10 Causes and Consequences of the Industrial Revolution

The causes and consequences of the industrial revolution are located in the economic, social and technological. This revolution began in England in the middle of the seventeenth century.

Subsequently, in the nineteenth century expanded to the rest of the continent and the world. This process of transformation was favored by a series of simultaneous elements that laid the basis for its development.

10 Causes and Consequences of the Industrial Revolution

At this time the people of the high society had large sums of money coming from the exploitation in the American colonies, as well as raw material. Having capital available was necessary to invest in some project.

In addition to this, the Illustration made the English population ready to accept innovative ideas, such as those proposed by the industrial revolution.

The most obvious consequence of Industrial Revolution was the institution of the machine, which alleviated the work of human labor and, in some cases, replaced it.

List of causes of the Industrial Revolution

The causes of the Industrial Revolution can be seen from an economic, social and technological point of view. From the economic point of view, the availability of capital and the need to expand trade were the most relevant causes.

From the social point of view, the availability of labor due to the agrarian revolution was an essential element for the development of the Industrial Revolution.

Finally, from the technological point of view, the appearance of the steam engine and other inventions was the true trigger of this process.

1- Capital Availability

In the seventeenth century, England had colonies in America that provided income from tax collection, product sales, among others. This made the capital of the great settlers increase considerably.

With this availability of large sums of capital, it was necessary to invest it in some area that promised profit.

For this reason, when investors saw the benefits promised by the introduction of the machine, they decided to support the Industrial Revolution.

2- Availability of raw material

In addition to capital, the colonies of England in America supplied large quantities of raw material, mainly cotton. In England too, agricultural production was one of the most complete in Europe.

The raw material was abundant but the craftsmen, responsible for transforming it into consumer products, did not give enough for such task. Moving from a manual system to a mechanized system promised to be the solution to this problem.

3- Expansion of trade

International market demand had increased considerably. As demand increased, there also had to be an increase in supply.

Therefore, the producers were in need of streamlining the creative process. That is why the use of other systems faster than the human labor force: the machines.

4- Availability of labor

Before the Industrial Revolution occurred, England went through the agrarian revolution. Between centuries XVII and XVIII, the most outstanding industry was textile, being the wool one of the most important fabrics.

The need to increase the rearing of sheep made the production change in the fields: no direct consumption plants were being grown, but fodder for the beasts.

The promotion of livestock took away from the peasants the land they cultivated. Many began to work in the haciendas raising sheep, but others were unemployed.

For this reason, the workers went to the cities in search of other jobs, favoring the industrial growth.

5- Apparition of the steam engine

The Industrial Revolution would not have been possible without the appearance of the steam engine and other technological innovations.

The steam engine was perfected by James Watt and was used as a means to drive transport systems: railways and steamships.

Other inventions of the time were the flying shuttle (applied in the textile industry, facilitated yarn work) and hydraulic systems (which provided energy from the water currents).

Consequence list

Just as the causes of the Industrial Revolution lie on different levels, so the consequences of this process were felt in different areas of society.

From a demographic point, the population grew because of the revolution. Also, a process of internal migration from the countryside to the city was experienced.

For its part, the economy of the industrialized countries was transformed into a sustainable one. In addition, the new concepts of capitalism and private property.

However, the most evident consequence was the industrialization of modern societies. This element still has repercussions in our days.

1 - Demographic growth

The economic stability created by the Industrial Revolution had repercussions on the organization of societies. The European population grew at a steady pace, as it promoted the existence of larger families.

On the other hand, external migration also contributed to the demographic growth of the most industrialized countries.

2- Internal and external migration

From the demographic point of view, the Industrial Revolution gave way to an impressive migratory process.

To begin with, the industrialized countries experienced internal migration. The workers moved en masse from the countryside to the city in search of better life opportunities. Thus the urban population increased and the rural population decreased.

Second, there was external migration. It is estimated that from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century there was a migratory exchange between America and Europe of more than 50 million people.

3- Sustainable Economy

The Industrial Revolution gave way to a sustainable economy, in which supply equaled demand. This made many nations experience economic growth, becoming richer and more developed every day.

4. Capitalism and private property

Mass production fostered the concept of capitalism which had been raised by Adam Smith .

Likewise, the Industrial Revolution promoted the idea of ​​private ownership of the means of production, that is, industry.

5- Industrialization of modern societies

The most notorious consequences of this process were the industrialization and modernization that occurred thanks to the introduction of the machine in the different areas of society.


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