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The Industrial Revolution
Essential Questions:
How did Great Britain try to maintain its industrial superiority ?
How and where did the United States begin to industrialize?
What factors allowed other countries on the European continent to industrialize?
What factors prevented some countries on the European continent from
How did industrialization in Europe and America lead to competition in places like
Africa, Asia, and Latin America?
Question #1
• How long of a head start did Great Britain have over the rest of
the world when it came to industrializing?
• Approximately 100 years
• Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution started around
1750, and the rest of Europe and the U.S. didn’t start
to experience industrialization until about 1850.
Question #2
• Why might Great Britain want to keep its industrial technology
and methods a secret from other countries?
• Great Britain gained an immense amount of wealth
by providing the world with its manufactured goods.
• How did they keep it a secret?
• Britain had forbidden skilled workers, toolmakers
and engineers from leaving the country
• They also refused to sell industrial technology to
other nations
Question #3
• What war had the effect of leading the United States to
• The War of 1812
• Why?
• British naval blockades forced the United States to develop
its own resources, and manufacture its own goods and
• Once again, thank you Napoleon Bonaparte! Napoleon
always believed that a stronger United States of America
was the best deterrent to Great Britain’s growing power
(remember the sale of the Louisiana Territory?)
Question #4
• What individual smuggled the plans of a British textile factory to the
United States?
• Samuel Slater
• How?
• He memorized the floor plans of a British textile factory
and built a spinning machine by memory
• He had to lie on his “passport” and say that he was a farmer in order to be
allowed to leave the country.
• Popularly called "The Father of the American Industrial Revolution"
• In the UK he was called "Slater the Traitor" because he brought British textile
technology to America
Question #5
• What area of the United States was the first to industrialize?
• The northeastern part of the U.S. industrialized first
• Why?
• New England possessed natural resources and rivers
that provided the source of power textile mills and a
means of transportation for manufactured goods.
Question #6
• When did the rest of the United States experience its
technological boom?
• The late-1800s. (Remember the laminated map?)
• What led to this?
• A wealth of natural resources was discovered (oil, coal,
• A burst of inventions (electric light bulb, telephone);
• A swelling urban population due to immigration (cheap
labor force)
Question #7
• What role did the expansion of the railroads play in America’s
Industrial Revolution?
• It allowed the country to exploit/extract its
newfound resources
• Products from across the country could be
transported more easily
• The railroad industry created a need for
thousands of workers
Question #8
• What prevented the European continent from industrializing as
quickly as Great Britain?
• War and revolutions
• The French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and
waves of nationalistic revolutions
• European countries also had strict censorship
when it came to scientific ideas (that might have
challenged the Church)
• AS a result, there was not intellectual freedom.
Question #9
• What factors allowed Belgium to be the first country on the
continent to industrialize?
• Belgium possessed a wealth of natural resources;
waterways and a rail system for transportation; and
a history of skilled workers making textiles.
Question #10
• What steps did Germany take to industrialize?
• Germany copied the British model;
• Imported British equipment and engineers
• Sent children to Britain to learn industrial management
• How did industrialization allow Germany to develop as an industrial
• By the late 1800s, Germany began to challenge Great
Britain for industrial superiority
• This would lead to a competition for resources and
Question #11
• Why was industrialization in France slower in coming?
• France experienced much political
upheaval/revolution. Industrialization was start and
• Because of its history of absolute monarchy,
intellectual freedom was also stifled. Bureaucracy
got on the way of industrial progress
Question #12
• Why didn’t countries like Spain, Russia and Austria-Hungary
experience complete industrialization?
• The existing social structure prevented
industrialization. Oftentimes, the landowning
aristocracy did not want to see a rising middle class
challenge them for political/economic power
• In many cases, geographical obstacles that could not
be overcome (landlocked countries, lack of
infrastructure, mountains, etc.)
Question #13
• How did industrialization in Europe and America lead to
competition in places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America?
• Industrializing countries needed resources to power
their factories and markets to sell their goods.
• This led to the exploitation of less-developed
countries and fueled the Age of Imperialism, and
eventually, was one of the factors leading to
World War I