The Industrial Revolutions on 18th and 19th Century Europe

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The Industrial Revolutions, spurred by technological innovation and the discoveries of new materials, created new industries. One of the first to be mechanized is the textile industry. From James Hargreaves’ creation of the spinning jenny, workers, mainly women, were able to mass produce goods from home. Thus, the cottage industry was born. However, with the development of Richard Arkwright’s water frame, John Kay’s flying shuttle, and Edmund Cartwright’s power loom, factories soon replaced the domestic system and the women who lost their jobs now moved to the factories. Nevertheless, the factories were very successful due to high demand and cheap cotton sources in the Americas and in India. Ironically, American cotton was the product of slavery, which the British had banned in 1838.
Iron, similar to cotton, became especially important as it helped support other industries. Iron was used in steamships, railways, and other machinery used in factories. Materials and people could travel farther and faster than ever before. Before railroads, Europeans heavily depended on local time—train schedules helped establish a national conformity for time. In the nineteenth century, steel succeeded iron. Though Great Britain dominated the market for iron during the first Revolution, Germany managed to surpass British steel production during the second. In addition to steel, chemistry made its way to the manufacturing business. Germany produced 1.7 million tons of sulfuric acid by the start of World War I and 90% of the dyes used in textiles (Wyatt 52-53, 133).
While the new industries have had a positive impact on the economies, it did not help the environment. Before the Revolutions, people relied on charcoal, but trees were scarce and took v...

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