Reference and Education

The industrial revolution and its significance

In the XVIII-XIX centuries. in the countries of Europe, as a result of the rapid growth of manufacturing production, an industrial revolution took place. Advances in science and technology, the proliferation of machinery, and the modernization of the work process have brought society to a different level of industrial relations. New classes appeared, production times and volumes accelerated, a new hero appeared on the stage of history – the industrialist capitalist.

Preconditions for the Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution is the transition from manual to machine labor. The use of new technologies in industry and the introduction of scientific methods in agriculture  led to an increase in the profits of large landowners and manufacturers.

As a result of the amalgamation of manufactories, the first factories appeared. The labor of forced peasants was gradually replaced by free-wage workers who were interested in increasing productivity. Manual labor was supplanted by machine production.

The technical revolution and the emergence of new classes, the growth of incomes of the population and the sale of products to the less developed countries of that era played an important role in changing the structure of society.

Europe has followed the path of modernization. England was particularly successful. A strong navy and an army equipped with the latest technology allowed England to dictate its terms and influence world politics, reaching agreements that were beneficial for itself.

Reasons for the beginning of the industrial revolution in England

In the XVIII century. in England, a number of political processes were launched, which caused the industrial revolution and modernization of the state:

  • the final unification of the country;
  • the emergence of a single market;
  • income growth and the emergence of the first factories;
  • the emergence of a new class – the bourgeoisie;
  • advances in science and technology;
  • aggressive foreign policy and protection of domestic markets from competitors.

Chronological events of the industrial revolution

How events developed during the 18th – 19th centuries:

  • 1712 – the invention of the steam engine by the French mathematician and inventor Denis Papin;
  • 1733 – the emergence of a “flying shuttle” (a machine that increases labor productivity in the cotton sector);
  • 1784 – the emergence of a new method of processing cast iron;
  • 1802 – the emergence of a new industry – mechanical engineering.

The main stages of the industrial revolution, in short:

  • Preparatory stage – 1730 – 1780
  • The transition to the mechanization of production – 1780 – 1805
  • The final stage is the first half of the 19th century.

Thanks to the modernization of production and competent economic policy, the European states managed to take leading positions in the world arena.

Consequences of the industrial revolution

As a result of the industrial revolution, factories and factories began to play a major role in production. The influx of human resources to jobs has led to an increase in urban populations and the emergence of megacities.

Production volumes increased significantly. The appearance of the railroad and steamships, the organization of communication facilities radically changed the pace of life.

The expansion of the market and the growth of consumer demand for light industrial goods, as well as the emergence of the working class and the bourgeoisie, changed the social image of the average person.

Social change

The disadvantages include the aggravation of social contradictions between classes. The life of an ordinary worker was hard.

In factories, child labor was widely used, and the working day lasted 12 or more hours.

The industrial revolution laid the foundation for class contradictions, from which a new state system – socialism – will soon grow.


The emergence of complex technical devices required advanced training of a simple worker. For the first time in history, the scientific worldview entered into direct competition with the religious one.

The era of fundamental scientific discoveries is characterized by an admiration for mechanical perfection. Education is firmly included in the life of the layman.

The advantages include the partial democratization of society. The aristocracy was slowly but losing its influence. Capitalist society needed new values ​​and ideals.

Subsequent industrial revolutions

For the first industrial revolution of the 18th century. (retaining its main features) followed by the second and third.

At the beginning of the XXth century. the emergence of electricity and the introduction of the conveyor principle into the factory process, as well as the invention of the internal combustion engine, served as a powerful catalyst for the development of industry.

The First World War, a number of social revolutions and the emergence of new state systems have finally changed the civilizational appearance of the planet. Agrarian states remained in the distant past, technical progress was gaining unprecedented speed. The world has entered an era of mass production, mass culture and weapons of mass destruction.

Since the 60s of the 20th century, it has been customary to talk about the third wave of the industrial revolution. Space exploration, the emergence of semiconductors and the first computers and, as a result, the entry of mankind into the digital era of development.


Any Russian schoolchild must know the definition of the concept of “industrial revolution”. XXI century – the era of the Internet and digital technologies – the fourth stage of the industrial revolution of mankind. The rate of technology change is so high that a person is no longer able to cope with the flow of new information.

Many scientists see this as a problem. One can often hear calls for an artificial slowdown in the development of new technologies. Technological progress and discoveries in the field of science in the XXI century. continue to play a major role in the social and economic life of the planet.

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