• Unit 4: The Industrial Revolution in England

    The Industrial Revolution began in England, which was by 1750 one of the wealthiest capitalist states in the world. The Industrial Revolution began in England's textile industry, which was struggling to produce goods cheaper and faster for growing consumer markets. Businessmen and factory workers, rather than scientists, developed key inventions that solved major bottlenecks in textile production. As the scale of production grew, the factory emerged as a centralized location where wage laborers could work on machines and raw material provided by capitalist entrepreneurs. By the late 18th century, steam power was adapted to power factory machinery, sparking an even bigger surge in the size, speed, and productivity of industrial machines. Heavy industries like ironworking were also revolutionized by new ideas, and new transportation technologies were developed to move products farther and faster.

    Growing businesses soon outstripped the financial abilities of individuals and their families, leading to legal reforms that allowed corporations to own and operate businesses. While England initially tried to protect its industrial technologies, the major ideas of the Industrial Revolution quickly spread to continental Europe and North America.

    In this unit, we will examine the major ideas and events of the Industrial Revolution, study the effects the Industrial Revolution had on the economy of England, and see how the process of economic change spread to other parts of the world.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.