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Period 5:1 Industralization and Global Capitalism

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 2 months, 3 weeks ago


Image below shows a Corliss Steam Engine

Industrialization and Global Capitalism (1750-1900 CE)

Corliss Steam Engine


I. Industrialization changed how goods were produced.


 Locating London's Past, an interactive map that maps records of crime, poor relief, taxation, elections, local administration, plague deaths and archaeological finds on a GIS compliant version of John Rocque's 1746 map.

Crash Course video introducing the Industrial Revolution from a less Eurocentric point of view.

Khan Academy's unit on the Industrial Revolution.

For a full rundown of the Industrial Revolution, check out Fordham University's Sourcebook.

Link here for more on the Impacts of the Industrial Revolution in Europe


How did Industrialization affect seemingly unrelated fields like social structures, culture, the economy?


  • Industrialization solidified the disparity between the upper and lower class – factory workers did not earn enough to better their social standings and factory owners became very wealthy. There were some exceptions such as successful entrepreneurs (such as Carnegie) but they were rare. 


  • Women and children became important in bringing money for the family and as a labor source. 


  • Fewer people worked on farms/the countryside.


A. A variety of factors led to the rise of industrial production.

external image Big_red_apple.jpgAspects of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, links from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

What combination of factors were necessary to begin the Industrial Revolution?

  • labor sources from immigrants, women, and children
  • growth of cities (shifted from rural areas)
  • initial investments from entrepreneurs
  • new technology
  • reliable sources of raw materials (ex. Cotton for textiles, iron for steel)
  • a need for the product
  • good work ethic and a large working property
  • enough money to support a labor force
  • canal and river access to power mills

Factors leading to the rise of industrial production: Europe's location on the Atlantic Ocean; The geographical distribution of coal, iron and timber; European demographic changes; Urbanization; Improved agricultural productivity; Legal protection of private property; An abundance of rivers and canals; Access to foreign resources; the accumulation of capital

  • Also important to understand is that changes in the modes of production of goods arose from the need or demand for those changes. Coal and steam and new machinery helped produce goods differently.


  • If we think of the Industrial Revolution as truly starting in England, then we have to understand why these changes were necessary or even possible in England. England had a low population which spurred demand for a replacement of labor, or at least an alleviation of the hardships of labor on laborers themselves to keep people working healthily for longer.


  • England also had the capital, as it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world with trade routes running all over the world. Furthermore, English resources, even after the loss of the American colonies, were rich in coal and coal-mining, which became the main source of power for Industrial Revolution-era inventions.


  • The demand for an acceptance of labor-saving inventions is not limited to England, either.

 Click here for a map detailing the expansion of industrialization across Europe.

The Cotton Gin


Influential Biography pageEli Whitney and the Development of the Cotton Gin


The cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1794 became a major labor-saving, or rather labor-improving device (though it had unintended consequences)

  • The cotton gin was a mechanized system that increased production of cotton dramatically.
  • Unfortunately, the cotton gin helped to extend slavery's legal existence, particularly in the American South. Eventually the slavery issue, along with other factors, split the US and led to the civil war.
  • See Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop for a more extensive overview of his life and invention

 Eli Whitney's patent for the cotton gin.

Quick video on the cotton gin.

What fueled the Industrial Revolution? (get it?)

  • competition
  • labor, raw materials
  • Same as the last question
  • Urbanization, furthermore, can't be responsible for the Industrial Revolution's beginning, since it is only with the promulgation of factories (which need new machinery to run them) that urbanization seemed at all worthwhile to those who had been making livings on farms for thousands of years.
  • Urbanization, then, was a result of the initial burst of industrialization which helped to spur further industrialization with a new labor force to support it.


B. The development of machines, including steam engines and the internal combustion engine, made it possible to exploit vast new resources of energy stored in fossil fuels, specifically coal and oil. The "fossil fuels" revolution greatly increased the energy available to human societies.


  • humans switched from low energy biofuel, such as wood, to high energy steam and coal power.
  • This allowed for the development of cars, trains and electric generators, greatly expanding human energy use

Spinning the Web: The Story of the Cotton Industry provides primary source materials related to the Industrial Revolution in England.

Check out this timeline on the history of steam engines.

See Black Inventors from Engines of Our Ingenuity that reports how Whitney based his machine on a non-mechanical cotton-removing comb invented by an African American slave



Special Topic page: African American Inventors


Gorham Manufacturing Company, Providence, R.I., 1886
Gorham Manufacturing Company, Providence, R.I., 1886


C. The development of the factory system concentrated labor in a single location and led to an increasing degree of specialization of labor.

