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The Industrial Revolution
in Britain and Southern
Africa from 1860
• Grade 8
• History
• Term1
© e-classroom
• The Mineral Revolution in South Africa began after the
discovery of diamonds in Kimberley in 1867 and
continued with the discovery of gold on the
Witwatersrand in 1886.
• The British were already colonising parts of Southern
Africa at the time of the discovery of diamonds, and
the Industrial Revolution in Britain made it a more
powerful and determined colonising power.
• The new diamond wealth in South Africa gradually
pulled the British into controlling the whole of South
• Picture Source: SA History Online
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Economy Before the
Industrial Revolution
• Farming was the primary livelihood in England, with at least 75% of the
population making their living off the land
• The cottage industry was developed to take advantage of the farmers' free time
and use it to produce quality textiles for a reasonable price
• Manufactured goods came from small workshops
• Most machinery was powered by animals, wind, water or human labour
• Manufacturing was often done in people's homes and people used hand tools
or basic machines
• There was a limited power supply, so manufacturing processes did not happen
in large workshops
• By 1914 the European economy was dominated by large factories, employing
thousands of workers
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Picture credit:
Slave Trade
• Sir John Hawkins was the first Englishman to trade in
• The British slave trade became a major business in the
17th century, when King James I set up the first
monopoly company to trade with Africa in 1618
• The demand for slaves to work the tobacco, rice, sugar
and other crops on plantations grew when Britain
obtained colonies
• The slave trade employed thousands of people in order
to sustain a large support network of shipping services,
ports and finance companies
• The slave trade provided British industries with raw
materials which were turned into manufactured goods
and then sold for large profits in Europe and in the
• Plantation-grown goods such as rum, tobacco, coffee,
sugar, molasses and cotton were bought from the
profits of selling African slaves to the plantation owners
and sold for a profit in Britain and Europe
• Plantation owners profited from the use of free slave
Picture courtesy BBC
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Wealth From the Slave Trade
• Merchants who dealt in slaves were among the richest people in 18th-century Britain
• British profits were made from exporting manufactured goods to Africa and importing
slave products such as sugar
• British capitalism was a cause of slave plantation development
• Slavery played an important role in the development of the modern world economy
and provided the labour power necessary to settle and develop the New World
• Slaves were used for labour to produce the products like sugar, tobacco, coffee, cocoa
and cotton
• British cotton mills depended on cheap slaved-produced cotton from the New World
• British consumers also benefited from other cheap slave-produced goods like sugar
• The profits gained from the slave trade gave the British economy an extra source of
• Both the Americas and Africa, whose economies depended on slavery, became useful
additional export markets for British manufactures.
• Many British individuals, businesses, and ports prospered on the basis of the slave
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Cottage Industry
• The term referred to people who worked from home like sewing, lacemaking, wall hangings, electronics etc
• Spinners, weavers and others remained living in small villages and
worked according to their own preferences, as independent contractors
who owned their equipment
• Women and children earned cash and it converted what had been the
family's leisure time—especially the slow phases of the agricultural
cycle—into cash as well
• Before industrialisation, European manufacturers had a large consumer
market available to them which provided small luxury goods
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Farming Economy
• Agriculture made important contributions to economic
growth during the industrial revolution
• Societies quickly developed from agricultural to industrial
• New farming techniques were introduced as well as
technical innovations
• Power-driven machinery and other energy sources were
• Improved livestock breeding resulted in improved food
• Institutional change (especially enclosure) and a market
oriented framework
• As the agricultural sector became more productive, it
produced more output per worker
Pic courtesy :Foundations of Western Culture
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Key Features of the Industrial Revolution
• Population shift – moving from rural
agriculture to work in factories in cities
• Use of machines - mass production of
• Reduced average costs which enabled
more production
• Shift from agriculture - the rise of steam
power (steam trains, railways and steampowered machines)
• Industrial and scientific discoveries
• Introduction of cotton
• Increased productivity
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Role of Women During
The Industrial
• Before the industrial revolution, women were
often tasked with traditional jobs like making and
repairing clothing
• Women were also involved with helping manage
the affairs of the farm and raising children
• As a result of the impacts of the Industrial
Revolution, many women entered the workforce in
textile mills and coal mines to help support the
• Women often worked in the factories and mines in
order to help pay for the families cost of living
• Women were not valued the same as men in the
workplace and were paid much less than men
• Women were also subjected to terrible conditions
in the workplace
• Women saw their role in society dramatically
shift during the Industrial revolution
Pic courtesy Think Link
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• One of the defining features of the Industrial Revolution was the rise
of cities
• Most people (80%) lived in rural areas before the Industrial
• As people moved from the countryside, small towns became large
• Urbanisation moved the booming new industries by converging
workers and factories together
• The new industrial cities became sources of wealth for the nation
• The negative effects of urbanisation meant that working-class
neighbourhoods were miserable, overcrowded, dirty and polluted
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Picture courtesy Google sites
Change in Living Conditions
• As workers moved from the country to the city, their lives and the lives of their families
were drastically changed
• For many skilled workers, the quality of life decreased
• The working-class had little time for leisure
• People worked very long hours
• Local governments actively sought to ban traditional festivals in the cities
• In the new working-class neighbourhoods, people did not share the same traditional
sense of a village community
• Owners fined workers who left their jobs to return to their villages for festivals because
they interrupted the efficient flow of work at the factories
• After the 1850s, recreation improved along with the rise of an emerging the middle
• Music halls emerged in big cities. Sports such as rugby and cricket became popular.
