Industrial Revolution: Background and Development

By Rizka Maria Merdeka   |  

The industrial revolution is a major turning point of the change and development of the world, as well as technology that leads to the era of digitalization. The most visible change is how human work and animal power are slowly being replaced by machines.

Almost every aspect of daily life is affected by the industrial revolution, especially in terms of increasing population and income.

Technological developments that occurred due to the industrial revolution had a considerable impact on social, economic, and cultural conditions in the world. What is the background of the industrial revolution and what causes it to happen? To answer this question, we will discuss the background of the industrial revolution and its impacts.

Check out the following article to find out more about the industrial revolution!

The background of the industrial revolution

The term “industrial revolution” was introduced by Friedrich Engels and Louis-Auguste Blanqui in the mid-19th century. The term revolution itself is usually used to see changes in terms of politics and government systems. However, the British industrial revolution was basically a change in terms of manufacturing and the economy, including social change.

The industrial revolution began to develop at the end of the 18th century, which was a transition period from the use of animal and human power to the use of machine-based power in England’s manufacturing process.

During the industrial revolution, humans who initially carried out the production process by utilizing animal power, were switched to the use of machines in the process. Thus, the production process takes a shorter time and can produce more goods.

The period of transition and industrial development began in the period between 1760-1850. Starting from the United Kingdom to spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and the rest of the world.

Changes occurred mainly in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology. These changes occur very rapidly and have an effect on increasing population growth rates and a sustainable average income per capita.

The result of the industrial revolution was the increase in the average per capita income of the countries around the world by more than sixfold for two consecutive centuries after the start of the revolution.

In addition, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of countries around the world has also increased which then brings up a modern capitalist economic system. The industrial revolution is considered as a marker of the beginning of the capitalist economic growth era and is the most important occurrence that happened in the history of humanity.

Factors behind the industrial revolution

After discussing the industrial revolution background, we will review what factors influence the industrial revolution. Basically, there are three main factors that influence the industrial revolution, they are technological, economic, and socio-cultural factors.

The use of new energy sources, fuels, and propulsion such as steam engines and electricity, is an example of things that affect the industrial revolution in the field of technology. In addition, there are also the inventions of new machines, spinning mills, and loom/weaving machines which allow the increasing production by minimizing the use of human and animal labor.

Developments in transportation and communication also appeared, for example in the invention of steam locomotives, steamships, planes, telegrams, radios, and so on. These technological developments open up the possibility of increased use of natural resources as well as the mass production of manufactured goods.

In the economic field, the industrial revolution resulted in a decrease in land value as a source of wealth. In addition, there has been an increase in industrial production and international trade.

Meanwhile, in the social sector, it affected the growth of cities, the development of the working-class movement, and the emergence of new authority systems were also factors that influenced the industrial revolution. In terms of culture, there is a new cultural transformation in which workers acquire new and distinctive skills, and their relationship with their work begins to shift.

Then, in addition to the three main factors, there are several factors that led to the emergence of the industrial revolution, including:

  1. Stable British political situation.
  2. England is rich in minerals, such as coal, iron ore, hematite, and kaolin.
  3. There are new discoveries in the field of technology that can simplify the working system and increase production results.
  4. Britain’s prosperity came from the advancement of shipping and trade so that it can provide a large asset for the business sector.
  5. The government provides legal protection for new findings or patents to encourage scientific research activities.
  6. The great flow of urbanization caused by the agrarian revolution in the countryside encouraged the British government to open up more industries.

The development of the industrial revolution

The development of the industrial revolution occurred gradually until these days. The progress achieved by the industrial revolution itself has an effect on changing the way people live and produce something for their lives. One of them is how technological developments fundamentally change a person’s working conditions and lifestyle.

The following discussion is a summary of the stages of the industrial revolution, starting from the 1.0 to 4.0 industrial revolution.

Industrial revolution 1.0

As previously explained in the background of the industrial revolution, that early revolution began in the 18th century through the use of steam power and mechanization of production. Inventions such as steam power, the simple spinning wheel, or the locomotive brought about major changes and developments in the next industrial revolution.

At this time, people and goods can move from and to far distances in a few hours.

Industrial Revolution 2.0

The next industrial revolution began in the 19th century, marked by the invention of electricity and the assembly line of production. In this century, car transportation was invented and mass-produced. Thus, people and goods can move to and from far distances much faster than ever before at lower costs.

Industrial Revolution 3.0

Next is the industrial revolution 3.0 which began in the era of the 70s through the partial automation of the use of computers that can program memory. Companies can automate the entire production process without using human labor. For example is robotization, which is the use of robots in carrying out a sequence of production processes without human intervention.

With this robotization, jobs that are usually done by humans are replaced by the use of high-tech machines.

Revolution 4.0

Revolution 4.0 is marked by the application of information and communication technology in the industrial sector. After the findings of computerization and robotization in the previous era, digital network connections on the internet expanded the development of the application of computer technology.

This allows communication with other facilities so that all network systems run to a cyber-physical production system.

In this revolution,  the term “smart factory” came, where the production system, production components, and people communicate via a network and the entire production process is almost autonomous.

Tags : #IndustrialRevolution #Technology #Revolution4.0

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