Great Britain and the Industrial Revolution

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Great Britain and the Industrial Revolution Why did Great Britain lead the Industrial Revolution? The Industrial Revolution of the 18th century changed Europe forever. At the front of this change was Great Britain, which used some natural advantages and tremendous thinking and innovation to become the leader of the Industrial Revolution. First, Britain had some tremendous natural attributes. It was naturally endowed with many deposits of coal and iron ore, which were used heavily in the early stages of factory production. In addition, Britain was situated at a critical point for international trade. Its position between the United States and the rest of Europe allowed them to have a serious impact in all matters of trade. Likewise, a multitude of navigable waterways, easy access to the sea, and a mild climate all contributed to the onset of industrialism. Britain's topography was conducive to industrialism because its diversity allowed for the production of many agricultural products, preventing any sort of shortage or famine. Evans remarks, “Each single such advantage could be replicated in other European countries and some could be accentuated, but no other nation enjoyed such a rich combination of natural bounties” (111). Furthermore, the nation was free of many trade tariffs that hampered industry in other European nations while featuring a real opportunity for upward movement in society which provided a great incentive for acquiring wealth. Britain also experienced tremendous population growth which provided a potential workforce as well as an increase in the demand for goods. In addition to all of these natural assets, there was also great innovation and technological advance in Britain. One of the b... ... middle of paper ... ...not on governments, but on men of initiative, determination, ambition, vision, resourcefulness, single-mindedness, and (not infrequently) good, honest greed” (117). The Industrial Revolution, led by Great Britain, greatly changed the existing attitude of powerlessness towards nature to one of power because now people were able to produce enough goods and food to support the expanding population. The ability to produce a surplus that arose from the ongoing industrialization meant that people no longer had to worry over nature and its effects on the economy. The Industrial Revolution led by Great Britain radically changed Europe's social and economic ways of life and provided the impetus for the tremendous progress of the 19th century. Work Cited Evans, Eric J. The Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain. London and New York: Longman, 1996.
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