Causes of the Industrial Revolution Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
  • Words:

Causes of the Industrial Revolution `

Causes of the Industrial Revolution

The Causes of the Industrial Revolution and How It Began in England


Industrial revolution is one of the discussed topics in the 21st century due to importance in enabling understanding of the change of conventional into the modern societies through the process of industrialization (Emma, 2010, p.3). Even though, there are several literatures on industrial revolution, many have only focused on how it happened while neglecting its causes. Therefore, this research paper will discuss the cause of the Industrial Revolution. The paper will also discuss how Industrial Revolution began in England.

Causes of the Industrial Revolution

There are numerous causes of Industrial revolution including an increase in population, innovation, invention and innovation, and finance. A research by Emma (2010) found that the Britain’s population had increased tremendously in the 18th century particularly after 1750 and again double in 1850. The demographic growth increased consumption, yet the British economy could not fulfill the growing demand with conventional production methods. Frader (2006, p. 54) claimed that agriculture was not enough to provide for employment and even for the needs of the people. Therefore, there was a need to diversify the economy to other sector to ease pressure on agriculture. Therefore, experts thought of moving industrial economy as the best option to provide jobs for the increasing population. As a result, idle large tracts of lands were used to build manufacturing plants to increase production, which could sustain the growing population (Hepplewhite & Campbell, 2002, p.7). The new industries produced cheap goods leading to increased in the production.

The inventions of machines fueled the creation of manufacturing companies hence intensifying industrial revolution. For instance, in 1589 inventors had already created knitting machine way before industrial revolution. Furthermore, spinning jenny was also developed by James Hargreaves to increasing making of cloths. Hepplewhite and Campbell (2002, p. 15) posited that the new spinning jenny spins over 125 threads at once. Other inventions which were made in the 18th century comprise of steam engine using. The new inventions changed the production ways and many inventions from this period are still used in modern society. The agrarian society change moved manufacturing from home to factories and replacing the handwork with machines.

Finance also caused industrial revolution. Profits from transoceanic commerce generated finance which injected capital for the investment. Similarly, Frader (2006, p. 43) asserted that wealthy businessmen invested engines and machines to the factories to increase production. Finance and innovation stimulated invention.

How and Why the Industrial Revolution began in England

Studies have shown that Industrial Revolution started in England and spread to France (Emma, 2010, p. 34). Various have been attributed to why to Industrial Revolution began in England and not France. Similar to the cause of Industrial Revolution England had increasing population and its staple could not meet the needs of the people hence the need to innovate to increase its production. This is different from France which needed only to enlarge its production systems. Industrial Revolution began in England also started in England because of its rich natural resource. Emma (2010, p. 26) pointed out that England to be rich in iron ore which could be used for making machines. Similarly, England had coal which produces energy for running engines.

Frader (2006, p.61) argued that industrial Revolution also began in England to effective transport system which facilitated trade. England also navigable waterways and coast, and also a seafaring island situated at the point of international trade. The characteristic enabled it to import the raw materials and also export goods to other country early enough to set platform for industrial revolution. Occupying of England by English settlers in the 18th century also fueled industrial Revolution. The settlers’ mission was to reproduce European civilization in other countries hence industrialization (Hepplewhite & Campbell, 2002, p.27). England had several members of Protestant nonconformists who believed in change, inventiveness, dissemination and knowledge and industry shift hence encouraging Industrial Revolution.


The paper has discussed different causes of Industrial Revolution which shaped European economies up to date. Some of the causes discussed include increase in population, innovation and availability of finance. The paper has also found various reasons why and how Industrial Revolution started in England and they include population growth which overwhelmed agriculture, rich natural resource, transport systems and presence of settler who brought in civilization. As 21st century unfolds, the role of Industrial Revolution will remain as a one of the major factors which contributed towards the growth of England and some European countries.


Emma, G. (2010). Short History of the British Industrial Revolution. London: Palgrave.

Frader, L.L. (2006). The Industrial Revolution: A History in Documents (Pages from History) 1st

Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hepplewhite, P., & Campbell, M. (2002). All about the Industrial Revolution. New York: Hodder & Stoughton