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  The factors which contributed to the Industrial Revolution:


Factors Population change Inventions Finance Trading opportunities
Coal By 1840, over 200,000 men, women and children worked in the mines. Coal needed many workers in small seams without machinery so families moved into villages and towns in NE England, S Wales, central Scotland, built beside the pits. The Newcomen Steam Engine (and later Watt's engine) made it possible to drain deep mines and extract more coal. Use of the steam engine in factories, mining and transport meant higher demand for coal. Many of the mine owners were the aristocratic landowners who had always been the wealthiest people in the country. They found coal under their land and saw the opportunity to make more money by investing in mining as well as agriculture. Coal could be moved round the coast then inland by river or canal, but was available near to iron deposits, and so had a good market. It was an important export to Europe and to the Empire.
Iron The areas where iron smelting was most developed - South Wales, central Scotland and the Severn valley - became very heavily populated as people moved in looking for work. Houses were built by the iron masters, forming new towns such as Merthyr, Falkirk and Coalbrookdale. Iron was in short supply in the 18th century. The Darby family at Coalbrookdale used coke instead of charcoal for smelting Abraham Darby II improved the blast in furnaces, so that mass-produced iron could be used for new inventions in machinery, steam engines, rails for wagons, bridges and cheap domestic items. Many of the iron masters were Non-conformists who believed in hard work and investment. They put their profits into new business and sometimes borrowed money. The founding of the Bank of England in 1695 was the start of a national system, but most borrowing was from local banks. Before coke was used, much of Britain's iron was imported. The new methods made high quality iron cheaper than foreign iron, so Britain started to export iron goods. When there was not enough iron from British mines, iron works were built near ports so that the raw materials could be imported.
Textiles Wool producing areas became less important, so their population did not grow as people moved away looking for work. Cotton areas such as Manchester grew quickly after the steam engine meant that huge mills were built for the workers. Orphans were even moved many miles from ome, to become apprentices. Spinning inventions (Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny, 1770; Arkwright's water Frame 1769 and Crompton's Mule, 1779) were used in cotton, not wool, along with the cotton "gin" to speed up cleaning raw cotton, and so made the cotton industry grow. Wool was less mechanised, and became less important. Cotton weaving was slower, but speeded up with Cartwright's loom around 1825. Cotton became the major industry, using water and steam to power factories. The textile merchants started as wealthy men, and were able to build on their wealth by building mills for cotton yarn and cloth. Their wealth meant that they could buy expensive iron machinery and coal, so that they helped to develop the iron and coal industries. Raw cotton could be bought easily from the American colonies. It was also grown and brought from India. The Cotton Gin made it easier for cotton to be cleaned, so fewer slaves were needed to work the plantations. Until then Britain supported the slave trade from colonies on the west coast of Africa. Colonies made a market for finished textiles and clothes as well as supplying raw materials
Transport At first people moved slowly from one area to another looking for work in the new industries. The new canals opened up the areas that they went through. Many men came from far and wide to build them, and also to build the roads and railways.As transport improved and became cheaper it was easier to move a long way to get work, so the industrial areas grew even faster. The Bridgewater Canal made transport of coal to Manchester easier, and was followed by many others which helped the movement of iron and pottery. Road improvements by Metcalf, Telford and McAdam made it easier to move people and information around the country, thus helping orders and finance. Railways moved goods very quickly using the steam locomotive. These needed huge amounts of iron and coal. The new means of transport were financed by the people who would benefit most by having them - so the producers of heavy goods like iron and coal financed canals, the local merchants, innkeepers and landowners financed roads, and the iron masters financed railways. Salt producers in Cheshire and Wedgwood the potter financed particular canals in their own interest, then made money out of their investment that they could put back into their own works. Travel by ship had made Britain able to build an empire in North America and India, from which they got raw materials. Particularly in India men became very rich then came home to invest in new industry and land. The British fleet became the biggest in the world through transporting exports and imports. Naval vessels carried guns that were made in the new iron works.
Pottery The five towns around Stoke on Trent became the centre of the pottery industry after the canal system was built, and grew quickly to provide the workers. Josiah Wedgwood, a potter, was a shareholder in the Grand Trunk Canal by which he brought clay from Cornwall and moved his pots to the coast for export round Britain and across the world. The pottery industry grew around the canal system. Wedgwood was able to put money into the canals, then made money from them that he could put into his pottery. The pottery that was made by Wedgwood, Spode, Minton etc. was copied from dishes brought back by China merchants, and was then exported by canal and ship. Clay was first transported from Cornwall, then was imported as better quality clays were found.

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