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Industrial Revolution in England – Technological, Socio-Economic, and Cultural features

The revolution was the shift to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, period from between 1760 to 1820 and 1840.

  • Transfer from hand production methods to machines, chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, expanding use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the mechanized factory system.
  • Led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth.

Technological features of Industrial Revolution in England

  • Use of materials like chiefly iron and steel.
  • Use of energy sources such as both fuels and motive power, coal, the steam engine, electricity, petroleum and the internal combustion engine.
  • Invention of new machines, including spinning jenny and the power loom – increased production with a smaller use of human energy.
  • Factory system – increased division of labour and specialization of function.
  • Developments in transportation and communication – steam locomotive, steamship, automobile, airplane, telegram and radio.
  • Increasing application of science to industry.

These technological changes made possible – increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods.

Socio-economic and cultural features

  • Agricultural improvements – provision of food for a larger non-agricultural population.
  • Economic changes – extensive distribution of wealth, the shrink of land as a source of wealth during the industrial production, and increased international trade.
  • Political changes – shift in economic power and new state policies in tune to the needs of an industrialized society.
  • Social changes – growth of cities, the development of working-class movements, and the exposure of new patterns of authority.
  • Cultural transformations – Workers gained new and distinctive skills, and their relation to their tasks shifted.
    • Example – instead of being craftsmen working with hand tools, they became machine operators, subject to factory discipline.
  • Psychological change – confidence in the ability to use resources and to master nature was increased.


  • Revolution was a huge turning point in history; almost every side of daily life was affected in some way.
  • Average income and population started to show exceptional sustained growth.
  • Changes – Agrarian and handicraft economy to industry and machine manufacturing.
  • Technological changes introduced new methods of working and living and structurally transformed society.

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