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Q1. Why did Industrial Revolution start in England?


England took the lead in industrial revolution, because of following reasons

  1. It had accumulated vast profits which could provide the necessary capital through overseas trade including slave trade. It had acquired colonies which ensured a regular supply of raw materials as well as markets
  2. There was a prolific exchange of scientific and technological ideas. And Britain, unlike many European countries, did not suffer censorship by Church or state. It was the Age of Reason. The established Christian view, of a world created by God, was being challenged by one which conformed to scientifically proven principles of nature.
  3. The system of parliamentary government that followed the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9 provided the background for stable investment and for a basis of taxation favorable to economic expansion. Commercial classes had acquired more political power and there was no danger of government interference.
  4. After the disappearance of serfdom, people were no longer tied to the land and were free to do to any job they could find. The enclosure movement had begun in the 18th century. Big land-owners wanted consolidate their large land-holdings. In this process, small peasants who had all holdings in land were ousted and large army of landless unemployed people was created. Thus there was no shortage labor force to work in the factories.
  5. England had plenty of natural resources, such as iron and coal, essential for industries. The sources of iron and coal existed side by side and this saved England from many difficulties that other countries faced.
  6. England developed a large shipping industry and had no problem of transportation. Its geographic location as an island provided not only cheaper transport alternatives but kept it protected from continental wars.


No other country enjoyed all these advantages in this period. Some suffered from a lack of capital or natural resources and some from an unfavorable political system. These factors made England a natural place for the Industrial Revolution to begin. Almost all other European countries had agrarian economies and lived under backward political systems. Many of them, such as Italy and Germany, were not even united and suffered from many economic restrictions.

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