THE (FIRST) INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN GREAT BRITAIN


France and Great Britain were in 18th century the main rivals for the overseas colonies. After France suffered severe losses (the War of the Spanish Succession, the Seven Year's War) Great Britain emerged as the world's dominant power. Technical innovations and economic development made Great Britain in 2/2 of 18th century also the industrial superpower. Great Britain became in 2/2 of 18th century a base for the Industrial Revolution which eventually reached the United States of America and Europe.

British population between 1700 and 1800 grew from 6,7 million to 10,2 million, while British population by 1850 increased to about 21 million. Such growth of population in Great Britain occurred because of advanced health care and intensified cultivation of agricultural land. Food became cheaper and also lower social classes could buy goods which did not only satisfy the daily needs. Such development was favourable for British textile industry which had insured raw material in the large sheep-farming areas. British land lords used their land and former common pastures for sheep-farming already in 17th century.

For industrial progress in Great Britain was also favourable large migration from rural to urban areas which became the economic centers. Growth of urban population became important base for emergence of large factories. In contrary with other European states where industrial progress did not have basic terms for development because of numerous state regulations and guild laws Great Britain had little restrictions. British nobility began early to conduct trade and in alliance with middle class achieved economical rights.

Unified trade in Great Britain was not hindered by territorial or political division like in example in Germany. Beside that British cities and economical centers were very well connected by roads and waterways.

Beside increased sale in domestic market also British export increased. With help of strong military naval force Great Britain assured it self an important part in world trade and invested the accumulated capital in new technologies. Objective factors were accompanied by large scale of British industrialists which had beside business spirit also great interest for technical innovations.