Industrialization and Global Integration (c. 1750 to c. 1900)

CHAPTER 20   Industrial Revolution and Social Changes

CHAPTER 21   Demographic and Environmental Developments

CHAPTER 22   World Trade

CHAPTER 23   Political Revolutions

CHAPTER 24   Western Imperialism


Industrial Revolution and Social Changes


Summary: The period between 1750 and 1900 was one of radical change, especially in the West, Russia, Japan, and China. Political revolutions occurred in the Americas, France, and China. The global population increase caused in part by the Columbian Exchange was followed by a revolution in industry that began in England.


Key Terms

An asterisk ( *) denotes items listed in the glossary.


domestic system*

economic liberalism*

enclosure movement*


factors of production

gold standard*

Industrial Revolution*

laissez-faire economics*

limited liability corporation*

Meiji Restoration*

Russo-Japanese War*

Second Industrial Revolution*

Sino-Japanese War

stock market*

transnational company

zaibatsu *

Industrial Revolution

The change in the production of manufactured goods from the home to the factory began in the English textile industry in the mid-eighteenth century. The Industrial Revolution built on innovations in agriculture that had brought improved farming methods such as crop rotation, scientific breeding of livestock, and the application of fertilizers. A result of increased agricultural output was the enclosure movement . Large landholders fenced pastures that previously had been left open for common use, creating a sizable population of landless laborers. England’s growing position in global trade contributed to the pursuit of manufacturing interests. The English government supported industrialization by passing laws and instituting policies that promoted its growth. In addition, England possessed the factors of production:

•  Land (including natural resources such as coal and iron ore)

•  Labor (including thousands of dispossessed farmers from southeastern England evicted from their lands as a result of the enclosure movement)

•  Capital (banking and investment interests capable of funding the costs of factories and machinery)

•  Entrepreneurship (groups of individuals with the knowledge of combining land, labor, and capital to establish factory production)

The technological advance that initiated the transition of manufacturing from home to factory was the steam engine, invented by James Watt of Scotland in the 1770s. Accompanying factory production were changes in transportation and communication such as the telegraph, canals, steamships, and railroads, all of which served to speed up the movement of goods and information.

Expansion of Financial Institutions

To promote industrial investments, financiers offered a variety of services, including insurance, stock markets , and limited liability corporations . Many favored the use of the gold standard to promote financial stability. The globalization of industrialization gave rise to transnational companies such as the United Fruit Company and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. These financial innovations owed their origin to the economists Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Both Smith’s laissez-faire economics and Mill’s economic liberalism held that government intervention in and regulation of the economy should be minimal.

Social Changes Brought About by Industrialization

The factory system brought a number of changes to family life and society:

•  Work was carried out outside the home, a situation that separated family members.

•  Factory workers were required to follow schedules and to arrive at work at a specified time.

•  Factories required workers to adhere to strict rules.

•  Work was done to the noise of machines.

•  The pace of work was generally more rapid than at home.

•  Women lost manufacturing jobs carried out under the domestic system . They were expected to return to the traditional roles of homemaker and childcare provider.

•  Social status began to be determined more by wealth than by family position in society.

•  Early industrial cities were generally crowded, unsanitary, and poorly lighted, with no police protection.

After 1850, the nature of the industrial setting changed somewhat:

•  Workers in Western societies received higher wages and shorter working hours, allowing for more leisure time activities.

•  With the increase in leisure time came popular interest in the theater and in sports.

•  Additional employment opportunities arose in secretarial work and sales. Some of these jobs were filled by women, especially those who were unmarried.

•  The mass production of clothing made it more affordable, allowing the general population to wear similar fashions.

•  Popular consumption of manufactured goods led to advertising campaigns.

Spread of Industrialization

After England industrialized, other Western nations soon followed. By the 1820s, Belgium and France had begun to industrialize, and a few years later the United States and Germany began factory production. About 1850, the Second Industrial Revolutionapplied the use of electricity and steel to the industrial process. By the end of the nineteenth century, Russia, Egypt, and Japan had become industrialized nations. Common to industrialization in Western nations, Russia, and Japan was the development of railroads, with Russia and the United States constructing transcontinental railways.

