"Workshop of the World"
British Origins-- The British Industrial Revolution, how and why England was an economic titan, as well as relations to America

First, an overview of the British Industrial Revolution:
(Click on the video below)

Question:  Why was Britain able to maintain the title of "the economic titan of the world"?

Main Reasons:




Global Opportunity




--England’s stable government and economy results in positive ways for business to grow and prosper. They had a strong central bank, and had no wars on home land, which means that those types of economic and government problems were non-existent

--Englishmen cared less about class than other Europeans. Everybody needs to make profits, so they are open to many types of occupations, where as other country’s nobles believed that, mercantilism, for example, was for lower class

--England had many natural harbors for exporting and importing goods easily. Also, they had a great climate for growing and working with cotton, which is a damp atmosphere. Finally, they had the raw materials they needed, such as wool, iron, stone, clay, and coal in their own country

--England had many places to ship goods, especially since America was now on the map. England made almost double in exports as in imports

--England’s population suddenly exploded by the 1800’s. In 1800-1850, there were 27.3 million people. More people meant more need for clothes and food…Thus more mills were needed. Also, with the new population expansion, more people needed jobs and went to work in the mills and factories

--England had the people who were inventing ways to harvest their raw materials, as well as creating time and labor saving machines  

* Interesting thought: Perhaps rich, American land owners were less motivated to invent time and labor saving machines because they had slaves.*   ...this is just thinking aloud, and I want to know your thoughts....

The British industrial revolution affected America, as well as, the rest of the world.
Question:  So, how does the British industrial revolution relate to America?....and how does England's industry, in general,  differ from America's?

                                      What's the difference between
          American Industry                   and                British Industry

General Industry

--democracy based government involvement
--Slaves, so complete profit for the owners of a plantation/ business


--Northeastern farms and Southern plantations
--still lots of land available for cultivation

In the Mills

--mainly women workers
--made an effort to look pleasant and welcoming...but were still unhealthy and unsafe working conditions
--women were dismissed and could be "blacklisted" if they did something wrong, or practiced inappropriate behavior(*1600-1900 ideas of inappropriate) 

General Industry

--monarchy based government politics involved
--No slavery, only paid laborers


--farms are not like the plantations of the American south
--all land in England is claimed and/or in use

In the Mills

--men, women, and children worked in the mills and factories
--physical consequences were issued for bad/wrong behavior
--unsafe and unhealthy working conditions
A millgirl in an American mill
workers in a british mill

Wrapping Up...

"Sapere Aude!"--Kent (Dare to Know!)              
                                          "Knowledge is Power!"--Francis Bacon
Sources: The Industrial Revolution, by Stewart Ross - "The History Guide", www.historyguide.com/intellect/lecture17a.html - (picture from google images) http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/northamerica/after1500/people/pictures/millgirl.jpg - (picture from google images) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/IToldhamP.jpg