How did factories change the nature of labor itself?


  • shift from agricultural labor to industrial labor
  • jobs became less diversified (e.g. a laborer would always do the same task in a factory)
  • more women and children in the workforce
  • decreased sanitary/ safety conditions, frequent abuse to the workers in the workplace
  • sometimes unfair practices were enacted (very low wages, long hours)
  • usually based on a strict time schedule

Why is the specialization of labor important? -- It requires that people collaborate or cooperate in order to achieve production. Workers can no longer be self-sufficient or isolationist. In essence, the specialization of labor breaks down many of the socioeconomic structures that had existed for millennia before the Industrial Revolution.


Lewis Hine Anti-Child Labor Cartoon
Lewis Hine Anti-Child Labor Cartoon



Check out herehere , or here for the roles of women and children in factory settings during the Industrial Revolution.


Historical Biography pageThe Lowell Mill Girls


Where did factories start, and where/how did the factory system spread?

Factories were introduced in Britain, specifically factories that specialized in textile and iron production. The factory system spread to other regions of Europe and to America. The concept of factories spread to regions that had raw materials available to them.


There was also an increasing need (due to rapid population growths and increasing global trade) for certain products, so factories, places that can produce those products reliably and quickly, were necessary to meet that demand.

D. As the new methods of industrial production became more common in parts of northwestern Europe, they spread to other parts of Europe and the United States, Russia, and Japan.

Worldwide spread of industrialized production increases the need to continue and encourage industrialization. Also increases economic incentives to become industrialized.

E. The "second industrial revolution" led to new methods in the production of steel, chemicals, electricity and precision machinery during the second half of the nineteenth century.


Machine Hall, Escher Wyss, 1875
Machine Hall, Escher Wyss, 1875

What was the “2nd Industrial Revolution?”


  • The second industrial revolution (which occurred during the late 19th century) was based around the many scientific innovations that occurred during the time (Bessemer steel, electricity, internal combustion engine, new chemicals).


  • The rapid increase in demand for these types of products caused the need for new methods of fast production – such as mass production and the assembly line. These changes occurred mostly in the United States and continental Europe.

Germany and the United States were able to use these advances in order to boost industrial output more significantly than other countries. Both of these nation had factories, but these new scientific processes led to intense industrialization that surpassed other nations. Steel and iron output put the US and Germany on top

II. New patterns of global trade and production developed and further integrated the global economy as industrialists sought raw materials and new markets for the increasing amount and array of goods produced in their factories.


A. The need for raw materials for the factories and increased food supplies for the growing population in urban centers led to the growth of export economies around the world that specialized in mass producing single natural resources. The profits from these raw materials were used to purchase finished goods.


Building the Railway, Vasili Pukirev, 1870

Building the Railway, Vasili Pukirev, 1870

What raw materials were commonly exported to industrialized areas?
Coal, iron, cotton, food (wheat or livestock for butchering purposes), labor, wood

How did the Industrial Revolution influence world trade overall?
It created new markets, demand was met by increased production, the importation of raw materials became more prevalent.

New technology such as railroads and steam power lowered transit time (therefore, exportation of perishable food products became possible) Overall, global trade increased.

How did the Industrial Revolution affect the role of science in larger society?

Scientific methods became more accepted by factory owners. New ways and techniques to better improve production started to have a scientific framework.

Accepting scientific practices slowly trickled down to the lower class. It also caused a dispute between religion and reason.

[Teach one illustrative example of the production and export of single natural resources, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: Cotton, Rubber, Palm oil, Sugar, Wheat, Meat, Guano, Metals and minerals]

external image 200px-Paperback_book_black_gal.svg.pngDan Koeppel, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World (Penguin 2008) does a nice job on the banana and United Fruit Company (See Key Concept 5.1.III.C below)

Kenneth Pomeranz and Stephen Topik, The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy 1400 to the Present (M.E. Sharpe 2006) has several chapters on some of the commodities listed such as sugar, cotton and guano!

An article on the historical and continuing importance of guano 


B. The rapid development of industrial production contributed to the decline of economically productive, agriculturally based economies.

As industrial production rose, what type(s) of production declined?
Products that were made by artisans or were handmade (ex. made-by-order furniture, pottery, etc.)

[Teach one illustrative example of a declining agriculturally based economy, either the one that follows or an example of your choice: Textile production in India] [also: the US antebellum South]

C. The rapid increases in productivity caused by industrial production encouraged industrialized states to seek out new consumer markets for their finished goods.

