Q. Why did industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people
there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
[Answer in 200 words]
BRIEF SIGNIFICANCE OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
- The industrial revolution marked the beginning of the age of machines that completely changed the life of people.
WHY IT FIRST OCCURRED IN ENGLAND?
- Due to the interplay of multiple reasons, England turned out to be the birthplace of Industrial Revolution.
- Precedence of Agriculture Revolution in England – Developments like consolidation of landholdings, modern agricultural equipment etc. increased the agricultural productivity to ensure abundance of raw material which became a reason for industrial revolution to first occur in England.
- British Mercantilism – Due to British Mercantilism, the British merchants could accumulate huge capital which was invested in factories.
- Proximity to resources – Proximity of iron and steel mines too provided necessary impetus because it saved the transportation cost.
- Since a stable political climate goes a long way in ensuring a stable and sustainable industrial development, therefore the political stability of England (civil liberties, protection to land owners etc.) became an important reason for industrial revolution to first occur in England.
SOCIAL / RELIGIOUS REASONS
- The impact of enlightenment age was more in England as compared to the other places of the world. This became a reason for many technological breakthroughs (weaving machine, steam engine etc.) that may as well be considered as the backbone of the Industrial Revolution.
Connecting Line (Part-II of the Question)
The quality of life of the people went through different changes which can be discussed as follows:
Connecting Line (Part – III of the Question)
Soon after its independence, India began to rapidly rise in its Industrial Development just like the Britain of 19th century. Therefore, at present there are certain similarities in the life of the people of India and Britain at that time.
- Rapid Emergence of Urban Centers
- Rapid Development of modern and technical education (evident from high number of engineering colleges today)
- Rapid rise in small and nuclear families
- Rise in middle class and average standards of living.
- Rural urban migration in search of new job opportunities landing people in slums and poor hygienic conditions.
However, due to the stark difference in the process of industrialization in India (based on socialistic pattern unlike in Britain), there exist certain differences in the quality of life of people today in India and that of Britain in 19th century.
- Less exploitation of the poor and deprived
- Safeguards to the labor class because ever since its independence India believes in the principles of welfare state.
- Being a late entrant, most of the population in India is still engaged in agricultural sector (almost 50 percent).
Though it was conceived in England, yet, today Industrial Revolution has reached almost every part of the world including India. However different circumstances have made impact and consequences of the Industrial Revolution.