Industrialization in Russia

As the Western nations began to industrialize, Russia remained backward in technology. The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 aided Russia in the transition from a predominantly agricultural to a more industrialized society. Government support for industry led to the construction of a trans-Siberian railroad that linked the European portion of Russia with the Pacific world. By the latter years of the nineteenth century, factories had arisen in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Government-sponsored programs at the turn of the century improved the Russian banking system and applied high tariffs to protect industry. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Russia ranked fourth in the world in steel production.

Industrialization in Japan

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Japan continued to be governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Technologically backward to the industrialized West, Japan emerged from its relative isolation after the 1854 arrival of an expedition from the United States under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry. In 1856, Japan opened two ports to trade with the United States. Shortly thereafter, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Russia were granted similar concessions.

Some of the Japanese samurai favored an end to Japan’s isolation. In 1868, the Japanese chose a new emperor named Mutsuhito, or “Meiji,” meaning “Enlightened One.” The Meiji Restoration ended feudalism in Japan and centralized its government. The Meiji government sent key samurai to Western Europe and the United States to study Western technology, government, and economics. In the 1870s, the Meiji government abolished the position of samurai , and in the 1880s, created a bicameral parliament based along Western models.

Japanese social and political changes were accompanied by rapid industrialization. Banks were set up, and the Japanese army and navy were modernized. Key to the success of Japanese industry was strong government support. State-sponsored railroads, steamships, and factories were built. Heavy taxes imposed on Japanese citizens supported industry. By the 1890s, many of the textile mills and other factories were sold off to private investors who formed conglomerates called zaibatsu.

In spite of Japan’s rapid industrialization, the islands were not fully equipped for industrialization. Japan lacked significant coal and iron ore deposits essential to carry on an industrial economy. By the beginnings of the twentieth century, Japan remained dependent on the West for raw materials and technology.

In the 1890s, Japan’s need for raw materials for its industries prompted a quest for empire. In 1895, Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War , which was fought over control of Korea. Japan’s influence in Korea also led to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905, in which Japan defeated Russia. In 1910, Japan annexed Korea.

Social Changes in Industrial Japan

The influence of industrialization introduced a number of Western practices to Japan. Public primary education was offered to all children. The Japanese adopted the metric system, clocks, and the Western calendar. Western haircuts became the fashion for Japanese men. In spite of these adaptations to Western ways, however, few Japanese adopted Christianity, and Shinto and Confucianism became even more popular. Family life also maintained its traditions; Japanese women retained their traditional roles of wives and mothers in a patriarchal family.

Industrialization in Egypt

Under the leadership of its ruler Muhammad Ali, Egypt began to industrialize in the early nineteenth century. In order to lessen Egypt’s dependence on the Ottomans, Muhammad Ali built up the Egyptian military. He also brought in European advisers to build up industries. To fund the new industries, Egyptian peasants were required to grow cotton and wheat to export to industrialized nations. When Muhammad Ali levied high tariffs on imported goods, the British objected and forced him to discontinue the duties. Egypt’s new industries were unable to compete with British manufacturers, and became dependent on lower-priced manufactured goods from Great Britain.

Images Rapid Review

Beginning in Great Britain, the Industrial Revolution spread throughout Western Europe and the United States, altering society and family life. After abolishing serfdom in 1861, Russia began to industrialize, constructing a trans-Siberian railroad to link European Russia to the Pacific coast. The Perry expedition to Japan in 1854 prompted Japan to open its doors to industrialization. Japan ended feudalism and established a centralized empire that built up an industrial sector by the end of the nineteenth century. Japan, however, remained poor in natural resources, a situation that furthered its quest for an empire to acquire resources to run its industries. In Egypt, attempts at industrialization met with limited success because of the intervention of Great Britain.

