6.1 The Industrial Revolution -T-

AGE 8. The Time of Citizens and Steam Engines
6.1 The Industrial Revolution

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AGE 8. The Time of Citizens and Steam Engines
6.1 The Industrial Revolution


Slide 1 - Tekstslide

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the Time of Citizens and Steam Engines
1800 - 1900
The nineteenth century is also called the Age of Citizens and Steam engines. In this age, an event of great importance occurred: the Industrial Revolution. With its roots in Britain, this revolution spread all over the world and triggered innumerable changes in people’s daily lives.
You will also learn about how tough life was in cities and child labour. During this age, citizens gained more influence in politics and European nations fought bloody wars for riches and power. In the battles they used their highly advanced weapons to conquer big parts of the world.

Typical Aspects:

-Democracy and a parliamentary system
-the Industrial Revolution
-Modern Imperialism
-Liberalism,Nationalism, Socialism and feminism

The Modern Age

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What is this lesson about?
An agricultural revolution in England led to a population growth. This growth triggered a high demand for clothes, which inspired entrepreneurs to invest money in new inventions for spinning. These inventions led to the industrial revolution in which machines in factories had taken over manual labour at home. Fossil fuels were burned to produce steam power. The promise of work in a factory brought people to the cities.

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What you learn (to do)

  1. that during the industrial revolution, work became mechanised and factories were built to house steam engines
  2. that industrialisation led to the growth of cities
  3. describe the difference between European civilisation before and after the Industrial Revolution
  4. explain why this revolution started in Britain
  5. explain how a steam engine works
  6. explain how cities changed because of the industrialisation

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

people in this lesson
James Watt
Richard Arkwright
James Hargreaves
Queen Victoria

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Word Duty


Industrial revolution: a radical change in which manual labour was replaced by machines

Modern age: the period in time from 1800 up to now

Entrepreneurs: persons who start or run a business with the goal of making profit

Steam power: an energy source that is derived from heating water; steam is the gas phase of water

Factories: large buildings in which machines are operated to make a product

Services: a work sector in which people offer their service in exchange for money; other sectors are agriculture and industry

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Important dates in this lesson:

1712: first steam engine

1750 - 1900: Industrial Revolution

1837 - 1901: Victorian Age

Slide 8 - Tekstslide


Between 1750 and 1900, Europe and North America changed drastically. Steam engines began to be used to do work instead of manual labour, the locomotive was invented, bridges were built from iron and electric light was developed. These are just some examples of all the changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution, a fast and radical change, that had its roots in Great Britain. A new era started: the Modern Age.

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A world changing revolution

Before the industrial revolution, people lived in an agricultural-urban society. Work was done by manual labour or with the help of animal power such as oxen or horses. Craftsmen used their hands and tools to make products. This changed during the industrial revolution, when machines were invented to do the work. Ways of transportation also changed: before the revolution, people walked or used horses, boats or coaches to travel from one place to another, but during the revolution the steam locomotive made travelling and transporting goods easier and faster. Many more changes occurred, such as the change from candle light to electric light, changes in working conditions, health, social situations and living conditions. But what caused this revolution?

steam power would soon be used for transportation. 
  1. write down the title of this paragraph
  2. the first half of the text mentions 2 main areas that changed because of the  Industrial Revolution. 
  3. What other changes are mentioned?
(Can you now see how the title covers the content?)

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Why did the revolution start in Britain?

There are multiple reasons why Britain was the first country to become industrialised. There were a lot of natural resources and people in this country were interested in technology and progress. There were many harbours to ship goods, but the most important reason is found in agriculture.
Since the seventeenth century, an agricultural revolution occurred in Britain. Here, farmers used new techniques and investment in farming led to an agricultural surplus. Because of the abundance of food, the population in Britain grew. It is estimated that in 1700 there were 5.5 million people, but in 1801 there were 9.3 million and in 1841 it grew to 15.9 million a growth of 60% in just 40 years. More people meant there was a higher demand for products, especially clothes.
Before the industrial revolution, clothes were made by farmers at home, who needed the extra income. But because of the population growth, they could not work their spinning wheels fast enough to satisfy the high demand.

 In the 19th century the most dramatic changes were witnessed in rural areas, where the provincial landscape often became urban and industrialised. Painting by August von Wille (1870).

  1. write down the title of this paragraph (Now you know what question is answered in this paragraph)
  2. the second sentence mentions the main reasons. Write them down.
  3. From the word "Since" the text focusses on one particular reason. Which one?
  4. The most important words are: new techniques - agricultural surplus - population growth - more demand for products - homeworkers could not work fast enough. Write this in a coherent sentence.

