James Watt

The Industrial Revolution

James Watt

James Watt was a Scottish inventor born on January 19, 1736 in Greenock, Scotland. At the age of 19 he worked as a mathematical instrument maker in London. After a year he returned to Scotland and made his own instrument making business. In 1763 Watt was sent a Newcomen steam engine that needed repairing. While he was repairing the engine he discovered how to make it work for efficient. He was the first to create a separate steam condenser. From this point on it was the steam power that drove the Industrial Revolution.



James Watt Biography

Industrial Revolution in Britain

The Industrial Revolution was caused by many situations that gave Britain the perfect opportunity to industrialize. Farming was the primary livelihood in England, with at least 75% of the population making its living off the land, the wealthy land owners needed the tenant farmers to increase productivity. This caused unemployment, which created a large number of people who were unemployed. They were then forced to move to cities to find work. Next one needs coal, England was abundant in it. The early steam engines were created to pump water from the coal mines. The steam power drove the Industrial Revolution. They also needed a market, and England's colonial empire was so.



Urban Development

The Industrial Revolution had many positive effects on the cities in many ways, but there were also negative effects. As more and more people moved into the cities, overcrowding became a major problem. With cramped work space conditions, diseases spread very quickly. An average workers day was 14 hours. Many skilled craftsmen were put out of business, and men were given low wages. Around 1850 the conditions started to improve. Workers were given leisure time instead of being forced to work all day. Woman also started to work in the factories, rather than farm work. A middle class began to rise during the Industrial Revolution, it was now made up of entrepreneurs and factory owners. The middle class was most responsible for the spread of the Industrial Revolution, mainly by opening new factories and taking advantage of the new technologies.



Rural Development

As new farming techniques were being used, the farms as a whole became vastly more productive. This helped to produce enough food to feed the growing population. Roads began to expand, bridges were built, canals were dug, and railroads were created, this helped to connect every small village to Great Britain. As more and more people moved to the city for work, the countryside was often short of help. Environmental impacts such as waste from the factories got dumped into the rivers. The cities that had factories were covered in smog from all the smoke. As the demand for recourses grew, forests were cut down to fuel the demand. These things caused long term environmental distress.



Working Conditions

As many people moved to the cities, it became more and more difficult to find work. In some situations there would only be work opportunities for half of the workers. This allowed employers to set rules and regulations as they pleased to the employees. Since only the wealthy landowners had the right to vote, the lower classes were forced to work 12-14 hour days, six days a week in terribly dangerous conditions. If a worker was to acquire an jury while working they were fired, without compensation for the injury. Later, laws were put into place limiting the amount of workdays one had, especially woman and small children. Eventually the quest for workers rights continued to increase.


Great Britain vs The United States

Industrialization in the United States was very similar to the industrialization in Britain. Working conditions were found to be better, but there was a shortage of workers because very few wanted to work in the factories. They then were offered good working conditions to attract the workers. Another difference was the fact that the new major technology and industry in the United States was transportation. This allowed goods to be transferred easily all over the country. The end of the civil war brought many African American citizens to the north to find employment. In Britain the first industry was textile production. The resources of those in the United States differed from those of Great Britain. The Industrial Revolution in the United States ended with the Great Depression.




Imperialism is when one country politically or economically dominates another country by expanding its borders and creating colonies. Desire for resources and markets fueled the Industrial Revolution. Imperialism can be related to the Industrial Revolution because Britain aided in the American Revolution by creating their colonies. The Americas had a huge number of raw goods, the products were shipped to England to produce more. The product was then sold in the Americas and other countries.


Adam Smith Vs Karl Marx

Adam Smith believed in an economic system where producers were allowed to sell and charge the consumers as they wanted. Marx did not agree with Adam Smith, he believed that this system was not equal, because it gave an advantage to the rich and not the poor. His theory of communism was intended to spread wealth equally among the people. Both theories have left effects on many countries today.