A New Revolution Begins
When thinking about revolutions, what normally comes to mind? Do you think about the political revolutions that started new governments in France, Latin America, and the United States? Well beginning in the 18th century, a different revolution occurred in England. Centuries before, goods were made manually. When the Industrial Revolution rolled around, there were machines that could manufacture goods for us. A prime example is textiles. Prior to this revolution, all of the textiles were woven by hand. Machines were then made to weave these textiles during the mid-1700s. Machines were created to produce a variety of products.
It is important to note that the Agricultural Revolution made the Industrial Revolution possible. Small village farms were bought out by large landowners. These large landowners improved the methods of farming, including ones for harvesting and seeding. These methods allowed them to cultivate greater fields. The use of enclosures enables experiments to test for different methods in order to increase crop yields. This resulted in landowners experimenting with different techniques and small farmers being forced to either become tenant farmers or to pack their bags, pursue a city life, and become a factory worker. As an outcome of Britain’s new agricultural methods, there was a boom in England’s population.
So why did the Industrial Revolution start in England? Why not the United States, Latin America, or another part of Europe? Well since the Agricultural Revolution enlarged the population, there were more workers available. Also, there were extensive natural resources that Britain could provide. These natural resources were iron ore to construct new buildings and machines, harbors for merchant ships to sail, coal and water power to fuel these helpful machines, and rivers for inland transportation. All of these resources were required for the process of industrialization. Without these advantages, it is possible that the industrial revolution could have started somewhere else.