Industrial Revolution Reena Cavin

The Cotton Industry

In the 1770s and 1780s, the cotton textile industry took the first major step toward the Industrial Revolution with the creation of the modern factory. The development of the flying shuttle had sped the process of weaving on a loom and allowed weavers to double the output. This caused a shortage of yarn, until James Hargreaves’s created the spinning Jenny. This allowed the spinners to produce yarn in greater quantities. Richard Arkwright’s Water Frame spinning machine, powered by water

The Steam Engine

The Steam Engine revolutionized the production of cotton goods and allowed the factory system to spread to other areas of production. Since the steam engine was not powered by water the entrepreneurs now were not restricted of were they could put the factories. The steam engine was tireless which meant that more work could be done without having to stop. Since the steam engine was powered by coal this caused for a greater amount of coal to be outputted.

The Iron Industry

In the beginning of the eighteenth century, the basic process of producing iron had been very little since the Middle Ages and things were still depended heavily on coal. Henry Cort developed a system called puddling in which coke was used to burn away impurities in pig iron to produce an iron of high quality. The growing supply of less costly metal encouraged the use of machinery in other industries, which meant new means of transportation.


Entrepreneurs realized the need for easier ways of moving resources and goods. When the steam engine was made it caused for the transformation of the railways. Richard Trevithick pioneered the first steam powered locomotive it pulled 10 tons and seventy people at 5 miles per hour.


Attempts of British workers to improve their condition developed in the movement known as Chartism. The charter demanded universal male suffrage, payment for members of Parliament, the elimination of property qualifications for members of Parliament, and annual sessions of Parliament. Chartism attempted to encourage change through peaceful ways although there was a little threat of force.

Working Conditions

Working conditions were very difficult and dangerous. Work hours ranged from 12 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, with a half hour for lunch and for dinner. The worst conditions were in the cotton mills where the mills were hot and dirty. From the factories being dirty this caused it also to be unhealthy for the people working. Child labor was a big thing because the children were small and could get payed very little.

New Social Classes

This new generation came from the professional and industrial middle classes, especially people who inherited the successful businesses established by their fathers. The bourgeoisie was now anyone who was involved in commerce, industry, banking, lawyers, teachers, physicians, and government officials. The New Industrial Entrepreneurs were the people who constructed the factories, purchased the machines, and figured out where the markets were.

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