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Example research essay topic: The Industrial Revolution In Britain - 1,440 words

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The Industrial Revolution happened between 1750 and 1900. It a very significant period of history and was caused by many different factors. This essay aims to answer the question why did the Industrial Revolution Happen. England was a country that was the ideal for the Industrial Revolution it was an island, so it was perfect for trade. It had lots of natural resources, and also a large population.

The population both led to more ideas, and more workers. The country was also a wealthy one, with a good economy, and therefore there were ample investors for companies to begin. The revolution eventually spread to Western Europe, and even to the Americas. Goods that had traditionally been made in the home or in small workshops began to be manufactured in the factory.

Productivity and technical efficiency grew dramatically. Coal started to replace wood as an energy source and trade communication improved throughout the world. As new ideas on how to produce and sell goods came about, the cost of food and its production lowered and people came out of the fields and into the cities. When this happened our society changed from having only two classes, rich and poor, to three classes, rich, middle, and poor. This is the change that continues to fuel the Revolution today. The population was growing because more was known about medicine and the germ theory had been established by Lois Pasteur, which meant people could be vaccinated against deadly diseases.

Therefore less people were dying of diseases that would otherwise have killed hundreds. There were also proper anaesthetics developed so fewer people died of shock after operations. There were better living conditions because people were earning more money and glazed water pipes, which prevented cholera-, a large killer of 18 th century people. The industrial revolution meant there were new jobs in factories for instance so there was less unemployment.

Jobs such as farming, which before was a very popular profession, earn the worker less because they are in primary industry. The jobs in factories were in secondary industry though which is a lot more profitable. This is because you can earn more money for a finished product than raw materials. The population was growing because people were eating a better diet than they did-this is also because people are wealthier. The larger population meant there were more people to produce things for trading and to invent things. This is one of the causes of the industrial revolution because without the people, none of the other causes would have been possible.

The larger population led to more ideas and more workers. The British countryside was transformed between 1760 and 1830 as the open-field system of cultivation gave way to compact farms and enclosed fields. This new system of enclosure made farming more systematic and therefore more efficient. However, enclosures also sent people off the countryside and into cities, which is also good because there were more workers for the factories in the Industrial Revolution. Also, new farming techniques improved the cultivation of certain crops. ''Turnip'' Townshend was famous for his cultivation of turnips and clover on his estate in England. He introduced the four-course rotation with these crops: wheat, turnips, barley, and clover.

Innovations in farming methods led to more productive farms, and generated more food. A surplus of food sets off a chain reaction of healthier people, then more people, so there are more workers, so there is cheaper labour, and thus more money for more markets. The bigger population also meant there was a larger demand for food Farmers grew more food and therefore could make a bigger profit. They could then spend money on machinery meaning they could produce more food and make an even bigger profit. Because farmers began buying industry, more money was being invested back in inventing more farming machinery among other things. This was a cause of the industrial revolution because, as was previously mentioned, without the extra food the population wouldnt have gone up.

Without people, the industrial revolution would not have happened. A better transport system was also needed to meet the needs of the growing population. Transport had been vastly improved by new inventions such as steam ships and trains. George Stevenson invented the first commercially successful steam locomotive, the Rocket, in 1825. The railways were very successful and became one of England's main methods of transport during the industrial revolution. Without the railways, commercial expansion in the Victorian age would not have developed as quickly as it did.

Canals were also built; meaning raw materials could be transported round the country more easily. The first canal was built in 1776 and proved to be a very useful way of transporting fragile goods around at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Eventually though, the success of the railways meant that canals and horse-drawn transport became very unpopular. Other modes of transport were improved, for instance, better roads were built. In 1750 there were 3000 miles of turnpike roads.

By 1800 there were almost 20, 000 miles. The new turnpikes meant that journey times were shortened dramatically. New docks were built which meant transport by sea was easier. Transport by sea was also made faster by the invention of the steam ship in the early 19 th century.

These led to an increase in passenger traffic. In 1849, twice as many people travelled from London to Edinburgh by steam ship than train! Sailing ships were still widely used in overseas trade. The improvement of sea faring transport was very important because trade was becoming a very profitable source of income for England.

Also, because people were becoming wealthier, they could afford to buy new inventions. Rich people also invested money into inventions so they would make a profit if it were successful. Improvements in transport is a cause of the Industrial Revolution because without better transport links, Britain would not have been able to trade with Africa and America. Trade was one of the main causes of the industrial revolution. The trade triangle was one of the biggest sources of wealth for Britain.

Britain would take textiles, muskets, brass rods, bronze rings, gunpowder, felt hats, green glass, beads, candles, sugar, tobacco and beer. They would take these to Africa where they could exchange them for slaves. They would then take these slaves to the West Indies where they would exchange them for sugar, spices, rum, tea, tobacco and coffee. These were then taken back to Britain and sold. The slaves grew products such as sugar and cotton on the plantations; these were in turn sold on to Britain. The trade triangle was clever because the ships never sailed empty and everyone made lots of money.

There were very low labour costs that way so plantation owners became very wealthy and the ship owners who sold slaves made enormous profits. The trade triangle also created a new market for the factory owners in Britain, selling their goods overseas. People making their money from trade would also invest money in new inventions so they would make a bigger profit in the future, benefiting both parties. The British also benefited from the trade triangle as they were supplied with new products such as tea and coffee. New inventions could also be traded so the country prospered This is a major cause of the Industrial revolution because without it, Britain would not have had as much money to invest in things such as transport and inventions. The slave trade was also very important in the Industrial Revolution.

Without the slave trade, the Industrial Revolution would have got off to a much slower start. This is because Britain would not have had as much money to invest in things such as transport. The British would still have been able to buy substances such as cotton and tobacco but if there were no slaves working on the plantations, they would have been more expensive due to much higher labour costs There were many causes of the Industrial Revolution. This essay has just mentioned a few of the key causes and why they are more important than other factors. I think that the most important factors though are the increase in population and trade. I think the increase in population is important because without people, none of the other factors are possible.

The increase in population led to more ideas and more workers. Trade was important because it was the main source of wealth for Britain. Even with the people, if there is no money to fund a project then ideas cannot be put into practice and therefore the country cannot advance technologically.


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Research essay sample on The Industrial Revolution In Britain

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