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    Rahma Sboui Gueddah

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    The Industrial Revolution:

    Post by Rahma Sboui Gueddah on Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:57 pm

    The Industrial Revolution
    The Industrial Revolution (A revolution is a relatively sudden, and absolutely drastic change a "complete turn-around"). was the major technological, socioeconomic and cultural change in the late 18th and early 19th century resulting from the replacement of an economy based on manual labour to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture. It began in Britain with the introduction of steam power (fueled primarily by coal) and powered machinery (mainly in textile manufacturing). The development of all-metal machine tools in the first two decades of the nineteenth century enabled the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries.
    The dating of the Industrial Revolution is not exact. T.S. Ashton held that it was roughly 1760-1830, in effect the reigns of George III, The Regency, and part of William IV. There was no cut-off point for it merged into the Second Industrial Revolution from about 1850, when technological and economic progress gained momentum with the development of steam-powered ships, and railways, and later in the nineteenth century the growth of the internal combustion engine and the development of electrical power generation.
    The effects spread throughout Western Europe and North America, eventually affecting the rest of the world. The impact of this change on society was enormous and is often compared to the Neolithic revolution, when mankind developed agriculture and gave up its nomadic lifestyle.
    The term revolution applied to technological change was introduced by Friedrich Engels and Louis-Auguste Blanqui in the second half of the 19th century.
    Causes
    The causes of the Industrial Revolution were complex and remain a topic for debate, with some historians seeing the Revolution as an outgrowth of social and institutional changes wrought by the end of feudalism in Great Britain after the English Civil War in the 17th century. The Enclosure movement and the British Agricultural Revolution made food production more efficient and less labour-intensive, forcing the surplus population who could no longer find employment in agriculture into cottage industry, such as weaving, and in the longer term into the cities and the newly-developed factories. The colonial expansion of the 17th century with the accompanying development of international trade, creation of financial markets and accumulation of capital are also cited as factors, as is the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Technological innovation was another important factor, in particular the new invention and development of the steam engine during the 18th century.
    The presence of a large domestic market should also be considered an important catalyst of the Industrial Revolution, particularly explaining why it occurred in Britain. In other nations, such as France, markets were split up by local regions, which often imposed tolls and tariffs on goods traded among them.
    Social problems
    The industrial revolution lead to a number of social problems within the newly developed working class. Children worked under miserable conditions and the families lived in bad housing.
    Child labour
    Child labour existed before the Industrial Revolution, and in fact dates back to prehistoric times, but during the Industrial Revolution it grew far more abusive than ever before.[1] Politicians tried to limit child labour by law. Factory owners resisted -- they felt that they were aiding the poor by giving their children work from the age of five years onward. In 1833 the first law against child labour, the Factory Act of 1833, was passed in England: Children younger than nine were not allowed to work, children were not permitted to work at night and the work day of youth under the age of 18 was limited to twelve hours. Factory inspectors supervised the execution of this law. About ten years later, the employment of children and women in mining was forbidden. These laws improved the situation; however child labour remained a problem in Europe up to the 20th century.
    Housing situation
    Slum in Glasgow, 1871
    In 1832 James Phillips Kay, an Edinburgh doctor, published a detailed report on the working conditions of the poor and describes worker's housing establishments as follows:
    Here, without distinction of age or sex, careless of all decency, they are crowded in small and wretched apartments; the same bed receiving a succession of tenants until too offensive for their unfastidious senses. 3
    In 1842 a Sanitary Report was produced by Edwin Chadwick:
    "In a cellar in Pendleton, I recollect there were three beds in the two apartments of which the habitation consisted, but having no door between them, in one of which a man and his wife slept; in another, a man, his wife and child; and in a third two unmarried females.(...)I have met with upwards of 40 persons sleeping in the same room, married and single, including, of course, children and several young adult persons of either sex."

    Luddites
    The rapid industrialization of the English economy cost many craft workers their jobs. The textile industry in particular industrialized early, and many weavers found themselves suddenly unemployed since they could no longer compete with machines which only required relatively limited (and unskilled) labour to produce more cloth than a single weaver. Many such unemployed workers, weavers and others, turned their animosity towards the machines that had taken their jobs and began destroying factories and machinery. These attackers became known as Luddites, supposedly followers of Ned Ludd, a folklore figure. The first attacks of the Luddite movement began in 1811. The Luddites rapidly gained popularity, and the British government had to take drastic measures to protect industry.
    Organization of labour
    In England the Combination Act forbade workers to form any kind of trade union from 1799 until its repeal in 1824. After this unions were still severely restricted.
    In 1842 Cotton Workers in England staged a widespread strike. Conditions for the working class were so bad during the industrial revolution, unions were formed to help protect the rights of the working man. The main method the unions used to effect change was strike action. Strikes were painful events for both sides, the unions and the management. The management was upset because strikes took their precious working force away for a large period of time, and the unions had to deal with riot police and various middle class prejudices that striking workers were the same as criminals, as well as loss of income. The strikes often led to violent and bloody clashes between police and workers. Factory managers usually reluctantly gave in to various demands made by strikers, but the conflict was generally long
    Effects
    Roughly exponential increase in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, driven by increasing energy demands since the Industrial Revolution
    The application of steam power to the industrial processes of printing supported a massive expansion of newspaper and popular book publishing, which reinforced rising literacy and demands for mass political participation. Universal white male suffrage was adopted in the United States, resulting in the election of the popular Andrew Jackson in 1828 and the creation of political parties organized for mass participation in elections. In the United Kingdom, the Reform Act 1832 addressed the concentration of population in districts with almost no representation in Parliament, expanding the electorate, leading to the founding of modern political parties and initiating a series of reforms which would continue into the 20th century. In France, the July Revolution widened the franchise and established a constitutional monarchy. Belgium established its independence from the Netherlands, as a constitutional monarchy, in 1830. Struggles for liberal reforms in Switzerland's various cantons in the 1830s had mixed results. A further series of attempts at political reform or revolution would sweep Europe in 1848, with mixed results, and initiated massive migration to North America, as well as parts of South America, South Africa, and Australia. The mass migration of rural families into urban areas saw the growth of bad living conditions in cities, long work hours without the traditional agricultural breaks (such as after harvest or in mid winter), a rise in child labour (the children received less pay and benefits than adults) and the rise of nationalism in most of Europe. The increase in coal usage saw a massive increase in atmospheric pollution.
    The Industrial Revolution had significant impacts on the structure of society. Prior to its rise, the public and private spheres held strong overlaps; work was often conducted through the home, and thus was shared in many cases by both a wife and her husband. However, during this period the two began to separate, with work and home life considered quite distinct from one another. This shift made it necessary for one partner to maintain the home and care for children. Women, holding the distinction of being able to breastfeed, thus more often maintained the home, with men making up a sizeable fraction of the workforce. With much of the family income coming from men, then, their power in relation to women increased further, with the latter often dependent on men's income. This had enormous impacts on the defining of gender roles and was effectively the model for what was later termed the traditional family.
    However, the need for a large workforce also pressured many women into industrial work, where they were often paid much less in relation to men. This was in large part due to a lack of organized labour among women to push for benefits and wage increases, and in part to ensure women's continued dependence on a man's income to survive.

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