Football became a professional sport in 1885. By the end of the 19th century, cities had
become the places with opportunities for sport and entertainment that they are today
• During the first 60 years of the Industrial Revolution, living conditions were, by far,
worst for the poor
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The Emerging Middle Class
• Gradually a middle class emerged in industrial cities,
mostly toward the end of the 19th century
• Before then, there had been only two major classes in
society: aristocrats born into their lives of wealth and
privilege, and low-income commoners born in the
working classes
• New urban industries gradually required “white
collar” jobs, such as business people, shopkeepers,
bank clerks, insurance agents, merchants,
accountants, managers, doctors, lawyers, and
• Middle class families became a sanctuary from
stressful industrial life
• Home remained separate from work and took on the
role of emotional support. Women of the house
created a moral and spiritual safe harbour away from
the rough-and-tumble industrial world outside
• Most middle-class adult women were discouraged
from working outside the home. They could afford to
send their children to school
• Middle-class women gave birth to fewer children as
they became more of an economic burden as better
health care decreased infant mortality
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The Mines and Factories
• There was an oversupply of labour because people were desperate for work
• Child labour was important to the factories, mines and mills in England
• Factory owners paid low wages due to over supply. This forced women and
children to work so that they could contribute to the family household
• Women were paid half the salary as men and children were paid a third of a
man’s wages
• Children carried out a variety of jobs that were auxiliary to their parents but
critical to the family economy
• People worked as long as sixteen hours a day
• Many children suffered from poor health and accidents
• Children were forced to work in dangerous labour-intensive jobs that caused
significant social, mental, and in some cases, physical damage
• Some people were concerned about the bad living and working conditions of
the workers. These people were the reformers and the socialists
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Political Movements of the Industrial Revolution
• Luddite Movement – was a direct action
movement (primarily 1811-1819). Selfemployed textile workers protested the
introduction of machines which they felt
threatened their job (e.g. weaving looms and
spinning frames) The Luddites, led by Ned
Ludd, attacked British soldiers, burned
factories, and destroyed machinery in protest
of industrialisation
• Chartism - A working-class movement aimed
at gaining political and voting rights for
working-class men
• Trade unions - The large workforces and
unequal incomes helped create the trade
union movement in all industrial countries.
