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6.1 Contextualizing Industrialization and Its Origins and Effects

2 min readjanuary 28, 2023

Sharii Liang

Sharii Liang

Jillian Holbrook

Jillian Holbrook


AP European History 🇪🇺

335 resources
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Industrialization ⚙️

Industrialization fueled the desire for change. 
Industrialization promoted… industry, changed everyday life, and exacerbated already existing problems which caused a conservative government to reform.

The Rise of Mechanized Production and Urbanization

Before the First Industrial Revolution, the majority of people made a living off of farming land or the putting-out/cottage system. They grew enough for their families, and whatever was left would be sold. The Agricultural Revolution changed this by amplifying food production, which exponentially increased the population of Europe and their health. With the rise of urbanization and mechanized production, people moved to the cities in droves, creating new societal class interactions with the rise of proletariats and the bourgeoisie.
Great Britain established its industrial dominance through the mechanization of textile, iron, and steel production. Combined with new transportation systems, Britain paved the industrialized way. With state sponsorship, the rest of continental Europe followed Britain's example, and industrialized capitalism emerged. 💰

Government and Social Reactions

However, at the same time, the Napoleonic Wars were raging. These wars threatened the political stability of the time and would transform European governments into conservative powerhouses that despised any sort of change or reform through the Concert of Europe.
Yet these conservative governments did not align with social and economic upheaval, leading to a variety of new ideologies for revolution and reform movements.
What could be done with a large, booming population that was in good health and ready for work? How would that population be affected by the political, social, and economic conditions of the time? Would their governments listen to their concerns and make things right? 👪
https://i.ibb.co/vdny740/factory.gif

Main Events

1815: Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena
1815: Congress of Vienna establishes conservatism and the Concert of Europe
1833: Factory Act is the beginning of workers’ rights laws to be passed
1845-1850: The Hungry 40s and the Irish Potato Famine
1848: Napoleon’s ideas inspire revolutions across Europe AKA Revolutions of 1848
1851: The Great Exhibition is hosted in the Crystal Palace in England
1870: Second Industrial Revolution begins
1905: The Russian Revolution begins
1914: Mechanization and the factory system become the main production systems
1914: WWI begins
🎥 Watch: AP Europe - Industrial Revolution
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