Industrial Revolution

The Worldwide Revolution

France had in the 17th and most of the 18th cent. kept pace with Britain, but it later lagged behind in industrial development, and the British victory in their long-standing commercial rivalry kept markets away from France. The revolution did not make the rapid progress that it did in Britain, but after 1830 it developed steadily. The railroad and improved transportation preceded the introduction of the revolution into Germany, which is conventionally said to have accompanied the formation of the Zollverein; industrial Germany was created after 1850.

The United States made some contributions to the early revolution, notably the cotton gin (1793) of Eli Whitney. But the transformation of the United States into an industrial nation took place largely after the Civil War and on the British model. The textile mills of New England had long been in existence, but the boom period of industrial organization was from 1860 to 1890. The Industrial Revolution was introduced by Europeans into Asia, and the last years of the 19th and the early years of the 20th cent. saw the development of industries in India, China, and Japan. However, Japan is the only country of E Asia that may be said to have had a real Industrial Revolution. The Russian Revolution had as a basic aim the introduction of industrialism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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