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2. Factors of the Industrial Revolution

November 7, 2019


Sean, it’s incredible. You are offering me a dinner! Did you win the lottery? No! It’s true. I have never offered you a dinner. It’s a pleasure to me. Thank you very much. Do you remember that an increase in agriculture production brought to a decrease in death rate by the end of the 18th century? Of course. It is known as demographic revolution. The improvement to agriculture production allowed an improvement to nutrition. If we also consider the decline in major epidemics and progress in hygiene and medicine, it had as a consequence the reduction of death rate. Yes, but the birth rate continued to be high, producing a high natural population growth. That’s right! This increase in population had as a result that there was more available workforce. Consumption increased. Also, due to there was not enough employment for everybody, migrations to America increased. But there were other factors for the Industrial Revolution. Yes. Thanks to the improvement brought by the Agricultural Revolution, trade increased. Also the profits from trade and agriculture were invested in the emerging industrial sectors, such as mining, textile and steel. And industry needed to be financed, so banks had an important increase too. Yes, it is known as a growth of financial means. But there were new energy sources and raw materials that started to be used in Great Britain. Of course. Coal was the main energy source and iron and cotton, the main raw materials. Thanks to the use of coal and iron, James Watt was able to create in 1769 the steam engine. This invention allowed to move machines in the factories and finally, the development of the railways. And the availability of cotton revolutioned the textile industry. Do you understand now why did I bring you to a bus station when we started to talk about the Industrial Revolution? Yes. This is the beginning. But remember that petrol engines are a consequence of the 2nd Industrial Revolution. And steam machine also developed the water transportation with the inventions of steam boats. It’s true. Can you imagine Mark Twain and his Tom Sawyer without steam boats? No. It would be completely different and it would be a pity. So, the factors of the Industrial Revolution are a decrease of mortality that brought to an increase of population. The profits in agriculture were invested in modernising transports and creating factories. Allowing also the banking development. The availability of energy sources and raw materials, such as coal, iron and cotton, allowed the invention of the steam machine and the development of textile industry. Steam machine that was used in factories and revolutioned the transportation thanks to the steam boat and the railways. It’s true. This is a nice place, but I think we will not return. Why? It’s a long time we are seated here and we are still waiting for the waiter. You are right!

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