Efficient Agriculture and Increased Population:
A really important factor for the industrial revolution was that the agriculture became much more efficient in England under the 1700s. The farmers started experimenting with different ways of planting in order to minimize the parts of fields that had to “rest”. A lot of farmers started to use machines to sow, instead of doing it by hand. The reforms in the agriculture led to an increased return, even though fewer workers participated in sowing. The amount of food increased, which resulted in fast drop deaths, especially among the children. Another reason why the deaths dropped was that the most fatal diseases started to disappear. All thanks to the English doctor Edward Jenner who came up with a way to make people immune to some diseases, through vaccination.
Fewer and fewer workers were needed in the agriculture, and there for a lot of people found their way to the new factories, which needed a lot of workers. The changes in the agriculture were there for one of the most important factors in industrial revolution.
The Steam Engine and the Cheap Iron:
The steam engine was nothing new in the 1700s. But in the beginning of the century, Newcomen constructed a steam engine that could pump water out of the deep coalmines. In the 1760s an instrument maker at Glasgow University, James Watt, got the opportunity to repair a Newcomen-engine. While he was working he wondered if there was any way to improve the steam engine. 1769 he got his first patent and as time passed he made the steam engine even better.
The steam engine made it possible to place the factories where they were best suited, no matter if they had access to running water. It was in the textile factories where the steam engine really made a difference at first. A lot of the spinning- and weaving-machines were powered by a steam engine. The old machines just couldn’t keep up with the new technology.
In 1780 the English factory owner Henry Cort came up with a method to use coal to make high quality iron. The process spread fast. They did not need to use charcoal any longer. Which was a good thing since England didn’t have large forests, but a lot of coal which could be used while making iron in a huge amount.
Thanks to the industrialization, manufacturing of certain products was spread over the country, in one place they made textiles and in another they made iron etc. Because of that there were demands on a better way to transport products from one place to another. Initially all transportation were made with a horse and a wagon. In the beginning of the 1800s George Stephenson got the idea to replace the horses with steam engines. The first locomotive was invented and revolution started in the transportation industry.
Book: History A swedish gymnasium.