The Dawn of the Industrial
Revolution in Britain
Changes in Structure and Performance:
Performance – measured by output;
generally identified through per capita
Structure – characteristics that
support performance (laws, tax
policies, technology, population, etc.)
Smith criticized both guild and
systems as restraining.
Promoted liaise-faire (i.e.
classical liberalism) ideology in
The Wealth of Nations (1776).
Free market economy based
on division of labor and the
fewest government restrictions
Large supplies of coal and iron.
Navigable waterways and access to the sea.
Expansion of roads.
Merchants had surplus capital from
commercial revolution for investment.
Gov’t policies favorable to merchants
(property rights, taxes, banking system)
Cultural innovation and free market ideas.
High standard of living; growing population
Demand for cheap cotton goods at
home and abroad made textiles the first
Cotton was cheap (slave labor) and
“Putting-out” system could not keep up
with demand (lack of organization,
distance between workers); this
required new system
The organization of labor in one location
allowed for increased production.
The location of factories near rivers
and/or seaports allowed for the
transportation of goods to be easier and
provided power supplies.
Location in urban areas provided cheap
Introduction of machines increased per
1733, John Kay: flying
1764, James Hargreaves:
1769, Richard Arkwright:
water frame, which improved
1780s, Edmund Cartwright:
steam engine to power
looms; factory production of
1793, Eli Whitney, cotton
The Steam Engine
1700 – Thomas Savery invents steam
1712 – Thomas Newcomen built steam
engine to pump water from mines.
1769 – James Watt creates more
efficient steam engine.
By 1800, steam power was being used
to power looms in factories.