• Industrial Revolution, term usually applied to the social and economic changes that mark the transition from a stable agricultural and commercial society to a modern industrial society relying on complex machinery rather than tools.major-inventions-of-industrial-revolution
  • Dramatic changes in the social and economic structure took place as inventions and technological innovations created the factory system of large-scale machine production and greater economic specialization, and as the labouring population, formerly employed predominantly in agriculture (in which production had also increased as a result of technological improvements), increasingly gathered in great urban factory centers


  • The Industrial Revolution has changed the face of nations, giving rise to urban centers requiring vast municipal services.
  • It created a specialized and interdependent economic life and made the urban worker more completely dependent on the will of the employer than the rural worker had been
  • The picture to the right shows several major inventions that were created during the Industrial Revolution. Are any of them still used today?

Economic Changes

  • As economic activities in many communities moved from agriculture to manufacturing, production shifted from its traditional locations in the home and the small workshop to factories.
  • Large portions of the population relocated from the countryside to the towns and cities where manufacturing centers were found.
  • The overall amount of goods and services produced expanded dramatically, and the proportion of capital invested per worker grew.
  • New groups of investors, businesspeople, and managers took financial risks and reaped great rewards.

Consumer Demand

  • The existing system could not keep up with the demand of goods
  • More consumers had sufficient income to afford exotic goods such as cotton cloth and china
  • These were the rising “middle class”
  • Traders realized that if they could produce goods in greater quantity at a cheaper price, they could find more consumers and make a higher profit.

Multiplier Effect

  • Refers to the cycle of consumer demand, investment and innovations that drove the Industrial Revolution
  • Cycle works as follows: increased consumer demand prompts entrepreneurs to invest in machines to speed up production, and thereby increase profit
  • Faster production in one area of manufacturing prompts investment in another area. (example?)
  • Example: Faster methods of spinning cotton requires faster methods of weaving cloth
  • Profit from increase production used to invest further innovations and inventions
  • Multiplier effect caused Industrial Revolution to gather momentum and prompt new technologies
  • The cotton industry becomes the largest single employer of industrial labour, and cotton cloth became the most valued commodity in Britain’s export trade.
  • In the realm of technical innovations and in the number of people employed, the combination of coal, iron, and steam had an even greater multiplier effect than the cotton industry.
  • Impact would become visible in the 1830s and 1840s with the introduction of steam locomotion and the boom in railroad construction.

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20 Comments on "Economic Changes during Industrial Revolution"

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The social impacts of the industrial revolution were quite vast.

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