Many historians agree that Industrial Revolution basically originated in England due to the inevitable progression of social and technological modernization brought about by agricultural industrialization during the closing of the eighteenth century. This development seemed to be inevitable since the major factor of the early industrialization was the promulgation of laws by the parliamentary government of England which permitted farmers to own and cultivate their own lands. Although this development has pushed away the peasant farmers to migrate into the cities, the rural farmers have been able to cultivate the vast tracts of lands into prolific agricultural areas. Since this movement has promoted development in terms of food production it also attracted many people to come in the rural areas thus increasing the number of English population to work as agricultural laborers. With growing population and increasing production, the English Parliament made more laws in favor of merchandising and capitalizing agricultural products and so the policies of industrialization which is based on mercantilism and capitalism have taken over other policies in favor of agricultural policies. This started the beginning of industrial revolution in England.
With the advancement in England, there began also the industrialization and improvement of economies in Europe. However, these developments have also permitted a slow change in values of the people. From family oriented values, there was a slow shift of change where mercantile and capitalist principles became the standard values. Although continental Europe was once represented with aristocracy that embodies social values, there began the reduction on the role of aristocracy to many European government particularly the English government. The invention of machineries in the production of dry goods from agricultural products has reorganized labor orientation. Factories and production warehouses were set up and have turned agricultural and rural economy into urban and capitalist economy. Household which rely on family- based economy evolved into industrial-based economy which physically and socially restructured the thinking and social obligations of the people thus affecting the way of life in their society (Hooker, 1999).
There are also major changes in terms of physical and social environment that occurred with the advent of Industrial Revolution in Europe. By 1750 to 1815, only an estimated 7% of the European population remained in the cities while agricultural production in the rural areas are now on large scale production to cater to the growing volume of needed raw materials for different industries. However, more and more people are now losing their lands due to industrialization of agricultural lands. As 19th century move forward, the population in Europe kept growing and agricultural lands are not becoming sufficient especially when countryside are now getting overcrowded.
From 1815 to 1914, urbanization started in the cities as industries have settled in the urban areas winning the competition against rural industries and gives birth to total European industrial revolution. From 23 cities with more than 100,000 citizens in 1800 there were now 135 cities by 1900. These cities attracted merchants and workers who want to work for different industries. Cities are now booming with textile industries, heavy and commercial industries. Bicycles, steamships and trains were invented accelerating the process of industrial revolution.
Industrial revolution has introduced new ways of transporting goods from their point of origin to other places and even to other countries. Machines originally made for transporting goods were now used to transport people from all over Europe and to other countries and continents. When revolutions erupted, there was severe migration of people all over Europe and across the world. French migrated to other parts of Europe during the French revolution and most of the English migrated back to England or went to Canada after the American Revolution (Schrover, 2008).
The industrial revolution which started in England has certainly changed the people’s way of life in Europe and created a chain of developmental events all over the world. But there is one sure point to all of these and that is the advantage caused by the industrialization which has provided the people the means for their travel and transfer of their goods to propel their economies and enhancing their world to become one of the most prosperous nation in the world today.
Hooker, R. (1999) The European Enlightenment: The Industrial Revolution. World Civilizations. Retrieved April 13, 2009 from http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/ENLIGHT/INDUSTRY.HTM
Schrover, M. (2008). Industrial Revolution. Universiteit Leiden. Retrieved April 13, 2009 from http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/migration/chapter3.html