The Industrial Revolution began in the eighteenth century in Britain. The revolution had an impact on only the industrial aspects but the social, economic and cultural aspects of life. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, a large amount of manpower required for producing goods, most of the work was done in small workshops and products were mostly handmade. Machinery was operated by human labor or animals.
Several factors favored Britain’s circumstances for being the birthplace of the Revolution. One such factor is the enormous amounts of coal and iron ore present in Britain. The Industrial Revolution was characterized by the invention of new machines which were run by resources such as coal. As the demand for goods increased, industries like textile and transportation were transformed. Previously, clothes and other textile products were made in the home, but the industrial revolution mechanized the system so that several threads were woven into a cloth simultaneously.
Even though Britain tried to keep its machinery and expert labor exclusive, the Industrial Revolution spread to western Europe countries and several regions of the US. One reason that Industrial Revolution began in Britain rather than other European countries like France was its abundance of coal and lack of wood. Since France had plenty of wood, it did not feel the need to exploit any other resources. At the time Britain had become a hub of domestic and international trade, the need for fast and easy production had risen, therefore a revolution was quite inevitable. Countries like China often valued their relationships with other people. On the other hand, European countries and the US were more individualized, hence driving out the labor of jobs was not much of a concern there. (Encyclopedia)
Industrial Revolution had well ingrained itself in Western Europe and part of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The US led the world in industrial processes by the twentieth century. Industrial Revolution reached the US during the early nineteenth century, as demand for resources increased in us the US around the same time. At the time, exporting machinery and labor knowledge outside of England was illegal; therefore Samuel Slater learned all that could in England about the new industrial processes and moved back to the States. (History)
In countries like India, people were often found to be rigid, unwilling to let go of the old ways. However, in countries like Britain, the need for technological advancement was recognized and immediately acted upon. As the Industrial Revolution spread to other Western European countries, primarily perhaps because of the proximity and increasing trade of goods. As the US was expanding, there was a readiness to improve and advance. Where in China, access to technology was confined to the elite, in Europe it was available to everyone without any distinctions.
Industrial Revolution in Europe was a result ecological, socioeconomic and cultural need which resulted in technological advancements, one that practically changed the world. Industrial processes became more refined and faster, and it had an impact on social and economic aspects.
Enclyclopedia. Industrial Revolution. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/modern-europe/british-and-irish-history/industrial-revolution>.
History, US. The First American Factories. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/25d.asp>.