Trade unions campaigned for higher wages
and better working conditions
• Marxism - At the height of the industrial
revolution, Karl Marx argued capitalism was
unfair and he expected the workers (the
Proletariat) to overthrow Capitalism
• Nationalist movements - The industrial
revolution helped create stronger national
Picture courtesy:
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Grand National Consolidated Trades Union (1833)
• In the early 1830's, the trade union movement was growing and a number of co-operative societies
had opened shops and workshops
• Unions developed fast especially in the factory based textile industry where women were prominent
in these unions
• There were attempts to form general unions of all workers irrespective of trade
• William Benbow, Robert Owen and many others looked upon trade unionism not just as a means for
protecting and improving workers' living standards, but also as a vehicle for changing the entire
political and economic order of society
• Owen experimented with co-operative ventures and 'labour exchanges’ - both attempts to bypass
the existing order of wage slavery
• In 1834, the government attempted to smash the union by arresting six agricultural labourers from
the village of Tolpuddle in Dorsetshire (the Tolpuddle Martyrs)
• These six men, having joined the GNCTU, were accused and found guilty in a show trial of
'administering illegal oaths'. They were transported to Australia. There was a mass campaign to
prevent the sentences being carried out and, although unsuccessful in its immediate aim, it
succeeded in pressuring the government to commute the sentences of the six
• The new unions were growing rapidly and fighting for shorter hours, the end of child labour, cooperative action and labour exchanges
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In 1832, Owen proposed that the unions should unite and in 1834 the Grand National Consolidated
Trade Union was formed
• Within a week it had over half a million members and the government was alarmed by this new
mass labour movement
Picture courtesy:
Problems of the Industrial
• Pollution (caused by burning coal)
• High population density
• No regulations on factories
• Average life expectancy was lower for
those working in factories
• Child labour - children worked long hours
for very low pay. They were also
vulnerable to maimed limbs, poor health
and early death
• Poor sanitation and outbreaks of
infectious diseases, such as cholera due
to high concentration of workers
• The slave trade - in the early part of the
Industrial Revolution, some industries
such as cotton were dependent on the
slave trade
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Southern Africa
by 1860
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• The discovery of minerals, diamonds and gold
dramatically changed the economic and political
structure of Southern Africa
• These resources attracted foreign capital and large-scale
• The diamond and gold mining industries used cheap
• African migrant labour were first established in the
course of South Africa's industrial revolution and were
subjected to discriminatory laws and practices to keep
workers cheap and flexible
Indentured Labour From India
• Indians were brought to the British colony of Natal in 1860 as indentured
labourers to work on sugar plantations
• The colonial government of Natal promised grants of land which was not
• Many Indians became small holders, market gardeners, fishermen, domestic
servants, waiters or coal miners
• By the 1870's, ‘free Indians’ were exploring opportunities in the Cape
Colony, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal)
• Those who sought to make their fortunes in the diamond and gold fields
were not allowed digging rights and became traders, hawkers and workers
• When the sugar industry was established in Natal, the local Zulu labourers
were recruited to work on the sugar plantations
• However, the Natal colonial authorities were not aware that Zulu males
regarded agricultural work as a female activity. Traditionally, the Zulu males
were involved in grazing cattle and defending the tribe against foreign attack
• The high labour turnover forced the colonial authorities to seek Indian
labour that was already successfully employed in other British colonies
• Watch the video here:
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India as a British Colony
• The British presence in India began in the early
seventeenth century, when the British East India
Company began trading on the outskirts of the Mughal
• It seized political control of parts of India and British
leaders continued to spread British control throughout
the subcontinent
• After the Sepoy Rebellion, Parliament ended the rule of
the East India Company and placed India directly under
control of the British crown
• India became governed by colonial rule
• On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal opened and
British trade with India increased greatly
• Photo credit: India facts
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Labour was imported due to the Zulu
Kingdom’s Independence
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• Sir Bartle Frere was appointed British high commissioner to
South Africa in 1879 to realise the Policy of Confederation
• This policy was set to bring the various British colonies,
Boer republics and independent African groups under
common control
• Sir Bartle Frere saw the self-reliant Zulu kingdom as a
threat to this policy
• The Zulu people had revived their military power under
Cetshwayo, which made them more of a threat to peace
and prosperity in South Africa
• On 11 December 1878, the Zulu were given an impossible
ultimatum to disarm and for Cetshwayo to forsake his
• The inevitable invasion of Zululand began after the
ultimatum had expired on 10 January 1879. Instead of
fragmenting the Zulu as Shepstone predicted, this rallied
the Zulu to their king's cause
Reasons for Demand for Sugar in
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• Sugar was categorised as a luxury good and was known to establish and
maintain social ties during 1750-1900
• Sugar had medicinal uses
• Sugar could only be purchased by the wealthy
• Sugar symbolised high social status
• Sugar allowed for a variety in meals
• Sugar thrived as a new form of dietary nourishment
• Sugar decoration was used as a show of power as it was only accessible in its
initial stage by the very wealthy
• Many advances in technology, globalisation, and influences of the state and its
people all helped catapult the increased demand of sugar as one of the world’s
most powerful commodity
• As the consumption of sugar in England rose, so did its production
• Sugar was a major commodity in Europe that generated a lot of wealth for the
• The economy of sugar was entangled within the trade networks of tea, coffee
and chocolate, which all found a large market in Britain
• Britain had a significant trade advantage over the rest of the world. One of the
ways Britain exploited this was by selling only British finished goods to its
Conditions Under Which Indentured Labourers
Lived and Worked
• Indentured labourers endured cruel working conditions
• Plantation owners made labourers work long hours
• Labourers endured harsh punishment if they could not keep
up with the heavy workload
• Labourers who could cope with the strict demands became
land-owning free Indians and were considered to be wealthy
by the standards of their former homeland
• In 1869, new traders arrived from the West Coast, mainly
Gujerat. They were called "passenger" Indians
• The new traders were attracted by the rich potential from
trade in Natal
• The Gujerati speaking traders were later joined by Urdu
speaking Muslims from the United Province and a few
Marathi speaking Kokince Muslims.
