Why industrialization began in England
The Industrial Revolution , which transformed economic life in the West began in England in the eighteenth century . After the Napoleonic period it spread to Western Europe , and by the end of the nineteenth century it had touched most of Western civilization . The Industrial Revolution was characterized by unprecedented economic growth , the factory system of production , and the use of new , artificially powered machines for transportation and mechanical operations . The potential was tremendous for the first time , human beings had the ability to produce far more than was needed to sustain a large
percentage of the population . Whether that potential would be realized , and at what cost , remained to be seen .The Industrial Revolution began in England in the early 18th century for several reasons . One , England had experienced all of the forerunners of industrialization in the previous century : an agricultural revolution cottage industry , and an expanded commercial revolution .These developments had built surplus capital and an infrastructure (shipping banking , insurance , joint stock companies . Two , England already had a handcraft textile industry using wool , but with the availability of cotton from overseas markets as an alternative raw material . Three , the scientific revolution in England prepared the way for new inventions to be applied to industry . Four , a spreading shortage of wood (used for energy , for shipbuilding and construction ) stimulated a search for alternatives . Five , England was rich in supplies of coal for energy and iron for construction . Six , England had a long , irregular coastline with many rivers and natural harbors which provided easy transportation by water to many areas , and seven , England 's population grew rapidly in the 18th century , providing a labor force for industry
England 's agricultural revolution was a result of increased attention to fertilizers , the adoption of new crops and farming technologies , and the enclosure movement . English farmers were one of the most productive farmers of the century . They were treating farming as a science , and all this interest eventually resulted in greater yields . These developments taken together was a period of high productivity and low food prices . In 1750 , the European economy was overwhelmingly an agricultural economy The land was owned largely by wealthy and frequently aristocratic landowners known as the capitalists . Their activities focused more on mercantile activity rather than production there was , however , a growing manufacturing industry increasing around the logic of mercantilism . Parliament passed a series of laws that permitted lands that had been held in common by tenant farmers to be enclosed into large , private farms worked by a much smaller labor force . While this drove peasants off the land , it also increased agricultural production and increased the urban population of England , since the only place moved out peasants had to go were the cities . And this , in turn , meant that the typical English family did not have to spend almost everything it earned on bread , and instead could purchase manufactured goods
Mercantilism had thrived in England in ways that it hadn 't on the continent . In particular , the English had no...
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