The Industrial Revolution began in England. Before, England was doing well on its own, with its continuously stable government and population. It had several large iron deposits and coal near the surface, and multiple navigable rivers no more than twenty miles away. Also after the agricultural revolution, a person living in England spent much less on food than people in other countries; because of this, it left more money for other necessities.
Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin introduced industrialization to the textile industry. This would be the first industry to industrialize, and it paved the way for further industrialization. Cotton clothing was so expensive because it was so comfortable to wear. However, it took long periods of time to pick cotton and weave it into a fabric. Now that it became less expensive, the demand for it increased dramatically. Other important inventions were the power loom created by Edward Cartwright, James Hargreaves spinning jenny, and the water frame made by Richard Arkwright.
The Industrial Revolution and imperialism are connected because industrialization made it more necessary, and it made imperialism more possible by giving countries the ability to imperialize such as Asia and Africa. The Industrial Revolution made powers like Europe, the United States, and Japan feels the need to have large empires. Having an empire is a necessity. Industrialized economies needed captive markets from which to get and sell raw materials, and imperialism was the way to get those materials.
Countries needed raw materials such as coal, cotton, and iron. Nations worried about not having a valuable means of production to run their factories, so they continued to acquire colonies. Natives in conquered territories provided cheap labor to extract the raw materials industries needed to operate.
Industrial goods were useless if no one bought them. The hope was, that the colonists who moved to these new lands would be able to create new markets; and the indigenous people who lived there as well would buy the nation’s goods. These could present trade treaties with a host country, thus creating cost-effective overseas markets. China would be a prime example as it was never colonized, but the European nations were able to boost their trade in this populous market.
The Industrial Revolution greatly enhanced military strength and made it easier for these powers to take and hold other empires. Industrialization enhanced weaponry as well as ships, making them faster and more reliable for reaching various parts of the world. Factors of the industrial revolution such as these made reaching and conquering every corner of the globe easier for powers.
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