The Industrial Revolution

After the French Revolution, the IR represented a second wave of mass political organization (of trade unions); together with movements of nationalism, these political organizations pushed for greater political representation and Europe entered into the age of mass politics.

1. Comparison of the IR and today’s information revolution

Many are comparing today’s information revolution to the Industrial Revolution, in that both took place very fast and brought about almost unprecedented technological changes; both changed people’s lifestyles; both created a lot of anxiety and uncertainty among the people and made obsolete a lot of trades and professions.

2. The process of industrial revolution

  • Traditional manufacturing system: cottage industry: Britain, the Netherlands, Italy.
  • Why England industrialized first?
  • Process of industrialization:

Mechanization in the textile industry was matched by the invention of the steam engine (1769) in coal industry, spurring steel, chemical, mining, and engineering industries. Then the modern factory.

3. Consequences of the IR

  • Total change of life styles;
  • Middle class way of life, and ways of child rearing;
  • Workers: trade unions;
  • Socialism and communism;
  • Romantic movement;
  • Utilitarianism: forerunner of modern political liberalism;
  • Economic liberalism.
  • Political liberalism.