The history of the industrial revolution goes back to the late 17th century when Britain started to industrialize. It rapidly spread across Europe and North America by the mid-18th century. Samuel slater was the pioneer of industrialization in the United States. Samuel was born in England on June 9, 1768. He started working at a cotton mill when he was only 10 years old.
When he came to know that Americans are interested in learning new techniques of the industrial revolution, he eagerly wanted to take these ideas along, to America, but since exporting such designs or immigration of textile workers out of the country was prohibited in England, he tried to memorize these techniques instead as much as he could.
He then escaped England and went to New York illegally. There he met Moses brown, a well-known Rhode Island industrialist, who took his services and invested in their first project together where they successfully created the first water-powered roller spinning textile mill in 1793.
Progressively, a huge number of industrialists replicated Slater’s mill design, and slowly but surely Slater gained popularity among the people of the United States.
Slater was later given the title of “father of the American industrial revolution” by Andrew Jackson for his services. Though numerous British people considered him a traitor for betraying them and called him “Slater the traitor”.
Eli Whitney also has prodigious popularity for his contributions to the industrial revolution of America. He is widely known for the invention of the cotton gin in 1793.
A cotton gin was a revolution in the cotton industry as it made the conversion of cotton into cloth a lot easier and faster. This way more cotton was produced in less time.
The textile was a dominant industry during the industrial revolution epoch and rightly so became the first industry to use modern production methods. The United States managed to become the momentous industrial state by the 20th century.
Special Causes of the Industrial Revolution in America
Embargo act 1807
In the Napoleonic war, America was a neutral country until Britain seized one of Americas cargo ships and asked workers to join their army as a result of which, then US president, Thomas Jefferson implemented the embargo act 1807 according to which America was restricted to have trade with any foreign country aiming particularly at France and Britain.
As a result, America was left with the only choice to manufacture their own goods in their own country. This way they seek new ideas to improve their economy which gave the American industry an instant boost. The embargo act of 1807 and the Napoleonic war were the turning points in American industrialization.
Presence of Minerals
The presence of coal, iron, copper, gold, nickel, timber, etc. in the United States in abundance was another cause of the industrial revolution in America. They used all these resources to produce their own goods and export them.
Railroads across America had a great impact on the growth of the industry since traveling became easy from one part of the country to the other. Simultaneously, exporting goods within the country and especially to the west became much easier.
This way the demand for goods also increased since the consumption was increased. Railroads were also a reason a lot of immigrants came to the United States for working and earning. Such an abundant supply of labor helped people easily open up their own industries.
General causes of the Industrial Revolution in America and Europe
Capitalism is a system that allows individuals to independently execute their economic affairs privately rather than the government doing it. The idea of capitalism was introduced by Adam smith.
He argued against mercantilism and was in favor of capitalism. If we go back into history and observe carefully it is quite evident that capitalism was a major cause behind industrialization first in British and North America and later, the rest of Europe.
For the industrial revolution, it was necessary for the wealthy men to come forward and contribute their wealth to build factories and make them work.
It wasn’t possible without money in hand to have industrialization revolutionize and so those who invested a huge chunk of their wealth didn’t want any loss either so it was necessary for the government to give them the ownership and let them do it privately since their main motive would be to gain as much profit as they could by any means.
This way, they would work efficiently and make more profit. And they successfully did and we saw a rapid rise in industrialization in America.
European imperialism wasn’t exactly a major cause or a direct cause of industrialization but it somehow triggered industrialization to rise.
Imperialism and industrialization was two-way process. Each helped the other to grow. During the epoch of imperialism, large areas of the world came under European control.
Europe took this opportunity and started to gather resources from the imperialized countries (India, Australia, Africa, New Zealand, and North America) and subsequently used these resources to produce goods in their own factories and exported them to the rest of the world.
This way Europe produced goods at a mass level. As industrialization mushroomed they needed more land to have their industries on and hence they colonized more countries to have a larger area to produce and export goods.
East India Company is a great example of English imperialism in the subcontinent. How they entered India for trade purposes and then began to influence their politics and gradually took over subcontinent means they colonized India.
Syeda Vaneeza is a science student at University. She has a deep interest in article writing, blog writing and data entry work. She always seeks perfection in her work.