Class 10 History

Age of Industrialisation

These notes are based on the chapter Age of industrialisation from class 10 social sciences history NCERT book and CBSE syllabus.

Pace of Industrial Change

Industrialization did not happen overnight rather it took many years before entrepreneurs fully accepted the new machines.

Up to 1840s

This phase can be termed as the first phase of industrialization. Cotton was the leading sector in this phase.

After 1840s

The railways expanded in England from the 1840s, and in colonies from 1860s. Expansion of railways fuelled the demand for iron and steel. By 1873, the export of iron and steel from Britain was valued at about 77 million pounds. This was double the value of cotton export.

Then new industry could not displace the old industry even by the end of the nineteenth century. This is evident from the fact that at the end of the nineteenth century, less than 20% of the total labor was employed in big factories.

Problems with New Machines

New machines were very costly. Contrary to tall claims by inventors and manufacturers, the new machines were not very effective. Moreover, the machines often went out of order and cost of repair was very high. This discouraged the merchants and industrialists.

Small innovations in traditional machines proved to be catalysts for industrial growth rather than new machines.

Hegemony of Traditional Craftspersons

Even in the mid-nineteenth century, the typical worker was not a machine operator but the traditional craftsperson and laborer.

Hand Labour Vs Steam Power:

steam engine by James Watt

Steam Engine (Ref: Wikipedia)

There was no shortage of human labor during this period. So, there was no issue of high wages. So, the merchants and industrialists preferred human labor rather than investing in costly machines.

The finish and quality of hand-made goods was much better than that of machine-made goods. People from upper classes preferred hand-made goods. Machine-made goods were generally sent to the colonies.

Machine made goods were mostly meant for export to the colonies where people wanted cheaper goods that were mass produced by machines.

Gas work and breweries were quite busy during winter months. So, there was good demand for workers. Ship repair took place during winter and so, there was good demand for workers at shipyard during winter. Book binders were quite busy during Christmas months.

Situation in Contemporary America

The situation was different in contemporary America. There was shortage of labor in America and hence mechanization was the only way out in that part of the world.