Why Industrial Revolution began in England?

1. Agricultural revolution: wool and cotton production was unprecedented. Yield of food crops also increased drastically.

  • Enclosure movement: enclosing the common land of village and transferring it to the private ownership making it possible to institute improved farming techniques on a wider scale on a given current fallow land (General Enclosure Act of 1801 and the Enclosure Act of 1845)

2. Population growth and rapid urbanisation: population of London increased five times in 17th century. This increased the demand for urban settlements, supply of labour and demand of clothing.

3. Navigation Acts (between 1651-1760) or Acts of Trade and Navigation, were a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The laws also regulated England’s fisheries and restricted foreigners’ participation in its colonial trade.

4. Government policies: created patent laws to make benefits out of intellectual property.

5. Financial innovation: Financial institutions such as central banks, stock markets, and joint stock companies encouraged people to take risks with investments, trade, and new technologies.

6. Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.

7. Better means of transportation: availability of all-weather roads, introduction of railways and navigable rivers and canals.

8. Natural resource: Coal and Iron deposits were plentiful in Great Britain (specially Central and Northern England).

9. Colonialist and Imperialist powers: with expansion of its colonial powers in Asia and Africa, England was able to procure as much raw material as required by the industries back home. Same practice also helped England to gain on the access to underexplored market for its finished products.

10. Political and social factors: Stable political situation in Britain from around 1688 (after Glorious Revolution), British society’s greater receptiveness to change, new capitalist class, secure property rights, abolition of slavery.

11. Geographical location: England is located on a island type structure and separated from rest of the Europe (rarely fell into the wars with neighbours).

11. Other factors: private sponsorship of education and apprenticeship, availability of capital, Blockade by Napoleon against British trade made England more self-reliant, church land was confiscated and 1/4th of national resources were brought into productive use.

Conclusion: It was British Empire that made British the father of Industrial Revolution.

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