The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution in North America
The industrial revolution started around 1750. It began in Britain and it spread through out the World. England was known as “the world’s workshop” because at that point in time, England was the major manufacturing center of the World.(Bailey) It took about ten years for the industrial revolution to spread to other places. It spread to America. The Industrial Revolution was favorable to the American colonies by bringing the factory system to America, supplying more employment which increased urban growth, and raising the national economy.
The factory system was the key to the industrial revolution. The factory system was a combination of Humans and new technology. New technology was arriving every day. The greatest invention during this time was the steam engine. The creation of the steam engine was credited to James Watt. There had been other steam engines before James Watt’s but none of them were efficient. Watt’s engine was the first efficient engine that could be used in a factory. The steam engine had the strength of ten thousand men.(Pollard) This was not the only invention that helped the factory system evolve. Textiles were a major product of the Industrial Revolution. Production was slow at first in the factory. In 1764, a British inventor named James Hargraves invented the “Spinning Jenny.” This lowered production time which enabled the factory to produce more per day. In 1773, John Kay, an English inventor, created the “flying shuttle” which lowered the production time even more.(Encarta) If production had not been speed up, the Industrial Revolution would have not had that big of effect as it did in North America.
The Industrial Revolution brought more jobs to North America, because the factories needed the workers. Before the Industrial Revolution, most Americans lived on small, self-sufficient farms and were widely spaced. They produced most of there own things including food, clothes, fuel and furniture. Extra money came from selling of surplus goods and it was spent on things like coffee and tea. “Land-starved descendents of land-starved peasants were not going to coop themselves up in smelly factories when they might till their own acres in God’s fresh air and sunlight.”(Bailey) Farmers did not want to move into a big city because they liked it were they were even though there was a lot of jobs that the revolution brought. Even though farmers were reluctant to move, they did. They did this because they could make more money. The farmers were to far away from the factories to go back in forth every day so they had to move into the cities were the factories were located in the cities. This moving of people from the country to the city caused a rapid urban growth. Cities were becoming larger and population was rising. Cities were now becoming the place to live.(Vialls)
The industrial revolution also caused the national economy to rise. The jobs were being filled and the factories were producing a lot of products. Because more products were being made, there was more to trade with other countries, which made more money for the economy. The factories were trading with other countries at a massive rate. North America began to make so many products and trading them that in the 19th century the Americans took over as the industrial leaders. Thus letting them make more money than any other country. It wasn’t the country that was making all the money though; the people were also making more money since they moved off the farms. America in a whole was becoming richer in a since. There was a downfall to the Industrial Revolution in the economy. The factories were letting more people make more money than they did before. Thus widening the gap between being poor and being wealthy. Land value was also increasing due to the location of the factories. The North-East land became more valuable because that is were most of the factories were located.(Bailey) Overall, the Industrial Revolution brought more money to North America which caused the country to flourish and it kept the country alive and helped it grow to what it is today.
The Industrial Revolution, in my belief, was the most important thing that ever happened