Industrial England Essay, Research Paper
First Draft for History | X was how Marx describe industrial revolution in England. talk more about stuff . England led this surge in productivity at the beginning of the industrial revolution. This was the case for a variety of reasons. Firstly, at a time when all trade took place via sea movement, England was accessible to the sea. There was no part of the country that was more than 20 miles from some waterway that lead to the ocean. England was also helped by the presence of a strong government. Unlike France, Germany, Italy, and Russia, England didn+t have to contend with the effects of civil unrest or constantly changing forms of government. Yet another English asset was the strength of its business class. England+s businessmen were experienced enough to make wise decisions, but were young enough, and ambitious enough, to invest in new forms of industry. At the disposal of these businessmen was a well developed credit system, which was accompanied by the biggest domestic market in Europe. But the industrial revolution, both in England and the rest of Europe, might never have gotten underway had it not been for two events that occurred in the 1700s. Prior to the industrial revolution, England+s economic and social structures underwent two major changes. These were the agricultural revolution and the enclosure movement. These enabled British entrepreneurs the gain access to cheap labor and provided them with the capital they required to construct their factories. Starting in the 1700s, many discoveries were made in the field of agriculture and the advancement of farming techniques. This period became known as the agricultural revolution. The agricultural revolution wasn+t the first time that discoveries had been made in regard to the improvement of farming; however, it was the first time that these events had occurred in such close proximity to each other. Within almost 70 years, starting in 1730 with Charles Townsend+s introduction of crop rotation, a method whereby the crops being grown were changed every year to make optimal use of the soil+s nutrients, the entire face of farming had been changed. These alterations in agriculture were the result of inventions such as Jethro Tull+s seed drill. It permitted farmers to plant seeds deeper into the soil which protected them from birds and in straight rows which cut down the amount of wasted seed which made it easier for farmers to weed the fields. In the 1700s, farmers replaced their wooden plows with lighter, more effective iron ones. By the following century, farmers were beginning to employ the use of mechanical reapers and threshers. These advancements served to increase food surplus which increased the size of the population drastically (increased by 323 million people in only 164 years (use % in final)) and England+s exports. (in final tie this to Marx, connecting markets, plus be sure to discuss how this impacted England and prepared it for the Industrial Revolution) But the effects of the agricultural revolution might have amounted to nothing at all had it not been for the enclosure movement. Despite the fact that they were surrounded by potential methods by which they might improve the size and quality of their harvests, many small farmers couldn+t afford the costly inventions, and at the time most of the rural land owners were small farmers. This greatly limited the agricultural potential of the country, if there+s any doubt as to just how little use the poorer farmers could make of the products of the agricultural revolution one merely needs to examine the peasants of Russia, who took no interest in anything that could improve the productivity of their farm+s. But in the 1740s and 50s, enclosure bills were passed to fence of public land for the private use of wealth land owners. This created a situation where the agricultural discoveries could be put to good use. Because the land was now owned by prophet minded business men, the land owners could afford to put the new methods of farming into practice. This had a drastic effect on rural life. Although it preceded the industrial revolution, the enclosure moment was close enough in proximity, that for the purposes of this paper it can be considered as almost liner events, attest in the beginning. Therefore, we can compare the living conditions in both rural and urban environments before and after this, and consider them to be before and after the beginning of the industrial revolution. The taking away of public lands had drastic effects on rural life, by forcing many people off the lands, making many more tenant farmers with no hope of future gain, but creating an environment in which the few remaining farmers could become incredibly rich. It also effected urban living because, as landless farmers flocked to the cities, the population in urban centers increased drastically, average pay for unskilled city workers dropped, and the standers of living plummeted.
During the 17th and early 18th centuries, the manufacturing of cloth and textiles, which would eventually become the first industry to industrialize, was performed under the domestic system. Under this system of production, all goods were made by artisans, most of whom had journeymen and apprentices working under them. Because they couldn+t afford to purchase all the raw materials that they needed, entrepreneurs bought the raw cotton and gave it to the skilled workers. Once the workers had finished weaving the cotton into textiles, the entrepreneurs sold the product and kept most of the profit. But, as was the case with the farmers during the agricultural revolution, independent manufacturers couldn+t afford to purchase the costly machinery, much of which needed to be build near running water, or to run it efficiently. As a result of this, wealthy merchants and land owners began to gather many people together in one location to produce the textiles. This system of production became known as the factory system. The enclosure movement, and the industrial revolution had wide sweeping effects on both rural and urban life styles. In rural areas, those who had gotten control of the land became incredibly wealth off the profits of agriculture, and industries demand for raw materials such as coal and iron. However, many more people were forced off of their land. Many of these people migrated into the quickly growing industrial cities in search of work. Others became tenant farmers, working the land of the wealth land owners. Because of the growing importance of raw materials, and the ever increasing wealth of the land lords, the number of people working the land slowly rose back to its original level, and eventually surpassed it. However, when compared to the rapidly growing population, it is clearly seen that, despite the fact that there were more farmers, a lower percentage of the populace was involved in agriculture. Instead, most people could be found in the industrial centers that were springing up all over England. (Living conditions in these cities were atrocious. There were few laws concerning labor, and, because there was such an abundance of willing workers, factory owners could afford to pay people next to nothing. In many families, the parents, and the children had to work at the factory just to make enough to get by. And in many cases, a family would have many members, because the parents needed a lot of children to work in order to get by. This only served to add to the problem because the children weren+t getting any education, so they would never advance in life, and more importantly, this only served to increase the population at a faster rate. As a result there were even more people desperate for work, and wages fell and the already unsafe working and living conditions got worse. Factory conditions were incredibly unsafe throughout the word, (refer to the American workers who got burnt alive because their boss locked the factory room door in order to get them to work faster, and the unsafe equipment started a fire.) because there were no regulations, people were forced to work incredibly long hours, and were never really sure of there job+s(refer to the socialist questionnaire if you can find it, and the quote from Beers about the elephant, continue on on this course) The once great living conditions of the urban workers in England were disappearing. Meanwhile, the standards of living were dropping even faster. people were cramped up in small houses (quote here, can+t remember name but know which one, it describes how everyone was really close together, be separated by thin walls, it is very good, wish I could remember it) Also, when hard times hit, workers could no longer fall back on the food they got from farming, most of the original artisans had been farmers during the summer and artisans in the winter. (today expect government do lot stuff, not back then, make this a focal point)