Industrial Revolution in England: Consequences & the Change of Economic Structure -Ifreet Saraf
The term industrial revolution was first used in 1836 by Jerome Blanci, a French socialist writer. The term industrial revolution gained special prominence more than half a century later, through the words of historian Arnold Toynbee.
By the time the Industrial Revolution began in England, a class was being educated under the influence of the Renaissance. Scientists like Isaac Newton, philosophers like John Locke, Niccollo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Pope made their debut during the Renaissance. In the post-Renaissance period, the influence of religious institutions diminished leading to the development of the Industrial Revolution.
At the same time, England’s vast wealth increased, and its colonies spread across Africa and Asia. Made in England the middle class, a large class leads to purchasing power. The demand for goods of this economic class makes the Industrial Revolution inevitable. One of the major industries in England in the eighteenth century was the cotton industry, in which weavers worked from yarn production to textile production. For a long time, weavers used to collect raw materials and produce garments. Later it was sold in different markets. After the Renaissance, a class of merchants emerged, who bought cloth from weavers and sold it in various markets. As a result, weavers’ independence is largely devoted to traders.
At one time the merchants went from house to house and instead of collecting cloth from the weavers, many weavers started producing cloth together. The traders were making more profit. Weavers had the opportunity to observe, in some cases traders had to face less competition. It was from here that the concept of the factory developed, which took on a wider and wider form during the Industrial Revolution. After England, other European countries, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium, experienced industrial revolutions, the effects of which spread around the world.
As a result of the Industrial Revolution, social change has taken place, political culture has changed, and socio-economic structure has changed in most of the countries. However, the biggest change came through the industrial revolution in the economic structure.
Changing the center of the economy
For a long time, the economy of human civilization was based on agriculture. The peasants were the center of gravity of the market; the economic activities of the market were conducted on the basis of the products produced by the farmers. The impact of what the market demands is secondary. Farmers used to produce various products keeping in view the local environment and natural structure; they were sold in the local market in thick spots. Judging by the demand, traders in different places may have bought products from local markets at different times; this relationship with the main structure of the market has always been indirect.
This reality changed as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The main focus of the economy shifted from agricultural land to factories, controlling the market and providing information on consumer demand. The culture of producing products begins with the producer keeping in view the market demand.
For example, the British came to the Indian subcontinent and established colonies. In the beginning, their demand was to reform the tax collection structure and collect more taxes. However, the Industrial Revolution in England created a demand for dye in the textile mills, which led to the introduction of compulsory indigo cultivation in the Indian subcontinent.
Again, the most flowering season in Bangladesh is in winter, the season which starts from mid-December to mid-February. However, the highest demand for flowers is in the spring season. In the post-Industrial Revolution economic structure, producers now produce flowers with spring in mind.
For a long time, most of the people in most of the villages lived in villages, as villages were the center of economic activity and employment. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, economic activity became urban-centric. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the contribution of industry to GDP increased by about 15 percent, while the contribution of agriculture decreased. As a result, people flock to the city in search of work. Whereas in 1801 the industry produced 30 per cent of the total employment, in 1815 it increased to 43 per cent.
Again, at the same time, the total population continues to grow with the rate of population growth. While the population of England was 7.1 million in 1851, the population of England increased to 14.2 million in 1831. As the size of the economy grows, so does the purchasing power of the people, so that people are more inclined to have more children. In addition, increasing living standards increases life expectancy, which naturally increases the total population.
Increasing human efficiency
The Industrial Revolution resulted in the development of capital, which was used by the capitalists to build various kinds of machinery, tools and the necessary infrastructure for the manufacturing process. In most cases, mental skills become more important than human physical ability, the ability to master something quickly leads many. Doing the same thing over and over again and using machinery takes people to the superhuman level.
For example, before the Industrial Revolution, maybe five weavers could make a sari in three days. Using the equipment invented as a result of the industrial revolution, a single worker can produce maybe ten saris in one day.
People’s Idea to Save
From the beginning of civilization man has worked as hard as he can for most of his life. In the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, people began to fall into a trap of efficiency, and human needs began to be endless. As a result, people are constantly running to earn more money.
The idea of ??saving is created in people by earning more money. Money saving refers to the process by which people move money out of the economic structure and store it in isolated places, instead of using the money for which they were supposed to receive services or purchase goods.
The concept of investment
The concept of saving and investing is deeply connected. Through savings people move money out of economic structures, through investment people bring that money back into the mainstream. Investment creates opportunities for new economic activities, creates employment, and increases GDP as well as per capita income. In the days before the Industrial Revolution, investment opportunities were extremely limited, and opportunities for large-scale job creation were also limited.
The writer is a student of University of Dhaka