Three Industrial Movements





Three Industrial Movements

The trilogy of industrial movements within the global vicinity played a significant role in shaping the technological and to an extent, the societal context of countries throughout the globe. The three industrial movements, which comprise the First Industrial Revolution, the Second Industrial Revolution and the Third Industrial Revolution, marked distinct but associative technological advancements within the global society to the point that contemporary technology cannot retrace its steps without venturing into the historical movements. As such, peering into the significant influences evident within the modern technological society as well as other impacts requires an in-depth scrutiny of the history surrounding the three Industrial Movements, the technological advancements at that time, the effects of the historical movements on the global scene and the consequent development of such technology.

The First Industrial Revolution

According to Stearns (1), the foremost Industrial Revolution did not take place outside the Western society prior to the 1870s. Specifically, the inception of the First Industrial Revolution traces its roots to the United Kingdom in the 1700s. Accordingly, Britain was the first country to illustrate the industrial revolution through a widespread occurrence of technological advances that were mostly characteristic of agriculture. Consequently, Smith (2) surmises that the First Industrial Revolution, with its conception in Britain, began in 1760 and culminated in 1830. Before the beginning of the First Industrial Revolution at this time, people utilized their hands in order to perform manual tasks that would have otherwise been easier if the utilization of machines received considerable endorsement. As such, with the start of the industrial movement, tasks carried out by people such as weaving textiles saw the use of machines for performing such activities.

Additionally, several collective factors were responsible for the inception of the First Industrial Revolution in Britain. Foremost, Britain possessed widespread natural resources. Industrialization, which involves the development of machines for the production of goods, needed such resources. These resources comprised iron ore, which was vital for machine and building construction, extensive rivers for domestic locomotion, water energy and coal for fueling novel machines. However, no resource marked the successful inauguration of the First Industrial Revolution such as coal. According to Clark and Jacks (1), coal played a significant role in the industrial movement. Because of its vast resource capability, coal facilitated the performance of numerous domestic duties within the British society. Clark and Jacks (24) assert that 1860s Britain documented the utilization of coal to be 22 million tons specifically for domestic purposes.

Irrespective of the modest use of coal in Britain, the reduced costs arising from the use of coal in operating machines, manufacturing and improving transport led to the shift from using wood to coal. Furthermore, coal was a major facilitator of the inception of the steam engine and power in the First Industrial Movement. This is evident based on the inception of the first steam plant by Thomas Newcomen. Additionally, Newcomen created the Newcomen Steam Engine, which was the first successful steam engine during the movement. Irrespective of their bulky structures and a huge capital demand, they furthered a considerable expansion of coal mining in instances where coal was readily available and cheap. As such, without the inclusion of coal in developing machines, the concept of the steam engine would just be an abstract.

Irrespective of political revolutions taking shape in the Americas and France, Britain achieved a disparate kind of revolution based on its need to transform a revolution in agriculture. Interestingly, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution within Britain corresponded with the British victory in the struggle for global dominance over France (Clark, O’Rourke & Taylor, 523). Nevertheless, the First Industrial Revolution led to the innovation of novel approaches of manufacturing with respect to steam and iron. As such, the core of the industrial movement comprised the foremost significant advancements to utilize scientific thinking in order to create new commodities. Such innovations eventually stimulated the creation of novel forms of haulage and locomotion such as the railway and the steamship as well as the invention of perfunctory looms and various machineries, which initiated socio-economic modifications like the inauguration of expert labor and a factory structure (Smith, 2).

Nonetheless, the main influences occurring from the movement involved the improvement of farming methods. In the 1700s, much of the Britain’s landscape gained coverage by small farms. Subsequently, wealthy proprietors started purchasing most of the land worked on by the farmers at that time. As such, the wealthy proprietors who now amassed large tracts of land began enhancing their current farming methods leading to the beginning of an agrarian revolution. Based on the considerable financial capacity of Britain based on its dominance over raw materials and export markets, proprietors had the capability of performing harvesting approaches and productive seeding methods that amplified the yields of their crops. For instance, in 1701, Jethro Tull invented the Seed Drill, which enabled farmers to plant seeds in evenly distributed rows at particular depths. This machine facilitated a significant increase in crop yields since most seeds were able to take root.

The Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution marked a significant change based on extensive technological innovation. According to Smith (2), the revolution lasted from 1875 to 1930 and gained illustration through innovations that comprised electricity, communication technologies such as the telephone, steel machineries such as the Internal Combustion Engine and the vehicle (Atkeson and Kehoe, 6). Furthermore, the Second Industrial Revolution led to the development of novel synthetics as well as alloys and new uses of oil and steel. Apparently, the Second Industrial Revolution started with Bessemer steel in the early 1860s, which would later evolve into the Bessemer process that facilitated the extensive production of steel and as such, led to mass production. In addition, the Second Industrial Revolution illustrated fast industrial progression within countries in Western Europe such as Britain, France and Germany and spread to Japan and North America.

