The Cause of the Industrial Revolution
In discussing the main developments of the Industrial Revolution, we
must first look at the Agricultural Revolution and the effects of
enclosure as writes Peter Mathias a secondary source, "to be given
identity, the concept (the Industrial Revolution) implies the onset of
a fundamental change in the structure of an economy; a fundamental
redeployment of resources away from agriculture" (Peter Mathias
(1969,p2) The First Industrial Nation). The agricultural revolution
was the precursor to the industrial revolution and began around 1650,
with parliamentary enclosure acts dominating the period 1750 - 1830.
Enclosure changed agriculture from an open field system, whereby the
villagers would each farm on a strip of land to provide for their own
requirements to a system of private land management of enclosed fields
and individual landowners took over control of the land. The community
no longer had communal rights to the land and had to look to the large
landowner for their living. Enclosing the land brought benefits to
agricultural productivity from new crop rotation and heavy manuring,
but for the peasant farmers they were displaced of their land and
forced to find work elsewhere. Farming became less labour intensive
and the large farms contributed to a rural labour surplus.
The Agricultural Revolution created wealthy landowners, which in turn
added to a financial situation favourable for the industrial
revolution. As M.W. Flinn a writes in Origins of the Industrial
Revolution, a secondary source "there is much truth in the assertion
that the increase in rents, itself mainly the product of enclosur...
... middle of paper ...
...g ought to be done in regard to it."
Class notes 19/09/04 The theory of 'take-off' W.Rostow 'The Stages of
Class notes 29/09/04 Banking and Finance
Class notes 29/09/04 Industrial Revolution Background Events
Class notes 29/09/04 Map 5 The British Empire 1783
Class notes 30/09/04 Conditions in England 1832 - 1853
Dale, Henry & Dale, Rodney (1992). The Industrial Revolution, London,
The British Library
Flinn, M.W. (1966). Origins of the Industrial Revolution, London,
Longmans Green & Co Ltd
Mathias, Peter (1969). The First Industrial Nation, London, Methuen &
http://histclo.hispeed.com accessed 4/10/04
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oliver/context.html accessed 4/10/04
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