsible for most innovations; most do not have a university education - Example 1: iron-making using coal – early attempts at using coal instead of wood for fuel were not successful alththgh Chinese had developed methods to do so as early as the 11 century - in 1709 Abraham Darby develops process using coke instead of charcoal in blast furnaces by “tinkering” with process - does not rely on any scientific theory or institutional knowledge - Example 2: Thomas Newcomen and the development of the first steam engine in 1712 - Challenge: removal of excess water from mines was getting harder to do as you went lower into the ground; needed more powerful energy source to drive water pumps - Newcomen: steam condensed in cylinder; create partial vacuum so that pressure from atmosphere drives piston - invention result of craft knowledge, tinkering, trial and error - no scientific knowledge involved - early engines ate lots of coal and were only used in mines th - improvements by John Smeaton and James Watt in mid 18 century follow similar pattern; no reliance on scientific knowledge - increased efficiency; Smeaton’s machines 2x more efficient - Watt: eliminates need to heat and cool cylinder by developing method to keep cylinder hot throughout engine cycle - This allows steam engine to be used in other industries because it is cheaper, more efficient - Richard Trevithick: high pressure (higher than atmospheric pressure) steam engine developed by 1800 is a more compact design - Could not sell new design to miners who were happy with what they had - helps lead to development of steam locomotive - relationship between railways and cheap iron production 2009 © Vera Pavri - developments in technology further scientific knowledge: first scientific analysis of steam engine done in 1824 by Sadi Carnot - Example 3: at beginning of 19 century new bridge required in London - Cast-iron bridge spanning 600 feet proposed by engineer Thomas Telford - Since these kinds of bridges were still not common, two committees created and asked for their input: mathematicians and natural scientists versus practicing builders - while practitioners could not offer any real theories on structure of design, advice from natural philosophers was even more useless IV. How revolutionary was the Industrial Revolution? - industrial era (industrialization) characterized by production of high volume, low quality goods, low wages for workers - this differs from age of commerce discussed earlier which was centered around low volume, high quality goods; workers paid high wages - traditionally, industrial revolution has been regarded as one of the most important periods in history - industrial revolution entailed th
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