The Industrial Revolution: A Brief Primer on Its Significance

Automation of JobsThe Industrial Revolution, which occurred from about 1760 to the late 1800s, is among the greatest achievements of mankind. It arguably ushered in the modern age — there is a drastic decline in manual labour, life-changing technological advances came out (i.e. the telephone), and words ‘convenience’ and ‘efficiency’ became the names of the game.

Still, it’s worth wondering what the world could’ve become if the Industrial Revolution never occurred. At first glance, the answer is obvious. Mass production of life’s essentials would be non-existent. Affiliate businesses such as Air Energy wouldn’t be around, as well. Manual labour is what most workers would do since there’s little to no streamlining and/or automation of specific jobs. And believe it or not, even seemingly mundane things such as bulk buying and surgery wouldn’t be possible.

Why Did the World Take So Long to Advance?

One can argue that the world didn’t really take off until after the Industrial Revolution. So this prompts the question, what took it so long? Writing on MarginalRevolution.com, Tyler Cowen states that extended periods of economic growth had a hand in the events. These periods required more attention in terms of defence technologies since it’s only natural for stronger economies to be preyed upon by others. On the other hand, the one with the strong economy also had to be capable of expanding its empire by doing the opposite. In a lot of ways, these events held off the revolution for a considerable amount of time.

On the Revolution Being Largely British

No other nation in the world became known for its industrialisation than Great Britain. There are various reasons as to why it seemed to not happen anywhere else. According to economic historian Robert Allen, it’s due to specific qualities that characterised the British economy at the time.

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Britain succeeded in international trade, and in turn, it gave birth to a high-wage, cheap energy economy which resulted in greater demand for technology. Allen argues that technological innovators couldn’t be paid well anywhere else in the world but the British Isles.

If not for the Industrial Revolution and Britain’s timely economic boom, the world would’ve never advanced enough to have modern conveniences; some of which people still take for granted.