Industrial Revolution in England

There is no doubt about England being the first country to experience industrial revolution in 8th century (Deane, 2). However, there are no clear reasons in the minds of many economists as to why it took place first in England and not elsewhere in Asia or Europe. Some economists have argued that the fundamental of the industrial revolution in Britain was economics and the country’s success in international trade. England had stable, solid economical and political institutions. Conducive climate for spinning industries led to the growth of textile industries. Hence, England’s commanding position in textiles across Europe and Asia (Mokyr, 120).

Rapid urbanization and growth of rural manufacturing industries was also the cause for early industrial revolution in England. For example, products from woolen cloth industries found their way to London where two thirds of the works were being done. As a result, the population of people in London grew rapidly leading to rapid expansion of London, it’s provinces as well as Scottish cities – urbanization (Mokyr, 119). The increased population in London also added pressure on wood fuels and charcoal as a source of energy. Towards the end of 16th century, the price of wood fuel and charcoal almost tripled that of coal. Consumers, therefore, had to seek for cheap alternative means of heating their houses, which in this case was coal. They fitted their houses with chimneys and narrow fireplaces to heat coal leading to the invention of a coal burning house. Later people were being required to pay the Northumberland mine coal.   

By 1850, England had already emerged as an economic titan. One of it’s goal was to provide two thirds of the world with cotton spun being dyed and woven within it’s Northern industries. This made it the world workshop for textile products. Compared to other countries in Asia and Europe, the central bank of England was effective with well developed markets for credits (Mokyr, 12). The government created a lesser restrictive economic environment which allowed local investors to trade easily. It also encouraged the use of technology within the free market which facilitated trade and growth of the economy. Finally, the well educated labor surplus in England also ensured adequate labor supply to the burgeoning factories in the country.

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