Industrial Revolution and Its Consequences  Essay

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 7
  • Subject: History - Asian
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #8801419

Excerpt from Essay :

This was due to death of one of its greatest leaders, Aurangzeb early 1709. Leadership was seemingly absent as the last of the old and experienced leaders passed on and the new leaders took over. One of the new leaders, referred to as the nawab of Bengal took control of the British port and ordered for payment of increased tax from the British. This move was obviously advised by the French and was directed towards killing the British trade in India. However, Britain refused to comply with this order and instead countered this move. They sent a huge group of their military, comprising of English and Indian soldiers who had defected their authorities and joined the British, to battle it out with the nawab military, which were assisted by the French military (Higgins & Pollard, 2006). The British conquered and executed the nawab and replaced with a leader of their choice. Due to their influence and good relations with their new leader, the British were given authority to control and collect taxes in Bengal. The seven-year war had started between British and French forces, at the Indian coast. Britain emerged victorious once again and this marked the beginning of the British Empire in India. Over the next few years, the British control over India grew immensely and in 1956, Britain became the official colony.

The textile industry at this time became better developed in Britain as compared to the previous century. This was due to the high taxes imposed on textile importation from India. However, on the international scale, Indian textile was still popular because of two reasons. First, the British experienced technical difficulties in copying dyeing skills of the Indians. Secondly, their prices were relatively high because of the higher wages paid to the workers. For Britain to develop there was need to form export market and in the process, take control of the international market. Meanwhile, there was growing development in the new world. Slavery, where human beings, mainly the poor victims of war, were sold to work in huge agriculture plantations was one of the reasons for development. The slaves provided cheap and sometimes forced labor greatly needed in the plantations (Mokyr, 1985). Mercantilist trade restrictions also aided in development of the new industrial era.

The new world agriculture in Europe was developed because of several reasons. Britain was in great need of outside market in order to export its locally produced textile products in order to make profits, which would then be used to improve and maintain stability of the economy. Slave trade ensured constant supply of cheap labor in the plantations. African slaves were preferred because of two reasons. For one, high rates of deaths were recorded in Europe at around this time causing labor shortages. These deaths could be attributed to have been caused by these wars as well as disease outbreaks. Also, Europeans were not willing to migrate from their former residence to the new world region in order to provide the required labor. The large number of slaves needed upkeep. Luckily, food was not a problem because it could be obtained directly from agriculture. Another basic need was clothing and this made it necessary to see that there was need for importation of cheap cotton from India. Massive importation followed and at the end, cotton was so much that again there was need for the extra cotton to be exported to Africa. West Africa gladly traded with the British in exchange with slaves who could be sold in the Caribbean to work in the cotton plantations (Marks, 2007). The new world products were mainly obtained from the plantations. They included, cotton, tobacco, and sugar, obtained from sugarcane were taken to England.

This three sided trade gave Britain a chance to make lots of profits and in the process imposed laws known as colonial legislation. These rules played a very important role in making the British effect be felt as market controllers. These aided the British in ensuring that the third world remained the main producers of raw materials only. They also made sure that the new world could only consume industrial products of Britain in order to avoid instability again (Mokyr, 1985). They kept out of trade contact with their enemies especially the Dutch and the French, while they continued making profits. The massive labor produced by the slaves in textile industry improved shipping potential of England and massively developed the city of Manchester as the centre of textile manufacture.

Raw cotton was cheaply imported from the British colonies to the factories of Manchester. Massive development followed and a series of factories were built. Power used in the factories was acquired from water and this created massive employment to the population. As a result, yield per acre increased and this made prices of textiles to decline below those of the Indian textile (Mokyr, 1985). Soon, the British cotton became common and popular. By now, the skills and labor provided had increased the quality of cotton produced which had then started being exported to Africa from time to time. Late in the seventeenth century, discoveries in the agriculture industry brought some good news to the industrial development. At around the time when America gained independence, cotton gin was discovered in America. This discovery helped to revolutionize the cotton industries in two ways. First, it ensured availability of short staple cotton that could be exploited for greater quality of textile. Secondly, gin cotton relatively cheaper as compared to the already available cotton for use. Due to the cheaper price of gin cotton, it became very affordable to both the rich and the poor (Harrison, 1986). At around the same time, steam power was discovered making textile production even cheaper than Indian cotton. Fuel in industries was no longer a problem and this second discovery made it even easier in textile production.

After this, Britain started campaigning for free trade (Mokyr, 1985). They led by example when they suspended the imposed tariffs on cotton imported from India. They also abandoned the Mercantilist theory in order to woo all the other countries to embrace free trade. During this time, Britain had grown to become a giant in terms of global economy power. After America won its war over its colony Britain, to become independent, mercantilism died. The British viewed their former subjects, the Americans as outsiders. Bans imposed on importation of raw cotton into Britain were lifted. Initially the argument was that this could strangle the British economy. Trade began to flourish between the new Independent America and Britain. At around this time, a fallacy came up that the British manufacturers could only grow on monopoly on colonial markets (Higgins, & Pollard, 2006). America, with huge cotton plantations were now loaded with labor provided by the slavery. Furthermore, the slaves were now giving rise to a new generation. Their descendants continued to provide labor which immensely improved production of cotton which was imported to England. The mills of Manchester were supplied with raw cotton from America. More and more capital was acquired from this textile trade. Most of the money was used to establish more machinery and/or improve on the already existing machinery. Buildings were constructed in the city of Manchester with the help of the cheap labor, thanks to slave trade. Currently, Manchester is one of the ancient cities which were developed as a result of the textile trade. Discoveries for new method of energy to be used in industries also lowered production costs and made trade better. Later, China came into the picture and used to provide food due to its huge population. China also provided market for cheap cloth from Manchester increasing the market gains. The British victory over the French had scared any competition between Britain and its neighbors thus providing the much needed peaceful environment for trade to flourish.

In conclusion, there were several happenings than affected industrial revolution in one way or the other. First, England found itself at a comparative disadvantage in comparison with India. This was purely coincidental but had to be countered or the English economy was in for a great shock. England applied tariffs on imported stuff in order to save its economy and this was somehow a forced move. Coincidentally once again, competition had grown immensely from the Dutch, the French and peace was seemingly unlikely. Again, the British were forced to engage in war or else they stood no chance against the troublesome neighbors. They engaged in wars, attacking India in their own country, in the process. As they colonized India, they could then be in charge and import the cotton and knitting skills as well. Britain rose from the low quality cotton producer with no competitive market to a well organized large scale trade. They easily now dominated the international market due to several discoveries that enabled them enjoy a monopolistic trade between Britain and its colonies. The city of Manchester was one…

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