What “new” markets did industrialized states look for/create for their exports?
Easily exploitable natives (such as those in imperial colonies) who can monopolized by their products

[Teach one illustrative example of new consumer market, either the list that follows or an example of your choice: British and French attempts to "open up" the Chinese market during the nineteenth century]

Crash Course video on imperialism which speaks directly on British "opening" of Chinese market, up to roughly 3:22, though the rest of the video is relevant with regards to resources.

D. The need for specialized and limited metals for industrial production, as well as the global demand for gold, silver and diamonds as forms of wealth, led to the development of extensive mining centers.

What role did monetary and precious metals play in the Industrial Revolution?

  • Iron became an essential material for steel production
  • Silver, gold, and copper were exported faster due to the introduction of faster transportation (steam power and railroad)
  • Important raw materials, so there was an increase in exports in these materials
  • Gold and silver became important in developing economies (to back up paper money), so they were important exports

The increasing need for fuel in the 6th big era led to the development of new mining centers such as Rhondda Valley, one of the major mining regions of Wales.

Also important to note: for much of the early Industrial period (e.g. the first Industrial Revolution) slave trades and/or slave-produced goods were still both viable money-making prospects or means by which large amounts of agricultural resources were produced.

Contrary to popular belief, often encouraged by the American view of the Industrial Revolution as being purely Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution was not, and could not, be separated from the business and practice of slave trade and slave use. To see the Industrial Revolution of 1750-1865 as wholly separate from slavery is to see only half of the era, and to not give black Americans and British and South Americans their due.

PBS site on Africans in America (two parts, Pt 3 & Pt 4, deal with this era)


III. To facilitate investments at all levels of industrial production, financiers developed and expanded various financial institutions.

What financial institutions facilitated industrial production?

  • Banks loaned money to entrepreneurs
  • Governments (particularly the U.S) funded industrial developments such as railroads or canals which aided in transportation of raw materials and exports

How did the Industrial Revolution affect the scale of businesses and overall economic activity?

  • “Trusts” and big businesses became more prevalent
  • Monopolies overtook the market which made it more difficult for smaller businesses to survive
  • Businesses grew to a national scale
  • Money was concentrated with the rich




A.The ideological inspiration for economic changes lies in the development of capitalism and classical liberalism associated with Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill


John Stuart Mill, 1872-1873 in Popular Science Monthly Volume 3

John Stuart Mill, 1872-1873 in Popular Science Monthly Volume 3

How did industrialists legitimize the economic changes of the Industrial Rev?


  • Social Darwinism – the big businesses deserved to survive since they were better equipped in terms of money and other investments than the smaller businesses. This also reflected their views of themselves in relation to the lower class.


  • "Gospel of Wealth” – God gave the rich the duty to help the poor by providing opportunities but not through charity so the poor would have to work for their own well-beings.


  • “Self-strengthening”- they believed that their work would develop the nation as a whole

Short biography of John Stuart Mill

Go here for an audiobook recording of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty (1859) from Librivox. In this book, he argued for a wide freedom of thought and expression for individuals without interference from the state except in cases where someone's speech would do immediate harm to others.

B. Financial instruments expanded.

The currency of some countries (U.S., Britain, etc.) was based on the value of gold, creating the Gold Standard.

[Teach one illustrative example of financial instruments, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: Stock markets, Insurance, Gold standard, Limited liability corporations (L.L.C.'s)]

C. The global nature of trade and production contributed to the proliferation of large-scale transnational businesses.

[Teach one illustrative example of transnational businesses, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: The United Fruit Company, The HSBC - Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation]

Dan Koeppel, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World (Penguin 2008) has several short chapters on United Fruit Company (See Key Concept 5.1.II.A. above) that are quite teachable.

IV. There were major developments in transportation and communications

What were the important developments in transportation during the Industrial Revolution?


  • Steam power/ coal – powered ships and trains reliably
  • Railroads/trains – enabled products/ideas to be quickly transmitted to other regions of the continent

[Required examples of developments in transportation and communication: Railroads, Steamships, Telegraphs, Canals]


Image of a British steam warship from the Kaigai Shinwa, a Japanese book published in 1849 about the First Opium War

external image Steamship.jpg

Link to information on the early 19th century transportation revolution in the United States

 V. The development and spread of global capitalism led to a variety of responses.

Crash Course video on capitalism and socialism, with regard to the Industrial Revolution.

  • Click here for Adam Smith's work introducing the concept of capitalism, The Wealth of Nations


A. In industrialized states, many workers organized themselves to improve working conditions, limit hours, and gain higher wages, while others opposed capitalist exploitation of workers by promoting alternative visions of society.

