The First Industrial Revolution

1650 Words4 Pages

Cotton and cotton trading before and during the first industrial revolution
The first industrial revolution is occurred in Great Britain between the mid- eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. During the first industrial revolution, the knowledge of modern science was started to be spread and applied, and the invention of various machines helped the growth of industrial economy. It is more important that the development of the light industries has been highly emphasised in the first industrial revolution, including the textile industry, plastics industry and food industry and so on. Before the emergence of the industrial revolution, the textile production is the work of the individual workers (i.e. tailor, housewives etc.) as …show more content…

As above mentioned, under the influence of technological development in England, the technics of cotton manufacturing become better and better, therefore, they started to construct their own cotton industry. In 1764, the first water-powered cotton mill was established at Lancashire—another important city in cotton production and trade—which using the energy that created by the fast-flowing river and waterwheels to power the textile machineries. Since the process of weaving was simplified as most of the people could be able to handle the machine easily, the cotton industry in Britain started to become labour intensive which employed hundreds of the low-wage labours to work in the factory, most of them are children and women (Beckert, 2014). The success of the mechanised cotton mill led to the rapid expansion of British cotton industry by leaps and bounds, and sparked the British cotton manufacturing boom. According to Beckert, the number of factories in England was around nine hundred in 1797, and the output and exports of cotton textile grew annually by 10.8% and 14% respectively between 1780 and 1800 which made the cotton industry become the major pillar of the British economy. Instead of importing the cotton goods from India, British merchants started to purchase cotton worldwide, imported mainly from India, United States and South America (see Fig. 3). From the figure, it is not difficult to find that at the beginning of the industrial revolution, the British West Indies was the major importer of cotton, but then replaced by the United States since the early nineteenth century, and the percentage of imports of American cotton kept increased. In the mid- nineteenth century, American cotton already accounted for 70% of the

Open Document