Free Essay Reviews is a free education resource for students who want help writing college essays.

SIGN UP to post your essay and get expert feedback from a professor.

Recent Essays

February 17

December 10

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16
Post your essay. Get expert feedback. For free.
We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Do you know students who want critical essay reviews from a professor of English Literature? Click like to share. Click here to sign up and post your own essay. We offer no paid services. All reviews are completely free.
Causes Of The Industrial Revolution - With A Free Essay Review

Topic: Industrial Revolution

Statement of the Problem: What were the causes of the Industrial Revolution?

Thesis Statement: The purpose of this essay is to discuss the reasons why the Industrial Revolution occurred.

The era known as the Industrial Revolution was known to be the change from the use of hand methods of manufacturing to machine methods. This revolutionary change began in England around 1750 and later spread to other countries. Ultimately, it brought vast changes in the lifestyle of workmen. Farming such as agriculture which was the main source of jobs was replaced by large scale of mechanized manufacturing. Progress in industrial and technology development has been continuous since the Industrial Revolution began. Since World War II, industry and technology have advanced at an ever increasing rate. The revolution moved from a commercial and agricultural economy to an industrial one and this process was completed in England around 1850. Ultimately, the writer seeks to discuss the reasons why the revolution occurred in England and its causes.

According to R. C. Allen in his article “Why the industrial revolutions was British”, he noted that Britain had a unique wage and price structure and that they were exceptionally high compared with wages in other parts of Europe and in Asia, while prices of capital and energy were exceptionally low. England excelled in the making of woolen and cotton cloth. The new demand at home as well as in the colonies caused steady growth of English textile manufacturing. The cottage, domestic, or putting out, system of the Industrial Revolution largely replaced the guild system of the Middle Ages.

By the 18th century the cottage system began to disappear as a result of a series of important inventions. Hand equipments couldn’t compete with machines which were operated and installed in factories. Spinners and weavers were hired to work in factories instead of at home. With the means of production owned by persons who hired workers, the factory system of capitalism was thus developing.

According to J. L. Hammond, the effects of the Industrial Revolution brought masses of people from the rural centers to the city urban centers. It led to higher standards of living, as inexpensive manufactured goods came on the market. It increased trade between nations. On the other hand, the revolution, in its early days, brought exploitation of workers. There were overcrowding that led to diseases which were the 1st time England had experienced this. There were slums and great suffering as a result of periodic unemployment. The wonders of modern science are a result of the Industrial Revolution, but so are the horrors of modern war. In economics, the revolution brought on the rise of capitalism and also of socialism and communism between Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Labour unions, social legislation, government regulation were all outgrowths of the Industrial Revolution.

Arnold Toynbee whose book “The Industrial Revolution” noted that base on Industrialization in England, the first of the developments that revolutionized the textile industry was the invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay in 1733. Weaving was so much faster on looms with flying shuttles that a yarn shortage soon developed. The spinning wheel in use at that time turned only a single spindle but inventors started designing machines to replace the spinning wheel. In 1764 James Hargreaves introduced the spinning jenny that turned several spindles at the same time. Yarn spun with a jenny was fine but weak. Richard Arkwright’s Water Frame was invented in 1769 which was powered by water spinning 100 cotton spindles at once.

The textile factories employed mostly women and children, who could easily handle the machines and would work for very low pay. There were no laws controlling wages, hours, or working conditions. The working day might be 16 hours long. Orphans and children of the poor were often apprenticed to the textile manufacturers, and were sometimes chained to their machines. The factories were drafty and insanitary. When workers became ill or were injured by a machine, they received no pay. Their earnings barely kept them alive. Fearing the loss of their hold on the textile market, England made it illegal for workers to leave the country with their knowledge of how the machines worked to prevent countries from running competition with them. Steam power was first used in industry when the steam pump was introduced in the early 18th century to remove water from mines. It was improved by James Watt in 1776. Working conditions in coal mines were even worse than in factories, because of the low height of the mind galleries, women and teenagers were often employed to pull the coal carts while small children were used as door tenders. It became less dangerous with the invention of the miner’s safety lamp by Sir Humphry Davy in 1815.

J. A. Blanqui spoke about in his article “Industrialization of America” the spread of the Industrial Revolution. In 1790 Samuel Slater built the first cotton mill in the United States, and in 1793 Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin. New England soon had a prosperous cotton textile industry. The great expanse of American farm land encouraged the mechanization of agriculture. Invention of a successful reaper by Cyrus Mc Cormick in 1834 was followed by the development of other types of farm machinery. However, as the nation expanded there was a rapid growth of industry. The steam boat, which came into general use about 1817 provided transportation on inland waterways. A railway system was built in the 1830’s after the introduction of the steam locomotives. The principles of mass production based on the use of interchangeable parts were developed by Eli in the early 19th century.

