Industrialization was an extremely important and revolutionary part of development of new machinery and many other things. In class, we were asked what was 'revolutionary' about industrialization. A video by John Green was shown discussing important things that were developed because of the Revolution. We then were put into groups to help answer that question. 4 ingredients were focused on in this class activity. People, technology, resources and transportation. Our job was to research within our topic what was so special about each category. Only two categories, technology and resources of the Revolution will be discussed today.
Sir Richard Arkwright. Museum of Science and Industry.
First off, technology changed not just the Revolution, but the future. Many technological advances affected industrialization. There was an increase in production made by new machines. Steam engines were a big part of technology. James Watt's steam engine pumped water out of mines, and this became a power source of the Industrial Revolution. Many machines were soon powered by steam engines. These engines alone made industrialization revolutionary, considering it was a huge advance and made a lot of tasks easier and faster. Another technological invention was the Flying Shuttle. It was invented by John Kay and it helped weavers work faster. The Flying Shuttle allowed a single weaver to weave much wider fabrics. This was revolutionary for weavers, since before this was invented they had to bend over and work harder to make fabrics that weren't as wide as what this let them make. Also in terms of textiles, The Spinning Jenny and The Water Frame were important to industrialization. The Spinning Jenny, invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, allowed one spinster to produce eight threads in the same amount of time it previously took to produce one. The Water Frame, or Spinning Frame, invented in 1769 by Richard Arkwright, was yet another technological advance. This was made to produce stronger threads for yarns. It initially was a small machine powered by hand or horse, but he soon adapted it to be powered by water. It was the first powered, automatic, and continuous textile machine, and the first water-powered spinning machine. Why did this make industrialization revolutionary? By making 100% cotton cloth possible, the water frame helped open up new markets for cotton fabrics, giving a major boost to the economy, which was Arkwright’s intent. He saw cotton as the industry of the future, and an economic opportunity. Next, we will discuss the important resources of industrialization.
The main resources of The Revolution we focused on were iron, coal, capital, and cotton. Iron was a huge part of this period of time. Iron is natural, silver and hard metal that is mined from the ground. Abraham Darby used coal to separate iron from its ore starting in 1709. He found out coal gave off impurities that damaged the iron. He got to experimenting and he was led to producing better-quality and cheaper iron. The years that followed this experimental discovery brought more iron that was high-quality and was used more and more widely. Iron was a big part of building railroads. Iron contributed to industrialization being revolutionary because it changed how people worked. It also helped build railroads, which are around today due to the iron they used during the Industrial Revolution, inspiring future inventors to see what else worked when working with iron. Next, coal. Coal was an important source of fuel in the production of iron. It was also used to smelt iron, and it was used to develop the steam engine. Coal was a vital power source, and was needed to produce iron, which is also a crucial part of industrialization. These two resources worked together to make things like steam engines and railroads, making coal also contribute to industrialization being revolutionary. The next resource is capital. Capital is basically economic-related things and anything to do with money. It is the wealth to invest in enterprises such as shippings, mines, railroads and factories. From the mid 1600s to the 1700s, trade from overseas helped British economy prosper, starting with the slave trade. The business class accumulated capital. Capital was essential to industrialization, because the things being invested in, including railroads and factories, were all needed for the Industrial Revolution. These inventions ended up developing more and more as time went on, thanks to those investing in them. The last resource is cotton. Cotton is a natural plant-growing material, used to make clothing and linens. Cotton was also a big resource in industrialization because of many reasons. The revolution sped up cotton picking and new machines were developed to refine it faster. This way, manufacturers could send clothes and linens faster to trade overseas, or just sell. The Industrial Revolution also boosted clothing production. In order to operate these machines and produce more clothing, more workers would have to be hired. This proves that cotton and cotton-related machines also helped more people work and earn money.
All of these reasons contribute to making industrialization truly revolutionary.
CrashCourse's Video on the Industrial Revolution, with John Green: