Industrial revolution

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The industrial revolution is the profound and lasting transformation of economic and social conditions , working conditions and living conditions that began in the second half of the 18th century and intensified in the 19th century , first in England , then throughout Western Europe and the USA , has led to the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society in Japan and other parts of Europe and Asia since the late 19th century . The most important social classes involved in this upheaval faced capitalist entrepreneurs and wage-dependent proletarians .

Coalbrookdale at night . Oil painting by Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg d. J. from the year 1801. Coalbrookdale is considered to be one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution as the first coke- fired blast furnace was operated here.

The industrial revolution led to a greatly accelerated development of technology , productivity and science , which, accompanied by a sharp increase in population, was accompanied by a new kind of escalation of social grievances: There was a partial shift of pauperism from the countryside to the cities without adequate housing available were; and a wage-labor proletariat was concentrated in the emerging factories for which manpower was needed. This resulted in the social question as a core sociopolitical problem , combined with recurring labor unrest and efforts by social reformers to alleviate the acute misery and combat its causes.

From a world-historical perspective, the industrial revolution is as important as the transition from nomadism to sedentarism in the Neolithic Revolution . With regard to the industrial revolution, two conceptual levels developed over time: one refers to the epoch designation associated with the emergence of large-scale industry, the other aims at an unfinished process of ongoing social change. The proletarian strata, who were most disadvantaged in pre-industrial and early industrial times, also gained in quality of life in the further course of the industrial revolution, as great domestic social inequality was increasingly seen as a problem. Broader sections of the population were able to achieve relative prosperity .

Some economic historians and social scientists characterized later historical upheavals in economic, production and work forms as the second and third industrial revolution (Technical advances in the Middle Ages, such as the use of water mills to drive hammers, saws, pumps and bellows, are also referred to as "industrial Revolution ”). The French sociologist Georges Friedmann first spoke of a second industrial revolution in 1936 . He dated them to the decades around 1900 and identified the intensified mechanization, the widespread use of electricity and the mass production of goods ( Taylorism and Fordism ) as their characteristics . The microelectronic revolution since the mid-1970s is seen as the technological core of a new, third industrial revolution, for example by the American sociologist Daniel Bell . The debate about Industry 4.0 gave rise to the term “fourth industrial revolution” (for example at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos). The technological basis of the described computerization of manufacturing technology and closer networking between production and logistics is still microelectronics. The industrial researcher Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen speaks of a "second phase of digitization".

The chemists and atmospheric researchers Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer proposed in 2000 that the period since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution should be understood as a new epoch in the history of the earth under the name of the Anthropocene , since human influence on the planet has since become increasingly important.

Concept history

The term industrial revolution originally came into use as an analogy to the French Revolution . The changes in commercial forms of production, especially in Great Britain, seemed just as significant as the political change in France. In this sense, the term was used, for example, in a report in the newspaper Le Moniteur Universel in 1827 and also by Adolphe Jérôme Blanqui in 1837 . Its short formula "Hardly sprouted from the brains of the two brilliant men Watt and Arkwright , the industrial revolution took possession of England" is, however, incompatible with today's economic-historical research: "The view of the industrial revolution as a heroic story of great inventors urgently needs a revision", wrote Pierenkemper in 1996 .

The Belgian economist and publicist Natalis Briavoinne used the term industrial revolution for the first time as a process and epoch term in 1839 in his two-volume work De l'Industrie en Belgique (“About Industry in Belgium”). Outside of the francophone- speaking area, the first mentions can be found in 1843 by Wilhelm Schulz in The Movement of Production and in 1845 in the book The situation of the working class in England by Friedrich Engels . Engels also compared the political revolution in France with industrial development in Great Britain. For him, the industrial revolution was a turning point: "The industrial revolution has the same meaning for England as the political revolution for France and the philosophical revolution for Germany".

While the term was limited here to industrial development emanating from England, Schulz had already applied it to earlier epochs. In this he was mainly followed by the Anglo-Saxon tradition, e.g. B. John Stuart Mill . He used the term in 1848 to denote any rapid technological and social change. The term found general dissemination through Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883), to whom the coining of the term has long been attributed. In the 20th century, the concept of the “age of industrialization ” became more prominent.

It is common among historians to use the term industrial revolution for what happened on the British main island between around 1750 and 1850, while otherwise it is referred to as industrialization , provided that in an economy there is a per capita growth of more than several decades in per capita production than 1.5 percent.

Creation conditions in Great Britain

Cast iron bridge in Shropshire

It has turned out to be rather dubious to try to determine specific individual causes of the industrial revolution. Quite a few of these also existed elsewhere, for example in the Netherlands, in northern France or in central Japan, so that the reverse has also been asked why such an upheaval did not occur in one of these regions.

For the United Kingdom, a set of conditions can be shown within which individual factors were specifically significant. The following are to be stated:

  • a previous period of peace that lasted many decades;
  • a uniform economic area without customs barriers in an island location;
  • a large-scale, relatively productive, labor force agriculture;
  • a geography favorable for traffic and transport and rich, easily accessible coal deposits;
  • the colonial property that takes care of the import of raw materials and sales markets, including extensive colonial trade (partly as barter );
  • the developed precision mechanics and toolmaking ;
  • a partially widespread entrepreneurial mentality, especially in some religious milieus.

Of its own importance for the continuous industrial upswing was, on the one hand, the domestic demand for higher demand, which was based on relatively broad circles, and also the already advanced overseas trade, especially with North America, and, furthermore, the development of a technology culture based on a stream of innovation flanked by British patent law . Although there were also active inventors in large numbers in France, they mainly presented their innovations to other scholars, while the English innovations often flowed directly into industrial production.

On the eve of the Industrial Revolution, the standard of living in Western Europe was well above the subsistence level and was remarkable in comparison to other regions of the world. This relative wealth was particularly pronounced in Great Britain, "a product of the 'original' accumulation that had lasted for at least two hundred years ." According to Buchheim , the pre-industrial productivity gains of the British economy were so great for the first time in the 18th century that, despite the growing population, there was a surplus of "free" “Resources remained that could be used to initiate a new, sustained growth process. This opened up a long-term way out of the Malthusian poverty trap . The mild climate in England favored the process; there were fewer famines (often caused by cold waves , heat waves and other climate extremes) than in other parts of Europe.

Agricultural lead

Important features of an “agricultural revolution” that had started in advance and that accompanied it were crop rotation , the expansion of forage production and winter stables, as well as the planned improvement in breeding and increased yields of the livestock. Against the background of an increasing demand for food as a result of population growth, the efforts of influential landowners in the English Parliament intensified in the 18th century to add the common land available for general use to their own properties in return for a compensation payment through corresponding statutory regulations (Private Acts of Parliament). The replacement of human labor with horses also played a significant role in the increase in agricultural productivity . The number of horses in England doubled between 1700 and 1850.

The resolution of the Allmenderechte (English Commons) under the enclosure ( "enclosures" enclosures ) allowed a more efficient and less labor-intensive food production. However, the privatization of the common land cost the small farmers both the pastures as fodder for their cattle and the forests they had access to, from which they could previously obtain firewood and raw material for their work tools. In this situation, a considerable proportion of those employed in agriculture could no longer earn their own livelihood in the agricultural sector and streamed into the cities in search of employment to secure their livelihood ( rural exodus ). These people belonged to the reservoir of an industrial wage labor force that was needed for factory work.

Economic change under the sign of technical progress

The industrial revolution got under way not as a national but as a regional phenomenon. Only a few, narrowly defined regions were at the beginning of the development. “The cradle of industrialization in England was in the county of Lancashire, ” says Pierenkemper. There, too, it was again only the southern part that, with its textile industry with cotton , which had been developing since the 16th century, switched to industrial production at the end of the 18th century, while western Lancashire , which specialized in linen production , and the north-eastern part of the county with its woolen cloth industry behind it stayed behind.

It was technical advances in the British cotton industry that achieved an annual growth rate of more than 12% between 1780 and 1790, a magnitude never seen again in the industry thereafter. This was largely due to the fact that the main trade flows had shifted from the inland seas such as the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea to the Atlantic, which was used intensively by English trading houses. After 1750, British foreign trade increased dramatically, with cotton being of paramount importance for both exports and imports. At the beginning of the 19th century, cotton products accounted for almost half of British exports, while raw cotton made up a fifth of imports: “King Cotton” was considered to be the ruler of the English economy.

The dawn of the machine age

George and Robert Stephenson's locomotive “ The Rocket ” from 1829 in the Science Museum in London.
Textile print, 1890

The mid-18th century increasing number of mechanical inventions and the novel use of non-human energy was particularly where the key industry acting textiles productive advantage. David S. Landes summarizes the technical core content of the industrial revolution in three processes: 1. the mechanization of manual labor using machines , 2. mechanical energy generation and energy conversion, especially using the steam engine , 3. the massive use of the mineral raw materials coal and iron .

According to Werner Heisenberg , the technology of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was based on the use of mechanical processes. Technical inventions such as the spinning jenny and the mechanical loom made machine textile processing possible and created the basis for the emerging factory system , a new form of production based on the internal division of labor and the use of machines (industrial capitalism). The textile industry gave impetus to the emergence and development of other branches of industry.

The first examples of the increase in production made possible by machines were the spinning machine and mechanical loom , for Marx the most important invention of the industrial revolution. Its mechanism causes "with his tools the same operations (...) which the worker used to do with similar tools". In addition to the textile industry, machine tools were mainly used in the metalworking industry. Often the machines only mimicked the activities of the human hand. This type of technique could be viewed as a continuation and extension of the old crafts (such as weaving, spinning, cargo transport or iron forging).

The steam engine is widely regarded as the most important machine of the industrial revolution and at the same time its symbol. Over time, it largely replaced the much more volatile or less powerful conventional driving forces, which were based on the use of humans and animals as well as on the use of wind power and water power . Also very important to gradually from earlier was railways developed and provided with steam locomotives as a tractor Railway , the enormous increase in efficiency in transportation allowed. It was only with steam locomotives that the transport of goods was both accelerated and significantly cheaper, which was particularly important for bulk goods such as coal that were previously only practically transportable by ship. The gradual spread of the steam engine and the better availability of raw materials as a result of the transport revolutions led to a rapid expansion of industrial production. So was z. For example, the textile industry is increasingly being relocated from small-scale production facilities ( home work ) to large factories, where spinning machines and machine looms quickly and inexpensively produced the fabrics sought after on the European continent.

As a result of mechanized production, the demand for fuels continued to rise, making coal mining more lucrative and, thanks to technical and organizational improvements, more and more productive. Another important technical achievement was the implementation of the coke oven for iron smelting , which gradually led to the transition from pig iron , traditionally smelted with charcoal, to pig iron . Abraham Darby was the pioneer here , and it took a few decades for this procedure to become common practice. As a result of increasing specialization , industrialization in connection with capitalist commercialization, in a process that continues to this day, has always produced new trades .

The spinning machine and the mechanical loom

In the 18th century two sets of clothes were still a luxury for the common people; However, cheaper textile production promised the producers opportunities to increase sales. In 1760 about 1,300 tons of cotton were processed in England; In 1860 it was 190,000 tons - an increase to almost a hundred and fifty times. Until the middle of the 18th century, most of the cotton imported from the colonies was processed at home: the whole family was busy. But one weaver could process more yarn than four spinners could make by hand in the same time. The demand for yarn meant that the price rose enormously and that prices for inventions to increase and improve the quality of yarn production were suspended.

The Cromford textile factory in Ratingen is the first factory on the European continent

The development of a spinning machine in 1764 by James Hargreaves , who probably named it after the diminutive "Jenny" for machine "Spinning Jenny", marked the beginning of the technological revolution in England. Just five years later, Richard Arkwright developed the Waterframe , which was powered by hydropower. With this combination, the technician Samuel Crompton was able to manufacture much finer yarn with a further development in 1779. Initially kept secret from foreigners and protected by patents in England , the Waterframe was copied in 1783 by means of industrial espionage for the German textile factory Cromford , which was founded in 1783 by Elberfeld businessman Johann Gottfried Brügelmann in Ratingen ; from there mechanized spinning spread across the European continent and later to the USA. Production increased enormously when the steam engine replaced water power.

The result was that at the beginning of the 19th century a spinner could produce as much yarn as 200 workers before the "Jenny" was invented. That meant the end of the home industry - it could no longer keep up with the larger, steam-powered machines. At the beginning of the 19th century there were around 100,000 of them in the spinning mills that were created. The price of the yarn dropped enormously. The result: the cotton textiles, which had become cheap, found more sales in England and in 1830 accounted for more than half of British exports.

The situation was different with the invention of the egrenier machine (cotton gin) used for cotton harvesting: Before that, cleaning the harvest was so laborious that the cotton harvest was not really profitable, even with the use of slaves. With the invention of the cotton gin, cotton could be processed in such large quantities that the harvest became profitable. This created a great demand for slaves as labor.

In 1830 the Englishman Richard Roberts , one of the most resourceful mechanical engineers of his time, invented the first fully automatic “Selfacting Mule” (German: “ Selfaktor ”) that worked without human power and only operated with water or steam power after five years of development . The highly complex spinning machine had a production output of around 20% higher than the spinning machines known until then, but was also more expensive and needed more drive energy, which was still relatively scarce in the early days of the steam engine. The hopes of the entrepreneurs to make themselves completely independent of the very self-confident Mule-spinners with this machine and to be able to use unskilled workers in their place, however, did not come true. Relatively qualified workers were still required to set up, operate and maintain the new self-actuators.

The weaving lagged behind the modernization of the spinning mill for a long time - until 1784 the London pastor Edmond Cartwright invented the mechanical loom. Its final implementation took about 50 years: 250,000 hand weavers offered resistance out of fear for their jobs and livelihoods, up to and including the burning of factories. But industrialists and consumers who benefited from the new modes of production ultimately got the upper hand.

Energy basis: Renewable energies and steam engine

Installed power of wind, hydro and steam in Great Britain, 1760–1907 in horsepower
wind water steam Total
year PS % PS % PS % PS
1760 10,000 11.8 70,000 82.3 5,000 5.9 85,000
1800 15,000 8.8 120,000 70.6 35,000 20.6 170,000
1830 20,000 5.7 165,000 47.1 165,000 47.1 350,000
1870 10,000 0.4 230,000 10.0 2,060,000 89.6 2,300,000
1907 5,000 - 178,000 1.8 9,659,000 98.1 9,842,000
Animation of a double-acting steam engine with a centrifugal governor

The industrial revolution is often equated by non-historians with the steam engine; a notion that economic historians reject. Although the steam engine and especially the steam locomotive represented the symbol of the industrial revolution, it was not the trigger for the industrialization process, especially since its contribution as a source of power was initially only of minor importance. In the first phase of the industrial revolution, the energy base remained largely the same. The main source of power in the production of goods was water power , in addition, people were dependent on their own physical strength as well as wind power and animal energy.

Although the steam engine finally solved the existing energy problem after its protracted implementation process, which lasted from the first experiments in the late 17th century to the second half of the 19th century, the forces of nature were still used because they, especially outside of the Coal mining areas, were often cheaper. In Great Britain, wind and water power still accounted for more than half of the installed capacity around 1830; in Germany they only reached their peak in the 1880s, i.e. at the time of high industrialization .

The first industrially usable steam engine was designed by Thomas Newcomen in 1712 and was used to keep water in a mine . Although Newcomen's engine was clearly superior to the steam engine designed by Thomas Savery at the end of the 17th century, its efficiency was only 0.5 percent. John Smeaton later succeeded in increasing the efficiency to one percent. Then James Watt - based on preliminary work by Denis Papin - achieved three percent efficiency by moving the condensation of the water vapor into a separate container, the condenser . In 1769, Watt received a patent on steam condensation outside the cylinder, initially for six years. Watt's business partner, Matthew Boulton , subsequently used his relationships with members of the British Parliament and obtained an extension of the patent to 30 years, up to 1800. Both of them successfully hindered the further development of the steam engine by competing engineers until the patent expired. They sued Jonathan Hornblower, whose composite steam engine made a further increase in efficiency possible, for patent infringement and were thus able to stop its further development.

A Kemna steam tractor based on
Fowler's findings

The high-pressure steam engine, which was designed by Oliver Evans in 1784, also improved efficiency compared to the Watt's steam engine . Richard Trevithick installed such a machine in a road vehicle immediately after Watt's patent expired. The prerequisite for the functionality of high-pressure steam machines was the progress in metal production and processing at that time.

From 1804 onwards , composite steam engines were again produced and further developed by Arthur Woolf . Contributions from various engineers led to further improvements and thus to an expansion of the areas of application in the decades that followed. At the same time, hydropower plants and windmills were also expanded and technically improved. Even in England, the motherland of industrialization, the steam engine did not become widespread until the 1860s. In other countries such as France or the USA, where hydropower played a major role, it was not widely used until the 1870s. Subsequently, the steam engine became the most important work machine in various areas and was used, among other things, to drive pumps, hammers, blowers and rollers.

With coal and iron to heavy industry

First geological map for Great Britain from 1815, created by William Smith
Geological maps enable the targeted search for mineral resources

Large-scale machine production depended on adequate iron production. At the beginning of the 18th century, however, only comparatively small amounts of iron were produced, and only with the help of charcoal . Coal had already been used in small quantities in England in the Middle Ages and had been used as a heat source for domestic fires and in certain trades since the 19th century. The use of untreated hard coal for iron production was then as not possible today. Due to the increasing demand for charcoal (and other uses such as shipbuilding, timber, pile foundations, canal construction, etc.), the forests had been so exploited that iron production had to migrate to areas that were still forested. The shortage of charcoal became a problem in England.

Abraham Darby I began coking coal to coke as early as 1709 and used it for iron production in the blast furnace , but it took decades before he and his son Abraham Darby II made coke smelting usable on an industrial scale. Cast iron could be produced cheaply in large quantities with this, but wrought iron still had to be produced with the help of charcoal. It was only with the puddling process , which was ready for the market at the beginning of the 19th century, that it was possible to use hard coal instead of charcoal in large quantities to produce wrought iron (now known as steel ). Since then, machines, trains and larger ships have been made to a very different extent.

