The Industrial Revolution




Industrial Revolution:

‘Industrial Revolution’ indicates the transition from manual production to mechanized production. In the 18th and 19th centuries steam-powered and water-powered (Hydraulic) machines came into use for industrial production. The industrial revolution could happen only in a capitalistic economy. In the capitalistic economy, a new class of capitalists came into existence, who were either owner of industrial establishments (factories) or could provide capital to such establishments. To produce commodities of common use with minimum possible production cost, to pay the least possible wages in order to maintain maximum profit margins are, the characteristics of a capitalistic economy.

Private ownership of the industrial establishments, manufacturer’s right to manufacture and to fix the price of the manufactured goods, also to determine the profit margins, as also the right of the consumer to buy goods of his choice, are inbuilt norms of the capitalist economy. In England, the atmosphere was suitable for the industrial revolution. Large amounts of iron ore and coal were available. The humid climate of England was suitable for producing cotton yarn. With these favorable conditions, the textile industry flourished in England.

At that time England had established their colonies in many countries. So, England could easily obtain large quantities of essential raw material at cheap rates from their colonies. England could also export the processed goods to the colonies and sell it there with large profit margins using their navy. The profits earned in the colonies made large amounts of capital available to the British merchants. The availability of cheap labor made it possible for them to maintain an optimum level of costs. These factors giving a boost to the economy prepared the favorable ground for the onset of the industrial revolution in England. The industrial revolution, however, affected India adversely. It set the decline of the Indian cottage industry. The textile industry in India almost came to a halt. The administrative policies of the East India Company were made to benefit the British than the Indians. Railways made it possible to transport European goods to rural areas to sell. It turned into monetary exploitation of the Indians.


Alberuni (973-1049 C.E):

Alberuni visited India accompanying Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. He tried to estimate the diameter of the earth. His method of determining the latitudes and longitudes was accurate. Considering his times, this was a very difficult task. He prepared a map of the earth indicating its round shape. He is considered to be the father of ‘Hydraulics’.

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