1750, most people in Europe lived on small farms and produced
most of their
needs by hand. A century later, many people
lived in cities and most of their needs were produced by
machines using steam power. The Industrial Revolution
in Great Britain and spread to Belgium, France, Germany, the
United States and Japan. It was a fundamental change in the
way goods were produced, and altered the way people lived.
The Industrial Revolution was a time of scientific and
The Dutch led the way in improvements for
dykes to protect farmland from the seas, and
fertilizers. The British improved on
these methods, and developed others of their own, including
breeding better livestock to aid in work and
mixing different soils to yield a better crop.
Jethro Tull, a British farmer and inventor, created the
seed drill to aid in planting.
Britain experienced a
revolution in energy
use as they switched from animal power, to water
power, to steam power in a few short years.
Thomas Newcomen developed a steam
engine powered by coal. This engine was used to
pump water out of mines. Later,
would improve on this engine, and Watt's steam engine
would be the power source of the
Once steam power became prominent, most machines used in the
production of cloth became powered. This
Spinning Jenny used to make thread,
looms that combined the thread to make cloth.
Other uses for steam power dealt with transportation,
such as the steam locomotive. Within a few
short years of the start of the Industrial Revolution, Great
Britain had miles of track all across the country. This
resulted in a great need for iron track &
nails, which in turn led to improvements in iron production.
As a result of
people moved to towns
and cities to be closer to the factories. Conditions
were very poor during the early part of the Industrial
Revolution, as factory workers lived in over crowded
buildings, with no sewage or sanitation services. This
resulted in widespread disease. As the Industrial
Revolution moved forward, new improvements in
housing construction, and medicine made
life much better for the industrial worker.