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Inventing new spinning machines

Inventors were inspired by this problem and entrepreneurs saw opportunities to make money. New inventions were made to hasten textile production more and more. One of the first of these machines was made by James Hargreaves and was called the Spinning Jenny. At first the Spinning Jenny was able to increase the spinning speed by eight times and eventually up to a hundred and twenty times.
It was a cheap device, but it still had to be run by hand and the threads broke easily. Richard Arkwright invented the Waterframe, a machine that worked on waterpower, so it did not need lots of manpower. The Waterframe was placed in a watermill, but this was also its downside, because the rivers did not always flow that well so it was not reliable. To solve this problem, a new energy source was further developed: steam power. These new machines needed coal to burn and England had plenty of this fossil fuel.

Top: Using the Spinning Jenny increased spinning speed multiple times. Wood engraving c. 1880.
Bottom: Interior of a cotton factory showing use of child labour (nineteenth century).

  1. write down the title of this paragraph 
  2. why were new inventions made?
  3. Which 2 inventions are mentioned? What problem did they solve?
  4. why was steam power further developed? 

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Slide 13 - Video

Steam power

The use of steam as a power source was not new. Though the ancient Greeks had made designs, it was never put to practical use then. In 1712 the first real steam engine was used to pump water from a mine. But it became popular for more industries after James Watt made an adapted version. Now the steam engine could operate a whole scale of different machines. Its rotary movement revolutionised industry.
Steam engines became so big that they had to be placed in factories. These big buildings first had to be built close to places with water and coal. The coal was burned to heat up water in order to produce steam. With the invention of the steam locomotive, these fuels could be transported to all different areas; this made it possible to build factories in many places, close to waterways for transport or in cities because of the workforce.

different steam engines, 1894. 
  1. Write down the title of this paragraph 
  2. Why did factories needed to be built near places with water and coal?
  3. How did the invention of the locomotive change this?
  4. What were the best locations to build a factory (and why)?

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

Life in an industrial city (1)

The industrialisation did not just take place in Britain; Belgium was second and the United States, France and Germany followed. Our country was one of the last countries in Western Europe to industrialise. In all these countries industrialisation led to a decline in the agricultural work sector but to a growth in industrial and services, such as banking, education and transportation. There was not enough work in agriculture anymore and the use of machines led to a further decline in textile work at home. For millions of people the only option was factory work in the city. Because of this, the cities grew exceptionally. Cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham became leaders in the industrial revolution. Between 1771 and 1831, Manchester saw its population multiply by six. This process of growth in cities is called urbanisation.

 Inside a nineteenth century iron factory. Painting by Adolph Menzel (1875).
  1. Write down the title of this paragraph 
  2. What were 2 effects of industrialisation?
  3. Why did cities grow? (what is this called?)

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Life in an industrial city (2)

The workers had to live close to the factories because they walked to work. There was a shortage in housing and because the wages were low, they could only rent a very small house in special worker neighbourhoods.The whole family had to share one room. Families with more than five children were normal. The furniture was simple, and most of the times there was not a good bed or kitchen and the walls were not well insulated. Rooms without windows were not an exception; the houses were cold in winter, damp and hot in summer. They were built close to each other, which made the streets small and crowded. Thieves, murderers and drunkards roamed the alleyways. Orphans and beggars had to live in dwellings in the backstreets. It was filthy because people had no toilets or clean water supply. They threw their waste on the streets. These open sewers and garbage piles attracted rats and other vermin. These animals and polluted water caused diseases such as Cholera and Typhus, killing countless people.

family living in a one room apartment
  1. This paragraph is just a summing up of bad living conditions of city workers. You might write down some key words.
  2. What was the effect of  bad hygiene in the cities?
The time period that encompasses a big part of the industrial revolution is called the Victorian era (1837-1901) in Britain. This period is named after Queen Victoria, who ruled the British Empire for 63 years. The British divide some parts of their history according to their rulers. After the Victorian era, the Edwardian era started (1901-1910).

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Families in the factories

The wages that labourers received were not enough to pay for rent and food. It was just barely enough to live in the city. For this reason, a family could only survive if the mother and children also worked. Children could not play or go to school to improve their knowledge or skills, so their situation could not improve. Men and women operated the machines, while children did work as chimney sweeps or had to crawl into narrow spaces in mines or under machines to pick up cotton.

19th century London was also a city of poverty, where millions lived in overcrowded and unsanitary slums. Wood engraving by Gustave Doré (1872).

  1. Write down the title of this paragraph 
  2. Why did whole families need to work?

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Copy in your notebook and fill in the gaps

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Slide 20 - Video