With the use of coke in iron smelting and hard coal in the puddle process to produce wrought iron, the demand for coal rose rapidly. In the beginning, open-cast mining and tunnel construction were mainly used in the inexpensive forms of mining , as the problem of collapsing groundwater could be solved comparatively easily in this way. Since the steam engine was used to drive water pumps, coal could be extracted from ever greater depths. Steam engines were also used towards the end of the 18th century to move people and material in the shafts and were used as tractors for loaded carts, initially on wooden and later on iron rails.

There was an increasing demand for iron and steel, which could only be met by industrially operated smelting works and rolling mills. In the second half of the 19th century, iron and steel production was improved by inventions such as the Bessemer pear (1855) or the Siemens-Martin process .

Development of traffic routes and modes of transport

With the boom in industrial production and trade, the roads in England, which often went back to the Roman Empire, proved to be completely inadequate for the increasing demand for transport and traffic. Canals and railways were therefore just as characteristic of early industrial development as locomotives and ships powered by steam engines.

From the Roman roads to the "Canal Age"

With the increase in agricultural yields, which were increasingly being sold outside of the region and in demand in the growing cities, as well as increasing cotton production, coal mining and iron production, improved transport routes and means became increasingly important. The roads still built by the Romans were unsuitable for the economic overland transport of bulk goods and had only been inadequately maintained over the centuries. Increased road construction alone did not solve this problem; and the existing natural waterways sometimes led to too little water or not to the important raw material stores and production centers. In contrast, after the middle of the 18th century, canal construction proved to be a very successful addition and alternative. Compared to unpaved roads, on which four to six draft horses could move a wagon loaded with 1.5 tonnes of payload (on paved roads up to 4 tonnes), it was possible on the narrowboat canals to move a barge loaded with 30 tonnes of payload to have a single draft horse transported.

The Duke of Bridgewater acted as a pioneer of canal construction in Great Britain, who wanted to transfer the coal from his mining area near Worsley to Manchester cheaply . With the Bridgewater Canal , which turned out to be a highly profitable investment, he quickly triggered a large number of canal works, so that as early as 1790 the Thames was connected in a canal network with Trent , Mersey and Severn . In addition to private landowners, the canal companies founded for the purpose of pre-financing and profit making were also involved in the ongoing expansion of the waterway network. In the middle of the 19th century, there were more than 25,000 horse-drawn barges in Great Britain, on which at least twice the number of people lived.

The railroad

The age of the railways also emerged from British coal mining. First of all, iron rails were laid to a large extent as transport routes, steam engines were used for drainage and, finally, locomotives were developed from them. The coal mining area around Newcastle in north-east England led the way in converting freight transport to rail with horse-drawn “wagons” . The coal was transported from the mines to rivers, canals or the sea on “waggon-wags”.

The approximately 480 kilometers of railway lines in England around 1800 became particularly important as test routes for the use of steam locomotives. Their continuous development since the beginning of the 19th century was immediately worthwhile because coal as a fuel was cheaper in the colliery area than procuring horse fodder from outside. The colliery railway , which ran between Middleton and Leeds between 1811 and the 1830s , became the prototype of the steam-powered rack railway . It was not until the 1820s, however, that the new rolling process made of puddle iron was able to achieve a breaking strength of the rails that withstood the dead weight of the locomotives in the long term.

A new era began not only for the transport of goods, but also for passenger transport and travel. The jerky locomotion on horseback and in the carriage was replaced by the machine drive converted into a steady forward motion and increased to speeds that at first caused fear and dizziness. The effect of the new mode of locomotion was linked to the “destruction of space and time”, because many times more distances could be covered in the same time. Heinrich Heine , who lives in Paris, commented on the opening of the railway lines to Rouen and Orléans in 1843 as follows:

“The railroad is killing space and we only have the time left… It takes four and a half hours to travel to Orléans, and as many hours to Rouen. What will that happen when the lines to Belgium and Germany are carried out and connected to the local railways! I feel as if the mountains and forests of all countries were approaching Paris. I can already smell the scent of the German linden trees; The North Sea surges in front of my door. "

In fact, the various English local times were abolished in the course of rail travel because they could not be used to provide useful timetables. In the 1840s, time was standardized for rail traffic; however, the local times continued to exist until 1880. Only then did Greenwich Mean Time , the relevant railway standard time for all lines, apply throughout England. The urban sprawl also started with the railroad. About the origin of the London suburbs it was said in 1851:

“It's not uncommon these days for business people who work in the center of the capital to live with their families 15 to 20 miles outside of the city. Nevertheless, they can reach their shops, offices and offices early in the morning and also return home at the usual after-hours without any inconvenience. As a result, housing has multiplied around the capital wherever there are railways, and a significant part of the former London population now lives in this area. "

In the middle of the 19th century, around 25,000 people were employed in British railway construction, and around 50,000 more in railway operations. Until then, passenger transport was the most important source of income for the rail business. Only after 1850 did the income from freight traffic predominate, which was also due to the long-lasting efficiency of canal transport.