• Watch the video here:
Information source: SA History online
Picture courtesy Zululand Observer
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The Economic Consequences of the Industrial
• Increase in production
• Increase in trade
• Increase in wealth
• Advances and technological innovations
• Growth in agricultural and industrial production
• Economic expansion
• Changes in living conditions
• The discovery of minerals in the late nineteenth
century - diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 dramatically changed the economic and political
structure of Southern Africa
Picture courtesy: History.Com
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Diamond Mining in Kimberley 1867 onwards
• The Mineral Revolution in South
Africa started with the discovery of
diamonds in Kimberley in 1867, and
intensified with the discovery of
deep-level gold on the
Witwatersrand in 1886
• By the time that gold was discovered,
African kingdoms had lost their
• During the gold-mining revolution,
patterns of land and labour were
established and continued into the
20th century
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Source: SA History Online
British Take-over of Diamond-Rich Land in Griqualand
• Rich diamond mines were discovered in the early 1870s
• The Boers and the British were unfriendly to each other and each colony did not want
the other to take control of such a rich resource
• The Transvaal claimed this area based on the Bloemfontein Convention which had
stated that the British were not interested in areas north of the Vaal River
The Griqua however were mindful of the poor treatment of blacks and half-castes by
the Boers and requested British protection rather than Boer protection
• An independent arbiter found in favour of the Griqua rather than the Boers. This
allowed the British to declare a protectorate over the area from Cape Colony in 1871
• Two years later, the British declared that Griqualand West was to become a full Crown
Colony to force the Griqua Captain to sell his mineral rights and those of his people for
a thousand pounds per year
• Seven years later, Griqualand West was incorporated into the Cape Colony after Griqua
led a full rebellion over ownership of their land and the right to make claims on the
diamond fields
• The Griqua and Tlhaping were crushed and never benefitted from the diamond mine
Source: The British Empire
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Black Claim Ownership in the Early Days of
Diamond Digging
• The Boer Free State government and the legislation that was enacted by that government,
prohibited the granting of claim licences to blacks
• When the annexation of Griqualand West was announced, the working of the diamond fields
were now governed under the new British administration
• The British refused to sanction the prohibition of black licence holders and claims were
allowed to be worked by black proprietors
• Most white diggers were against claim ownership by black diggers and maintained that every
black person was an actual or potential participant in the flourishing illicit diamond buying
• In July 1872, the British commissioners were forced by white diggers to take action against
black claim owners and suspended the claim licences of 46 black diggers at Duitoitspan and
• The Cape governor Richard Southey refused to allow such a blatantly discriminatory measure
and instead proclaimed that black diggers hold a ‘certificate of good character’ from a Justice
of the Peace or a resident magistrate
• In 1874, new rules and regulations to govern the working of the mines were introduced and
the new regulations did not prevent black diggers from owning claims
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• Racially discriminatory legislation preventing black claim ownership was never introduced
under the British administration of the diamond fields
Picture courtesy: Mining Artefacts
The Formation of De Beers Consolidated Mines
Diamonds were first discovered in southern Africa in the mid-1860s on the
farm of Nicolaas and Diederick de Beer, near the city of Kimberley
In 1871, Cecil John Rhodes bought a claim to the De Beers mine and
eventually bought up most of the diamond mines in southern Africa
In 1874, ‘Barnato Brothers Dealers in Diamonds and Brokers in Mining
Property’ opens for business
In 1887, Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato, vie for commercial dominance in
the Kimberley diamond fields. They flood the market causing diamond prices
to plummet. A merger is the only solution
De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited is established on 12 March 1888. Cecil
Rhodes is named as founding Chairman
To keep prices high and demand steady, Rhodes also moved to take control of
world diamond distribution. By the middle of the 1890s he had formed
the Diamond Syndicate, which was the forerunner of the Central Selling
Organization (CSO), a more modern group of financial and marketing
organizations that came to control much of the world diamond trade. It is now
known as the Diamond Trading Company (DTC)
In 1917, Ernest Oppenheimer founded the Anglo-American Corporation. In
1925, he created a new diamond syndicate. He bought a seat on the De Beers
board in 1926 and became chairman three years later
Oppenheimer strengthened the diamond marketing monopoly begun by
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