How did workers respond to the Ind. Rev., and how did their vision of society compare to industrialists’?
Some accepted their status (ex. believed in Rags to Riches) but most protested against the unfair work practices enacted by big businesses. The protests led to worker unions, the later establishment of anti-trust organizations/constitutional acts.
[Teach one illustrative example of alternative visions, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: Utopian socialism, Marxism, Anarchism]


        • Check out Marx's complete work here. 





    • For women's role in socialism, click here.

How did governments respond to the tremendous economic changes of the Industrial Revolution?

  • In US, presidents/federal government did nothing to stop the overgrowth of big business
  • In US, the government banned slavery due to shift to industrial economy
  • In Japan, the government became more involved with business.
  • Developed more massive armies due to increase of wealth
  • Competition between industrial nations, which resulted in more conflicts


B. In Qing China and the Ottoman Empire, some members of the government resisted economic change and attempted to maintain preindustrial forms of economic production.

Why is this important? --


The Industrial Revolution, as persuasive as it may have been for many people and many countries at large, was also largely threatening to many different forms of government and many different social orders. So drastic was the change brought on by the Industrial Revolution, and at so fundamental a level, that many countries did and still do feel at risk of losing their ways of life to capitalization or globalization.

C. In a small number of states, governments promoted their own state-sponsored visions of industrialization.

[Teach one illustrative example of state-sponsored visions of industrialization, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: The economic reforms of Meiji Japan, The development of factories and railroads in Tsarist Russia, China's Self-Strengthening Movement, Muhammad Ali's development of a cotton textile industry in Egypt]

D. In response to criticisms of industrial global capitalism, some governments mitigated the negative effects of industrial capitalism by promoting various types of reforms.

[Teach one illustrative example of reforms, either from the list that follows or an example of your choice: State pensions and public health in Germany, Expansion of suffrage in Britain, Public education in many states]


Emmeline Pankhurst, Arrested, King's Gate, May, 1914 

Emmeline Pankhurst, Arrested, King's Gate, May, 1914
How and why did some governments reform their practices because of the Industrial Revolution?

  • As big businesses grew there became a need to mediate between employers and workers.


  • Initially, the US government favored big businesses in the court. Later, however, the government was somewhat against big business and several anti-monopoly acts were passed (e.g. Sherman Anti-Trust).


  • The US government had to also deal with protesters (particularly those working under factory conditions).


  • Some governments, such as China, actively pursued industrial activities to strengthen the state (i.e., self-strengthening) by adopting western technology (which was considered to be shameful in the past). They did not, however, truly became an industrial nation as their “self-strengthening” was a reaction to the recent rise of Western dominance.

Link to information about Karl Marx, Robert Owen and the emergence of trade unions in Europe.




VI. The ways in which people organized themselves into societies also underwent significant transformations in industrialized states due to fundamental restructuring of the global economy.

How did the Industrial Revolution affect social and demographic characteristics?

  • In industrial nations, cities were population centers.


  • Initially, mortality rates/instances of illnesses increased to the unsanitary conditions of factories and cities.


  • famines and food shortages were common as food had to be brought into cities
  • population increased dramatically.


  • During this time racial prejudices began much more prominent.
    • These racial assumptions continued to inhibit colonial authorities from training the natives of colonial countries


Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

A. New social classes, including the middle class and the industrial working class, developed.



B. Family dynamics, gender roles, and demographics changed in response to industrialization.



Influential Biography Page: Mary Anning, Fossil Finder and Paleontologist

external image Ada_Lovelace_Day_logo.gif
Influential Biography Page: Ada Lovelace, Mathematician and First Computer Programmer

Role of African Americans after the cotton gin, as well as a documentary detailing conditions.

C. Rapid urbanization that accompanied global capitalism often led to unsanitary conditions, as well as to new forms of community.





Add Discussion


Deletion of content

worldhistoryteacher May 31, 2012

I deleted the following:
VI. As science and technology began to spread around the world, many countries, including China, began to adapt to “superior” western ways causing a variety of responses.
•These responses included a revival of ancient tradition rites, in which people attempted to stop the spread of westernization by reimposing the old ways on the country. 
•As the west began opening new facilities and attempting to revolutionize supposedly backward societies, some opportunities were offered to the native peoples, who had then had the chance to gain an education and reputation that raised their status in life. 

Because the Roman Numeral is not a standard. I think this might be better under Key Concept 6? I will see later.

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