The steamship

The steamship that was practiced in the United States at the beginning of the 19th century, arrived in the UK on both rivers as well as along the coasts in the form of paddle steamers mainly for passenger transport increasingly in use. Steamboats have been sailing the Thames since 1815, and from 1822 they were sailing between Dover and Calais . In particular, coastal shipping with steam boats was greatly expanded , because passenger transport was cheaper than with carriages and significantly faster than with sailing ships .

The steadiness of the travel times from port to port made it possible to create timetables in this area as well. In the 1830s, a steamship called Glasgow every ten minutes. By the middle of the century, around 70 percent of the transport volume in British ports was handled by steamers. At that time the Atlantic crossing on the line from Bristol to New York was already possible in 14 days.

Like the railway, the steamship also created the impression of a shrinking natural environment. An English magazine read in 1839:

“We have seen how the wide Atlantic suddenly shrunk to half of its original width due to the power of steam ... Our transport connection with India is part of the same blessing. Not only is the Indian Ocean much smaller than it used to be, but mail to India is now transported through the Red Sea with wonderful speed thanks to the power of steam. "

Capitalism in the making

The industrial revolution was associated with fundamental changes in the economic realm, which were summarized in the term capitalism. This shows the importance of the investment funds for the implementation of technical innovations in the transport sector and in the factories to be built, as well as for the financing of the livelihood of larger wage labor. The conditions for capital accumulation and utilization in this regard also included a mentality on the part of the entrepreneurs that corresponded to this and provided support.

Philosophical and theoretical foundations

In addition to the determination of factual, objective conditions of the industrial revolution, historians and sociologists have also addressed the question of which contemporary components of consciousness accompanied or determined the entry into a new economic age. Werner Sombart and Max Weber - in his work “ The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism ” - developed the often cited view that certain Protestant religious communities such as Calvinists , Puritans and Quakers were the ones who pioneered the spirit of capitalism. For them the doctrine of predestination was decisive in an orientation in which the godliness of human existence was shown in the economic success of a life based on professional diligence, thrift and moral rigor.

“The inner-worldly Protestant asceticism […] thus worked with full force against the uninhibited enjoyment of property, it restricted consumption, especially luxury consumption. On the other hand, it relieved the purchase of goods from the inhibitions of traditionalist ethics in the psychological effect;

According to Max Weber, the full economic impact of this doctrine, which was widespread in the 17th century, especially by Richard Baxter , only unfolded after purely religious enthusiasm had subsided. At the cradle of the modern business man there was the puritanical view of life tied to inner-worldly asceticism :

“With the awareness of standing in God's full grace and of being visibly blessed by him, the bourgeois entrepreneur, if he kept within the limits of formal correctness, was able to conduct his moral conduct impeccably and the use he made of his wealth was impossible was more offensive to pursue his gainful interests and should do so. In addition, the power of religious asceticism provides him with sober, conscientious, extremely capable workers who stick to their work as a life willed by God. "

What was often repeated as a Calvin quote could be applied to the industrial proletariat : that only if the people are kept poor will they remain obedient to God.

Adam Smith

The economic theoretical foundation for the age of industrial capitalism was laid by the Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith with his book “ The Wealth of Nations ” (original title: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ), published in 1776 , which also pioneered classical economics has been. The individual striving for profit of every single person involved in economic life ensured, as if controlled by an invisible hand , to promote general prosperity as well as possible:

“Since the purpose of every capital investment is to make a profit, capital turns to the most profitable investments; H. those in which the highest profits are made. Indirectly, however, the productivity of the economy is best promoted in this way. Everyone believes that they only have their own interests in mind, but in fact the overall welfare of the economy receives the best support in this way ... If he pursues his own interest, he indirectly promotes the common good much more sustainably than if the pursuit of the common interest had been his direct goal. I have never seen much good from those who supposedly worked for the general best. Which capital investment is really the most advantageous can be judged better by each individual than the state or some other higher authority. "

Smith determined the role of the state after John Locke and in contrast to the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes with restraint. In contrast to mercantilism , he saw the state's responsibilities as being limited to maintaining the external security of the community, guaranteeing private property and a stable legal system for the citizens, as well as ensuring a functioning transport infrastructure, public order and education. The liberal economic doctrine of Adam Smith, which is aimed at free entrepreneurial development, thus favored a bourgeoisie harmonizing with industrial production relations :

