Political and social stability combined with an abundance of natural resources led to Great Britain industrializing first. Once they industrialized the textile industry and efficiently utilized the railroads, 🛤️ their industrial dominance was complete.
England then went on to inspire the rest of the world to follow in its footsteps in the First Industrial Revolution.
Remember that great part of the UK's ability to become this dominant powerhouse was due, not only the natural resources of the mainland, but of its colonies as well. They invested a lot in their domestic industry to become self-sufficient during that period. Other European nations that later industrialized also followed UK's steps in having roots in the mainland and having some state ownership. In addition, the political and social environment of the country also enabled its rapid industrialization. Unlike other European nations, the UK was not plagued by wars and conflict that could undermine their production capacity.
Industrialization birthed a working-class that consisted of people who were kicked out of agriculture and a middle class that consisted of factory owners. The family structure changed over time due to industrialization. It also completely destroyed the old social order and distribution of where the population lived due to urbanization and rapid population growth. This demographic changes, in turn, also led to the increase of poverty and the easier dissemination of diseases due to the emergence of highly dense urban areas. This working class also saw the rise of women workers, though they did not have the same appreciation and rights as their male counterparts.
Class struggle consists of conflicts between class and it became a foundation fo the struggle of the proletariat (the working class). During this time, new thinkers, such as Karl Marx, began to alarm the population about the inequalities of the modern capitalism characterized by the Industrialization process.
The end of Napoleon’s empire signaled the beginning of a conservative Europe stuck in the ways of old. This new conservative Europe led to many governments that were considered too overbearing and traditional. The government’s reluctance to strive for progress would lead to new ideologies that sought to fix that reluctance. The rise of liberals (Jeremy Benthamnt and John Stuart Mill) and Marxists (Friedrich Engels, Clara Zetkin, and Rosa Luxemburg) all advocated for a more comprehensive governance that acknowledges the power of the people. 🧍♀️
Industrialization created problems that the average person could not solve alone. As time passed and demands for reform grew, the government had to change. At first, organizations and individuals led the charge. 📢
Once the government saw how large the demand for change was, they had no choice but to initiate and support movements that responded to problems emphasized by industrialization. This period of innovation and reform would end with the beginning of World War One.
🎥 Watch: AP Europe - Industrial Revolution