The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times.
It began in the United Kingdom, and then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, Northern America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.
The industrial revolution in Europe occurred in two phases;
The old phase was from 175-1850 and began in Britain and spread to other European countries like France (1825), Germany (1840), Belgium (1870) and Russia (1890).
In USA, it began after the American civil war of 1861 to 1865. In Japan it began in 1900. In Kenya, it is hoped to be done by 2030.
Characteristics of the industrial revolution in Europe
- The use of machines to replace human and animal labour.
- The use of steam power as a new source of energy to replace water, wind and animal power.
- Increased exploitation and use of coal, iron and steel.
- The rise of the factory system in owns instead of the cottage industries in homes.
- The development of better forms of transport including the use of railways, roads and water.
- Improved living standards and an increase in the human population who required more manufactured goods.
- The production of goods on large scale. Machines worked faster than human labour.
- The development of science and the application of scientific knowledge in production.
- There was development of trade as manufactured goods were sold locally and abroad.
- The rise of modern capitalism that provided enough wealth which was then invested back into industry.
- The growth of trade Union Movements to carter for the rights of industrial workers