“A country's industry can only increase to the extent that capital increases, and capital only increases to the extent that income is gradually saved. In a country, capital formation and industrial development must be left to the natural course of development. Every artificial economic policy measure steers the productive forces of labor and capital in the wrong direction. "

Capital formation

For industrialization on a large scale, the corresponding capital was required, which enabled the financing of machines, factories and transport infrastructure. The beginnings in the English cotton industry, however, were not as capital-intensive in comparison to the heavy industrial phase that followed: “The savings of the entrepreneur's family were often enough to set up a cotton mill; and if this was not the case, the investments could be obtained through the informal capital market which developed around a notary or some other member of the local notary body. In order to pre-finance cotton and other raw materials, a powerful credit system had also developed in the 18th century, the focus of which was on the commercial exchange as a credit instrument and means of payment. "

In the course of further development, more and more corporations were founded, which made it possible to distribute the investment amount to several shareholders and to pursue common economic interests. Northern English mine owners allied with London coal dealers; Brewery owners with malt suppliers and inventors with investors, machine builders with spinning mills. In addition to bank loans, aristocratic landowners willing to invest, wealthy merchants and craftsmen, and a flourishing colonial trade that generated surpluses, the fact that wage workers were paid only minimal wages contributed to the formation of capital.

New forms of industrial production

Steam engine in the Textile Museum Bocholt

The industrial production method gradually displaced the traditional forms of production in craft businesses and manufactories . They replaced by Landes

  1. the “human skill and exertion through the work machine that works quickly, evenly, precisely and tirelessly ”;
  2. "Revitalized by inanimate sources of power, in particular through the invention of ( power ) machines that convert heat into work" (and thus make various energy sources accessible); she forced
  3. the "use of new raw materials in larger quantities, above all the replacement of plant and animal substances with inorganic and finally synthetically produced materials".

With the conversion of steam power into mechanical power was u. a. the construction of factories far from watercourses is possible and profitable. Starting from the English cotton processing, the new production method found its way into other branches of industry. In the course of the Industrial Revolution, per capita production in English industry rose steadily. As technical inventions were promoted and used at the company level, the division of labor and specialization of activities increased. The sale of the mass produced goods was secured by the world power of the British Empire at the time not only in England, but also in the colonies and in continental Europe, where English products dominated the market until the 19th century.

Emergence of work management

For the economic and social historian Sidney Pollard, management has its origins in the factory system that emerged during the Industrial Revolution. It is first of all a management of work ( labor management ). There were no direct models for this; at most, the church and the military, as tightly run, large social organizations, offered certain patterns of orientation. In addition to the recruitment and training of workers, the main problem of early labor management was the “control of recalcitrant masses”, who had to get used to a rigid factory discipline with a monton-industrial time rhythm. The supervisors and foremen in the early factories worked with " carrot and stick " that is, positive incentive systems (performance-related pay, bonuses) and deterrent coercive measures (from corporal punishment to fines) in order to break resistance to the unfamiliar work demands.

As Sidney Pollard points out, there were no books or encyclopedia articles on the field of management before 1830.

Social change and political consequences

In accordance with the extent to which the industrial revolution encompassed and transformed more and more areas of economic life, the living conditions of the people involved, with and without their own capital, changed in many ways. The entrepreneurs, who are oriented towards operational profitability and profit making, who had to assert themselves against others in the competition on the market, interested the wage workers they employed mainly as necessary workers who should only cause the lowest possible costs. The misery of the destitute proletarians and their families resulting from the resulting starvation wages became the motor for protests, resistance actions and scattered reform approaches. Only in the course of a sharp class confrontation between company owners or capitalists on the one hand and wage-dependent proletarians on the other, which also became politically significant, as well as in the face of an impending social revolution, was there a gradual improvement in the living standards of industrial workers under the conditions of ongoing demographic change.

Population growth in a changed environment

An important social basis and side effect of the industrial revolution was the strong increase in population. While in pre-industrial times the death rate roughly corresponded to the birth rate, the population now increased to an unprecedented extent. “A number of national societies experienced at different times that families grew larger, fewer children died and the time horizon of life plans shifted with increasing life expectancy .” This process began with the fall in the death rate and extended over different periods of time: in England about 1740 to 1940, in Germany from 1870 to 1940. Throughout the 19th century, England had the highest growth rate with 1.23 percent annually, followed by the Netherlands with 0.84 percent. The extent of the “biological spurt” that took place in England can be seen in the catching-up process of the “demographic straggler”: In 1750, 5.9 million English (excluding Scotland) were compared to 25 million French; In 1850 the ratio was 20.8 million British, Scots and Welsh to 35.8 million French, and by 1900 the population of Great Britain with 37 million people had almost caught up with the French (39 million).

