Industrialization is the process by which a nation or a group of nations become industrially motivated. From 1750-1910, the world saw a very large increase in industrialization. This was caused almost entirely by coal. Before this period of industrialization, wood was commonly used to heat homes and melt iron. Although abundant in early times, wood was beginning to become depleted in parts of Great Britain, Japan and China. Another major contribution factor was the invention of the steam engine. This allowed for large amounts of power without any moving source of energy, like wind or water. Later on, this steam engine also allowed for steam ships, trains and some cars. The new availability of coal and the invention of the steam engine combined to drive the industrial revolution and modernize our world.
Coal was made very popular because it was very available, cheap, and burned at a very high temperature. Coal was chiefly mined in new England and on the coasts of Great Britain. China also had coal, but it was geographically very inaccessible because it was in the far northwest part of the nation. On of the main uses for coal was in the production of iron, it was used to superheat and melt the iron out of the rocks that it had formed around. Later with the invention of the steam engine, coal was used for powering huge looms, spinning machines, trains, ships and cars.
Cotton played another major role in industrialization in America and Great Britain. Many people found that it was nicer to wear, lighter, more breathable and easier to wash then wool. This made the market for cotton increase exponentially in a period of 20 years. Along with the cotton boom came a whole host of invntions with it. In 1733, a mechanic from Manchester, Jon Kay invented the flying shuttle. It was a device that sped up the weaving process. This machine increased the demand for thread throughout industrialized nations. In 1779, Samuel Crompton invented the mule, a machine that was able to spin cotton into thread 100 times faster then by hand. This machine was adapted for steam power in 1790. And in 1785, Edmond Cartwright invented a water powered loom, which by 1870 had almost completely replaced traditional looms.
The steam engine was an invention that is the starting point for modern travel. It is the precursor to internal combustion engines, turbines, ducted fan jet engines and electric motors. In 1765, James Watt invented the first steam engine. It worked by heating water with coal until it burned, then funneling it through high pressure tubes into pistons, which moved up and down as the steam was let in and then stopped by a piece of metal that covered the steam input when the piston got high enough. There is a valve at the top of the piston shaft and when the piston reaches it, the steam flows out. The up and down motion in the piston drives a shaft in circles, creating the desired force. The steam engine allowed the factories to make goods on a large scale.
Transportation allowed the goods made to be shipped all over the world with high seed and efficiency, trains and boats were the main conveyers for goods. George Stephenson invented the first train, which chugged along at 26 miles per hour. Transportation allowed for industrialists to have outputs for goods, and helped cities get fresh produce faster then before. This helped make the diets of people in the cities more healthy and nutritious.
Factories were a relatively new concept in industrialized countries. They allowed massive amounts of goods to be made at one place and shipped all over, in stead of being made at individual homes and then shipped to individual places. The factories also permitted the use of large, expensive machinery and do it in a heavily supervised area. The factories took the skis away from the parents during the day and made it so that the family was only together for short periods every 24 hours. The factory also gave workers the notion of a never ending job and a never ending, rote life.
Many conditions for workers were horrible, they were abused and underpaid, some were even beaten when they would not work as hard as they could have. Many workers went home to hard lives, barley making it to survive. Many had to rely on their children to work to make it in the world. Some workers revolted against bad working conditions, like the Luddites in Great Britain who went and destroyed textile machines that they blamed for their miserable lives.
But nevertheless, mass production increased the quality of life for billions of people.
From industrialization, many large businesses emerged, some like standard oil, held huge monopolies on the markets. The government quickly passed legislation to break up these giants, but remnants of these still remain.