Nonetheless, the Second Industrial Revolution received considerable influence from the First Industrial Revolution. For instance, the innovations arising from the textile industry in Britain facilitated innovations within North America. This resulted from the immigration of British workers to the United States based on the considerable natural resources that North America possessed. Furthermore, other factors necessitated further development of the Second Industrial Revolution in Britain and overseas countries. The factors that were in place that led to the inception of the respective revolution comprised an unprecedented accessibility to capital. Accessibility of venture capital in numerous countries especially in the Western society provided the inventors at that time to concentrate on the creation of novel innovations that would later identify the Second Industrial Revolution. Another factor that led to the inception of the Second Industrial Revolution comprised the inception and development of a contemporary business organization arising from the effects of available capital.

The need to ensure cost-effectiveness, increase product quality, achieve maximum machinery use, and lessen manual labor characterized the needs leading to the inception of the Second Industrial Revolution. For instance, the indicator of the industrial movement marked by Henry Bessemer with his inception of the Bessemer process focused on the need to ensure cost-effectiveness in production. Consequently, Henry Bessemer’s Bessemer process focused on reducing the costs and expenditure involved in the manufacturing of steel by amplifying the production speed and scale of steel. This, in turn, lessened the requirements for labor in the steel-manufacturing process. This process led to the creation of Siemens-Martin heater, which emphasized on enhancing the quality of steel as well as the recycling of scrap metal after manufacturing. Furthermore, the notion of transposable parts facilitated the inception of firearms in the 19th century by armories within Harper’s Ferry. Such notions made their way into other industries such as reaper sectors both locally and overseas. Furthermore, the introduction of paper production, petroleum extraction and manufacturing, electrification facilitated the needs as well.

The implications of the technological advancements within the industrial movement implied considerable socio-economic effects. Foremost, the movement led to a dramatic amplification regarding economic growth within a small period. Additionally, the standards of living augmented considerably within the novel industrialized countries due to the enhancements in productivity and the decrease in the price of products. Nonetheless, the effect of this involved unemployment and the commencement of labor union and reform movements within the industrialized countries. Starvation arising from crop stoppages decreased due to the availability of railways and internal waterways. Furthermore, improvements in automotive engines necessitated the production of the first automobiles that ran on interior combustion engines as well as enhancements in steam engines especially within freight ships and large-scale farming.

The Third Industrial Revolution

The Third Industrial Revolution implies the extent to which the technological advancements illustrated within the First and Second Industrial Revolution augmented. Accordingly, it is clear that the Third Industrial Revolution arose from the culmination of the First World War onwards to the present age. As such, the Third Industrial Revolution illustrates an explicit illustration of the technological advances made after the First and the Second World War. Nonetheless, the Third Industrial Revolution is not a distinct arena on its own. Much of the innovations characterized within the movement indicate a considerable and apparent similarity to the advancements characterizing the First and the Second Industrial Revolution on a global scale (Smith, 8). For instance, the inception of steam technologies in the First Industrial Revolution inspired a new alteration in the transmission of communication by creating machineries such as the rotary press, which encouraged cost-effective and mass printing of literary materials throughout the Westernized countries.

Nonetheless, the expansion of the textile industry, chemicals and shipbuilding by the British earmarked the inception of the Third Industrial Movement. Much of the expansion received conception from the British. Usually, the use of iron in shipbuilding as well as the development of the textile industry was evident in the First industrial Revolution. Furthermore, the use of chemicals took place in the Second Revolution. As such, the Third Industrial revolution saw the expansion of these industries through globalization by Britain, which according to Harley (3) was the greatest and most vital import market for finished products of economies. Furthermore, the expansion of textiles and iron for shipbuilding expanded overseas to countries such as India due to the lower prices that British companies stipulated on iron, machinery and textiles. Furthermore, the implications of globalization led to further exportation of such products to newly inhabited regions overseas.


In conclusion, the three industrial movements facilitated a considerable impact over countries on a global scale. With the introduction of machines in the First Industrial Revolution to the inauguration of science in the Second Industrial Revolution and the adoption of new technologies in the Third Industrial Revolution, it is evident that the modern technological advancements gained a significant influence from the technologies encompassing the three industrial movements.

Works Cited

Atkeson, A, and P J. Kehoe. “The Transition to a New Economy after the Second Industrial Revolution.” Working Paper Series. (2001). 1-35. Print.

Clark, Gregory, Kevin H. O’Rourke, and Alan M. Taylor. “Made in America? The New World, the Old, and the Industrial Revolution.” American Economic Review. 98.2 (2008): 523-528. Print.

Smith, Bradford L. “The Third Industrial Revolution: Law and Policy for the Internet.” Recueil Des Cours. 282 (2000): 229-464. Print.

Stearns, Peter N. “The Industrial Revolution outside the West.” Magazine of History. 15.1 (2000): 1-6. Print.

Clark, Gregory, and David Jacks. “Coal and the Industrial Revolution, 1700-1869.” European Review of Economic History. 11.1 (2007): 1-28. Print.

Harley, C. Knick. “Trade, 1860-1939: From Globalization to Fragmentation.” The Cambridge Economic History of Britain since 1700: Volume 2 1700-1860. (2002): 1-38. Print.