Industrial Revolution – UPSC GS1

  • Beginning of machine age
  • Mass production at unprecedented scale
  • Beginning of modern world
  • Still an ongoing process
Reason for IR
  • Geographical discoveries and beginning of world trade – Americas discovered, direct link between west and east, promotion of world trade, market emergence
  • Emergence of neo-capitalist class – Huge finances,  higher production at lower cost with profit as sole motive
  • New inventionsSteam Engine by Newcomen, developed further by James Watt  – transport, textile, steelCotton Gin by Elis Whiteny, a spinning wheelElis Howe – sewing machine
  • Colonialism – Discovery of new world and expansion of mercantilism to exploit the resources of conquered colony, to benefit the home country. All this needed huge capital investment.
Industries that developed
  • Coal industry
  • Iron and steel
  • Steam boats
  • Wireless
  • Telegraph
  • Telephone
Features of IR
  • England – epicentreSun never set in its empireLarge finances available  from colonial exploitsDisappearance of serfdom and enclosure movement (Availability of cheap labour)Abundance of coal and IronStable govt, backed by mighty navy
  • Scientific development
  • Commercialisation of agriculture – with emphasis on production of cash crops like cotton, indigo, opium, tobacco etc. Machineries and boost by money to grow cash crops.
  • Development of infrastructure – railways, macadamized roads, penny post etc. transformed transportation and communication
  • Textile sector – Huge amount of British money was spent in importing India clothes like Muslin and Calicut. Development of spinning wheel, the textile industry of England got hugs boost,  which reversed the drain wealth and finished cloth of British factories was dumped in various colonies.
Evaluation of IR
  • Neo-capitalist class emerged with sole motive of profit
  • Boost to nationalism – Started with Britain, Austria and then unification of Germany and Italy
  • Social Development – New classes emerged and bifurcation of society into Capitalists and Proliterates
  • Luddite Development – Socialist movement, pro-labour class, objective of destroying industrial setup in Britain, emancipation of labour class
IR gave a revolutionary turn to the world events and acts as a foundation for modern world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top