Industrial Revolution Once defined – Primarily in terms of new technology in Britain and Europe, now recognized also as a global phenomenon of unprecedented transformation in social organization and political/military power.
Pre – Industrial Revolution Times
One of the key indicators of human progress has always been improvement in the tools that we use and the ways in which we organize production. Today we usually associate advanced industry with the Western world, but the most advanced civilization of pre-modern times was China of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
China earned its reputation not only for its neo-Confucian high culture – its painting, poetry, and classical education – but also for its agricultural progress with new crops and more efficient harvesting. It produced armaments on a massive scale, including gunpowder and siege machines.
All these economic initiatives – innovation at home and exploitation overseas – paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, which began in the eighteenth century.
This modern Industrial Revolution began with simple new machinery and minor changes in the organization of the workplace, but these were only the first steps. Ultimately, the Industrial Revolution multiplied the profits of the business classes and increased their power in government and public life. It broadened and deepened in its scope until it affected
Transforming the locations of our workplaces and homes,
The size and composition of our families and
The quality and quantity of the time we spend with them,
The educational systems we create,
The wars we fight, and
The relationships among nations.