Model Question and Answers for APSC | Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
Ans: Industrial Revolution, in modern history, the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. These technological changes introduced novel ways of working and living and fundamentally transformed society. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world.
Although used earlier by French writers, the term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852–83) to describe Britain’s economic development from 1760 to 1840.
The industrial revolution first occur in England: Why?
- Momentous changes in history like the Fall of Rome, the Black Plague, the signing of the Magna Carta, the break with Rome that occurred during the Reformation, and the Glorious Revolution, had initially small, but cumulatively profound effects over time.
- The path had been set for greater rule of law, development of inclusive institutions in society, greater property rights, and an openness to creative destruction in social and economic institutions, the Industrial Revolution was all but guaranteed in the United Kingdom.
- Other factors played their part The seeds were sown, quite literally, thanks to the English agricultural revolution, which included a move to high-yield crops, crop rotation, the clearing of woodland, and other new methods in agriculture, which enabled the production of food surplus and huge population growth.
- Population growth led to an excess of labour, which was attracted to larger population centres in search of work and fortune.
- Banks had become more inclusive institutions, in that they lent money to those other than the aristocracy, and could provide capital to merchants and entrepreneurs to build new technologies and companies that they might previously have been able to afford to do.
- Importantly, the rule of law and greater property rights, stemming partly from a transfer of power away from the monarch and toward the Parliament, also promoted investment and risk-taking. Large, capital-hungry structures like factories could now be built on credit.
- The granting of patents was also formalized around this time into a legally binding system. This further created confidence for investors and inventors to take a gamble.
- Britain also happened to have a wealth of coal, iron, and other resources in a relatively small area, which would help kick-start the Industrial Revolution.
- Its growing Colonial Empire also provided a ready-made (and captive) market for surplus goods, providing further impetus for entrepreneurs and new industrialists.
- Initial developments occurred in the cotton industry with the development of the spinning jenny, flying shuttle, power loom, and the application of the steam engine to drive machinery, which sped up cloth production Very soon, other industries would benefit from industrialization.
The quality of life of the people there during industrialization:
- It had positive impacts like diverse high-quality cheap goods were available & gave a boost to urbanization.
- At the same time, it was a time of flux as the old social structures and institutions were being There was a trend toward nuclear families, an increase in social mobility, and more emphasis on achieving status.
- Ethical and moral foundations are weakened due to problems of slums, social crimes, etc. In the industrial districts, children tended to enter the workforce at a younger age.
- Many of the new factory owners preferred to employ children as they viewed them more docile and tractable than adults.
Comparison with India at present times:
- After independence, India embarked on the journey of planned industrialisation on a socialistic pattern.
- The role of the state was very important with a focus on industrial goods. There is less exploitation of the working class as many labour laws are enacted to protect their rights.
- Social institutions like marriage and family are getting transformed due to industrialization.
- However, 47% of the economy is still agriculture-based, which is much higher than Britain's of the 19th century.
- Rural-urban migration in search of new job opportunities landed people in slums and poor hygienic conditions.
The Industrial Revolution was one of the most important and transformational periods in human history. For good or bad, the modern world would simply not exist without the events that laid the foundations for it and its aftermath.