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From the World Book Online

The Industrial Revolution

During the late 1700's and early 1800's, great changes took place in the lives and work of people in several parts of the Western world. These changes resulted from the development of industrialization. The term Industrial Revolution refers both to the changes that occurred and to the period itself.

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain (a country now known as the United Kingdom) during the late 1700's. It started spreading to other parts of Europe and to North America in the early 1800's. By the mid-1800's, industrialization was widespread in western Europe and the northeastern United States.

The introduction of power-driven machinery and the development of factory organization during the Industrial Revolution created an enormous increase in the production of goods. Before the revolution, manufacturing was done by hand, or by using animal power or simple machines. Most people worked at home in rural areas. A few worked in shops in towns and belonged to associations called guilds. The Industrial Revolution eventually took manufacturing out of the home and workshop. Power-driven machines replaced handwork, and factories developed as the most economical way of bringing together the machines and the workers to operate them.

Jacob, Margaret C. "Industrial Revolution." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016

Read more about the cause and effect of the Industrial Revolution at World Book Online (username and password required)


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