Images Review Questions

1 .    Efforts at industrialization in Russia and Japan were similar in that

      (A)  both began in the early nineteenth century

      (B)  both followed the termination of long-established institutions

      (C)  both countries developed more centralized governments

      (D)  both depended on the textile industry

2 .    In the early years of industrial development

      (A)  women in Japan emerged from traditional roles

      (B)  husbands and wives were given more opportunities to work together

      (C)  married women had more opportunities for clerical jobs

      (D)  British women lost jobs in domestic manufacturing

3 .    Common to most early industrial nations was the development of

      (A)  steel manufacturing

      (B)  railroads

      (C)  zaibatsu

      (D)  unions

4 .    Japan’s greatest challenge to industrialization was

      (A)  its geography

      (B)  lack of government cooperation

      (C)  continued presence of the shogunate

      (D)  competition between the government and the zaibatsu

5 .    Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

      (A)  was facilitated because of the enclosure movement

      (B)  followed a similar revolution in the United States

      (C)  initiated an interest in global trade

      (D)  received little government support

6 .    Industrialization in Egypt

      (A)  gave new freedoms to lower classes

      (B)  decreased Egypt’s dependency on the West

      (C)  resulted from disharmony in the Muslim world

      (D)  was accomplished without government support

7 .    In the early nineteenth century, Russia remained backward compared to Western nations because of

      (A)  a history of tsarist opposition to westernization

      (B)  its lack of a labor force

      (C)  its lack of natural resources

      (D)  its continuation of serfdom

8 .    After the Perry expedition to Japan

      (A)  Japan refused to open ports to Western nations

      (B)  the samurai opposed trade relations with the West

      (C)  industrialization was accompanied by imitation of Western governments

      (D)  traditional Japanese religion lost popularity

Images Answers and Explanations

1 .   B   Prior to industrialization, Russia abolished serfdom and Japan ended feudalism. Both countries began to industrialize in the latter part of the nineteenth century (A). Whereas Japan developed a more centralized government about the time that it industrialized, the Russian government was already centralized (C). Whereas textile mills were a part of early Japanese industrialization, Russia was more dependent on the production of steel (D).

2 .   D   Many British women had worked in domestic industries prior to the transition to factory production. Women in Japan continued their traditional roles (A). The Industrial Revolution produced less togetherness as married women retained their roles in the home while their husbands worked in factories (B). Married women retained traditional roles in the home (C).

3 .   B   Railroads were a common feature of industrialized nations, with Russia’s trans-Siberian railroad and the U.S. transcontinental railroad serving as examples. Steel manufacturing was a feature of Russian industry (A). The zaibatsu pertained to Japanese industry (C). Unions arose in the West as industrialization progressed (D).

4 .   A   Japan’s geography did not provide the country with an abundance of needed resources. Japan’s industrialization enjoyed government support (B). The shogunate was terminated about the time that Japan industrialized (C). The Japanese government cooperated with the zaibatsu (D).

5 .   A   The enclosure movement provided the needed labor force to facilitate industrialization. The Industrial Revolution in Britain preceded that in the United States (B). An interest in world trade preceded British industrialization (C). British industry received government backing (D).

6 .   C   Egyptian industrialization resulted from the desire of Muhammad Ali to become more independent from Ottoman influence. Peasant classes were forced to grow crops for export (A). When Great Britain interfered with Egyptian industrialization, Egypt became more dependent on the West (B). Industrialization was the project of Egyptian leader Muhammad Ali (D).

7 .   D   Serfdom, not abolished until 1861, kept Russia an agricultural nation. Both Peter the Great and Catherine the Great had favored westernization (A). Its large population provided an ample labor force (B), and it possessed the necessary resources for industrialization (C).

8 .   C   Japan instituted a bicameral parliament based on Western models. Japan opened two ports to Western nations (A). Some samurai favored trade relations with the West (B). Christianity did not find much support among the Japanese, while Shinto gained somewhat in popularity (D).

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