In conclusion due to all the challenges that a occurred from riots protesting unemployment from the introduction of machines, M. B. Humphreys stated that in 1832 a Reform Bill was passed that gave increased parliamentary representation to the new industrial cities. In 1834, a new Poor Law made employed men not entitled for public aid. Ultimately reforms in working conditions were accomplished by passage of Factory Acts in 1833, 1844, and 1847 and of a Mines Act in 1842. Many territories such as France, Germany, China , Russia and so on also became industrialized around the 19th century. Unstable governments and lack of effective social legislation, however, hindered progress in many countries.


Arnold Toynbee Article: The Industrial Revolution (1884)

Hammond, J. L. and Barbara The Rise of Modern Industry , Haskell House (1974)

Humphreys, M. B, and others The Industrial Revolution, 3rd Edition, (Allen & Unwin, 1976)

Heard, Patricia, and Miriam Butts The Early Industrialization of America (Viking Press, 1977)

J. A. Blanqui Article: The Industrialization of America c.20th century.

R. C. Allen Article: Why the industrial revolution was British: commerce,induced invention, and the scientific revolution. Economic History

Review, 64, 2 (2011), pp. 357- 384



Your first paragraph explains what the Industrial Revolution was. Your next couple of paragraphs focus largely on the question that you identify at the outset as the purpose of the essay: why the industrial revolution occurred. The next several paragraphs of the essay list several important historical facts about the industrial revolution, but they are not explicitly focused on the question of the causes of the industrial revolution. So, if you really want to write an essay about the causes of the industrial revolution, you need to focus your efforts on elaborating the points made in the first few paragraphs. Presumably there is a legitimate place for a brief account of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution even in an essay focused on causal analysis (e.g., a legitimate place might be the conclusion) but such an account really should be brief. So, first of all, keep your focus on the stated problem.

A good way to keep your focus on the stated problem is to be clear, for yourself, what purpose every sentence and every paragraph in your essay serves in relation to the problem of elaborating the reasons for the occurrence of the Industrial Revolution. In essays, sentences usually serve the purpose of clarifying the topic of a paragraph, while paragraphs serve the purpose of clarifying the topic of an essay. Obviously for that to work, you need to sure what the topic of both the essay as a whole is and what the topic of each paragraph is. You seem to start out knowing what the topic of your essay is, but you seem to give up on writing paragraphs that explicitly clarify that topic before you reach the half-way point. As for individual paragraphs, some are more unified than others, but you have tendency to avoid writing specific topic sentences, and a (perhaps resulting) tendency to write sentences that are not clearly intended to clarify the topic of the paragraph.

Consider the paragraph beginning "According to J. L. Hammond, the effects of the Industrial Revolution brought masses of people from the rural centers to the city urban centers." This paragraph begins by discussing the impact of the Industrial Revolution on people of the time: migration to the cities, higher standards of living, exploitation, slums, disease. The paragraph concludes by talking about longer term consequences: modern science, modern war, capitalism, socialism. You could improve a paragraph like this by writing a clear topic sentence (as the first sentence of the paragraph); e.g., "The industrial revolution had an immediate impact on living conditions for the people of 18th- and 19th-century Britain." As you can see, a topic sentence is a general statement that serves to indicate the subject of the paragraph. Obviously if you do something like that, then you would need to delete from that paragraph the stuff about the later impact of the industrial revolution (modern science, modern war). You may then decide, however, that the paragraph contributes little to the topic of the essay as a whole, and delete the whole thing! Or, you may decide that the migration to the cities were not just a consequence of industrialization but also a cause of further industrialization (by increasing the amount of cheap labor in the cities). In that case you might keep some of that paragraph, and write a different topic sentence.

Perhaps that sounds very complicated, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Things might be less complicated if you divided your essay into argumentative sections from the beginning. You might devote one paragraph to the growing labor force, for instance. You might devote another to trade, or another to the availability of natural resources. The important point is that you should isolate distinct reasons (for the emergence of industrialization) and deal with them in distinct paragraphs.

For instance, you discuss inventions and discoveries in a couple of different places in your essay. How about devoting one paragraph (or one section) of your essay exclusively to that topic. Imagine the topic sentence: "A number of crucial inventions in Britain helped get the industrial revolution under way." (I'm sure you could write something better than that). Your next step would be to gather all the relevant information about inventions and discoveries together under that topic. Now you should have one strong argument about one cause of the industrial revolution. When your done, you will then just need a neat transition to get you to your next topic. Something like this, for example: Of course inventions would have been useless without an adequate labor force to work the new machines. [So now we’ve moved on naturally, as it seems, to talking about the labor force. Easy!]

I hope that's enough to be getting on with.

Best wishes, EJ.
Submitted by: gsboncamper

There are no comments for this essay.

Log In to post a comment.

About gsboncamper