INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN BRITAIN. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN BRITAIN. Term Paper ID:25506 Essay Subject: Origins & impact of technology & modernization on transportation system: canals, turnpikes, shipping, commerce, railways, steam engine, stagecoaches.... 8 Pages / 1800 Words 5 sources, 24 Citations, TURABIAN Format 32.00 Paper Abstract: Origins & impact of technology & modernization on transportation system: canals, turnpikes, shipping, commerce, railways, steam engine, stagecoaches.
Paper Introduction: A conventional date for the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain is about 1770. This date corresponds fairly well to the substantive beginning of several developments that, taken together, seem to mark the difference in character between the industrial age and the pre-industrial world. James Watt's steam engine made possible the application of artificially generated power to a wide range of processes, unlike its far more limited predecessor the Newcomen engine.
The technique of mass production began to be pursued in a systematic and regular way, enough so for Adam Smith to employ his famous example of a pin-making factory as a contrast to traditional craft production. The publication of The Wealth of Nations itself both promulgated and marked a changing conception of what wealth was and how it was created; while Smith's economic theory By 1783, 3 coachesa week ran between London and Manchester, and by 1829 there were 34 aday.
[xviii] A severe limitation to coach service, as to road freighthaulage, was the wretched state of the roads. Initially a merearistocratic indulgence, by the 17th century hired coaches were commonenough in London to attract the hostile attentions of Thames boatmen, who(as colorfully imagined in the film "Shakespeare in Love") had long beenthe cabbies of London.[xv] About the mid-17th century the first scheduled "diligences" appearedon routes between London and provincial centers; wagons may have beenoperating a similar service somewhat earlier.[xvi] Just how thisremarkable innovation came about is unfortunately not recorded; perhapsfrom the hired London coach, but it was a very great step from local hiringto scheduled intercity service.
It might seem fruitless, then, to look to transportation tounderstand when or why the Industrial Revolution developed in Britain. [ix]Dyos and Aldcroft, 92. Aldcroft and Michael J. At this point, the natural next step was for river transport to jumpits banks, so to speak, by the construction of canals either to reach newareas, connect river routes, or both.
A History of Inland Transport and Communication. On the other hand, these advantages applied infull only to bulk cargoes.
It took place against the backdropof a growing concern for improvements in river navigation from the 16thcentury and through the 17th century.[vi] Banks were straightened andsupported to provide towpaths, and short canal-like segments were built tostraighten bends in rivers. The advantages of water transport were well known. [xvi]Dyos and Aldcroft, 35.
Someinitial demand must have been present to make either one viable. The Wealth of Nations. Both involved extensive earth-moving and careful surveying andpreparation; while a canal could make much smaller-radius turns than arailway it was even more sensitive to gradients.
London: B. T. Batsford, 1974.Dyos, H. J.
; and Aldcroft, D. H. This is in strikingcontrast to later times, when developments in transportation--railway, motorcar, and aeroplane--have been nearly the symbol of industrialprogress.
[vii]Ibid., 82. Most broadly, 177 was roughly the time that "darkSatanic mills" began to proliferate across the British landscape, beginningthe shift from a primarily rural agrarian society to an urban andindustrial one. These conditions were not yetsufficiently widespread in the 16th century.
To us, everything about the stage coach--thecoachyard inns, the horse-drawn vehicles, the highwaymen that preyed onthem--are redolent of a pre-industrial age. Chicago: University of Chicago,1976. As river trafficgrew it had broader application; the hypothetical merchant described abovewould find river transport more practical once frequent traffic waspresent, so that he could simply find a place in a boat going to hisdestination rather than hiring one. Kelley, 197 .
[xiii]Dyos and Aldcroft, 113. [xxi]Dyos and Aldcroft, 33.
This date corresponds fairly well to thesubstantive beginning of several developments that, taken together, seem tomark the difference in character between the industrial age and the pre-industrial world. Aldcroft andMichael J. Bagwell, The Transport Revolution from 177 (London: B.
T. Batsford, 1974) 15. Freeman, Transport in the Industrial Revolution Manchester:Manchester University Press, 1983, 31-63.
Bagwell, Philip S. [iv]Ibid., 115.
British Transport: An EconomicSurvey from the Seventeenth Century to the Twentieth. [iii]Ibid. The effect was a social andeconomic revolution. Original publication 1912.
Smith, Adam. A conventional date for the beginning of the Industrial Revolution inBritain is about 177 . Ittook only the steam engine, once sufficiently developed, to put the finalelement into place. But ineach sector the building momentum could be traced into the 17th century andeven before. Theimproved transport they provided generated vast additional demand, in bothscale of investment and in technical progress.
Coaches were first introduced inEngland in the 16th century, reputedly by Elizabeth I. In absolute terms the time saving was even greater, a matter ofdays saved in transit.
It was performed by corveelabor, which naturally took a most indifferent attitude toward the work; an18th century parish road surveyor observed that "they make a holiday of it, lounge about, and trifle away their time."[xix] In 1663, the first authorization was made for tolls to be charged ona stretch of highway between Hartford, Cambridge, and Huntingdon to pay forits improvement and upkeep.[xx] The experiment was not repeated until1695, but therefore turnpikes slowly but steadily spread.
[xxi] Theturnpikes were often excoriated by those who used them, though they alsohad notable supporters like Daniel Defoe. The volume of stage coach traffic, as noted above, likewise expanded enormously. In the same way, the canals, stagecoaches, and turnpikes of late 18th century Britain could be described asan attempt by a not-yet-industrial society to build a railway network.
Endnotes BibliographyAlbert, William. No one in the earlier stages could have guessed that it wouldtransform the world, but by about 177 it began to do just that. For the early development of passengertraffic we must turn to the quite different technology and development ofthe stage coach and turnpike.
[xi]Bagwell, 89. The Lancaster Canal Company built a five-mile stretch of railwayto close a gap where previous building-up made canal extension impractical, while "the Ashby canal which used dry land to avoid costly locking, hadbecome little more than a railway with canal appendages."[xiii] References of the early 19th thus century classed railways as anaspect of canal construction.
[xiv] Indeed, even when independent railwaysusing steam locomotives appeared in the late 182 s and 183 s, theyinitially followed canal practice, allowing other operators to run on theirlines on payment of a toll. [xv]Edwin A. [xxiv]John Byng, quoted by William Albert, "The Turnpike Trusts," inDerek H. Aldcroft, British Transport (Leicester:Leicester University Press, 1969), 52.
A critical point was reachedabout 175 , when a "Turnpike mania" set in, lasting for the next twodecades.[xxii] Along with improvements in coach design, particularlyspringing, stage coach speeds increased greatly along the turnpikes. From at least the 15th century, carts running on wooden trackwayshad been used in Central European mines.
[x] English mining did not invitethis specific application, but as early as 16 3-16 4 a similar trackway waslaid down at Woollaton in Notthamshire to carry coal from the mine-workingto a waterside loading point. Horse-drawn canal boats andstage coaches may look archaic to our eyes, yet both prefigured the railwayin crucial ways.
An approximate analogy does in fact exist, for a canal several milesin length, fitted with locks, was built in early Elizabethan times, theExeter Lighter Canal of 1564-66.[v] The essential technical features ofthis canal, albeit in simplified form, were not unlike those of canalsbeing built as late as the 183 s. This essay, however, will argue that what may be called a proto-industrial revolution overtook British transport, particularly inlandtransport, in the course of the 18th century. Original publication 1776.
Pages: 1 2 3