Social Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Britain’s Political Structure

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Updated: Jun 19, 2023
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In Britain, after the revolution (17th-century honorary revolution) earlier than in other countries, the feudal system was disbanded to achieve political maturity and stability, resulting in a freer peasant class than before. However, centering on them, the wool industry developed a lot in rural areas, and modern industries developed around this. In addition, Britain had abundant underground resources (coals and iron needed for machinery and power), and as a result of the second enclosure movement, it had abundant labor and secured a lot of capital through colonial rule.

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In the 18th century, as the demand for cotton fabrics surged inside and outside the UK, James Watt improved the steam engine, and mass production began, which is considered the starting point of the industrial revolution. After that, the cotton textile industry led the industrial revolution. During the Industrial Revolution, countless machines were invented. Since then, machines have played an important role in supporting production.

Technological revolution

The beginning of the Industrial Revolution is linked to several innovations made in the late 18th century. The area using the water square of the article of the invention of the spinning machine, the multi-axis spinning machine of Hargreaves, and the square mule machine of Chrompton (a combination of the water square and the multi-axis spinning machine). It was patented in 1769 and took effect in 1783. With the establishment of cotton and textile factories, its effect quickly decreased.

The steam revolution? The improved steam engine invented by Watts was immediately used to pump mines, but since the 1780s, it has been replaced by motors. This technology enabled the rapid development of efficient semi-automated factories from small-scale past situations in which hydroelectric power generation did not exist.

In the steel industry-steel industry, coal began to be used in the iron smelting stage instead of charcoal. This was discovered long before copper and iron were in the furnace.

These three discoveries, which are key innovations, have led to the rapid economic development of the industrial revolution. While not underestimating other inventions, the discovery of fabrics has made a big difference. Without the initial invention, it would not have been possible to produce results such as multi-axis spinning machines in the textile industry or the smelting of the wire iron using flying shuttles and cokes. Later invented, reverse weaving and trevi-style high-pressure engines also played an important part in the industrialization of the UK. The convenience was further increased by introducing steam engines to cotton factories and steel mills that were operated by hydroelectric power.

Social influence

The Industrial Revolution not only brought about revolutionary changes in the economic structure but also significantly changed the political structure. The royal and aristocratic governance system collapsed, and the emerging bourgeois class achieved the revision of the election law. This careless performance led to a Chartist movement in England where adult men of the working class gathered together and demanded voting rights. With the abolition of this series of regulations, it gradually moved toward a liberal economic system.

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Social Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Britain's Political Structure. (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from