The feeding of a steadily growing population as well as the industrial wage workers became possible through the increase in agricultural productivity. Other reasons for the population increase were medical advances (discovery of viruses and bacteria) and improved hygiene (keeping healthy through widespread education and standardized behavior). For many, however, the conditions remained so miserably poor or otherwise unbearable that they tried to improve their lot by emigrating: "No other epoch was as much as the 19th century an age of mass long-distance migration." the emigration of millions and millions of Europeans to North America. After the Irish, the English, Scots and Welsh made the largest migrant contingents until 1820. Among the British emigrants there have always been many Puritans who were enemies of the Anglican State Church and who now also asserted the Calvinist ethos in the United States of America.

On both sides of the Atlantic, industrial capitalism brought about changed living conditions and environmental changes. Investing in mines, canals and rail networks involved longer periods of use and amortization than was the case in early modern wholesale and overseas trade. “This involved unprecedented interventions in the physical environment. No other economic order has ever transformed nature more drastically than industrial capitalism of the 19th century. ”On the occasion of his trip to England in 1835, the trained lawyer and astute observer Alexis de Tocqueville described what a new cityscape presented to him:

“On the top of the hills [...] there are thirty or forty factories. With their six floors they reach high into the air. Its unpredictable range largely heralds the centralization of industry. [...] The streets that connect the individual, still poorly assembled parts of the big city with each other offer, like everything else, the image of a hasty and unfinished work: the rapid achievement of a profit-addicted population who tries to amass gold and then with one Hit everything else too, and until then disdain the comfort of life. […] From this foul-smelling labyrinth, in the midst of this immense and gloomy pile of bricks, glorious stone palaces rise up from time to time, the fluted columns of which surprise the stranger's eye. [...] But
who is able to describe the interior of those remote quarters, the hiding places of vice and misery which embrace and crush the mighty palaces of wealth with their hideous coils? Over the strip of land, which lies deeper than the river level and is dominated by huge workshops everywhere, extends a swamp area that could neither be drained nor rehabilitated due to the ditches dug at great intervals. There, winding and narrow alleys end, lined with one-story houses, whose poorly assembled boards and broken panes herald a kind of last asylum from afar, which man can inhabit between misery and death. Beneath these wretched dwellings are a series of cellars to which a semi-underground passage leads. In each of these damp and repulsive rooms twelve to fifteen human beings are randomly crammed together…. Around this slum area one of the brooks [...] slowly drags its stinking water, which is given a blackish color by the industrial workers. […]
In the midst of this stinking sewer the great river of human industry has its source, from here it will fertilize the world. Pure gold flows out of this filthy pool. Here the human spirit reaches its perfection and here its degradation; here civilization works its miracles, and here civilized man almost becomes savage again ... "

Urbanization and Proletarian Living Conditions

Slum in Glasgow, 1871

City types like the one described by Tocqueville emerged in direct interaction with the Industrial Revolution. Urbanization as a phenomenon widespread in the 19th century also existed independently of it. As a metropolis, London was already home to more than a tenth of the English population in 1750. If, on the other hand, an already existing high degree of urbanization had primarily been important for industrialization, then the northern Italian cities should have acted as early industrialization engines. Brighton , on the English Channel, was one of the fastest growing English cities, but had no industrial potential as a seaside resort or health resort.

The case was completely different for Manchester, which has been perceived as a “shock city” since the 1830s, visited by Tocqueville and also used as an object of study by Friedrich Engels. Here, as in the industrial centers of the English Midlands, dirt, stench and noise shocked the newcomers.

“A thick, black smoke lies over the city. The sun shines through it as a disc without rays. In this veiled light, three hundred thousand human beings move incessantly. Thousands of noises ring out incessantly in this damp and dark labyrinth. But they are not the usual noises that usually rise from the walls of large cities. The footsteps of a busy crowd, the creaking of the wheels rubbing their toothed edges against one another, the hissing of the steam escaping from the kettle, the steady hammering of the loom, the heavy rolling of the wagons that meet - these are the individual noises that make it Hit ear. "

Often those who went to work under such conditions were people who had had to give up their agricultural livelihoods, since rural home work could no longer keep up with the growing and cheaper competition for factory products. Many farmers sold their small, unprofitable piece of land or withdrew from their lease. In search of livelihood employment, smallholders and the landless began to migrate to the cities and look for work. The rural exodus became a major factor in accelerating urbanization.

The first generations of industrial workers who found work in the factories had to give up their previous living and working habits, regardless of whether they were previously employed in agriculture, homework or crafts. The work rhythm and work intensity were now dictated to them by the machine cycle, the breaks based on the factory regulations. Rigorous discipline on the part of the factory owners should ensure obedience and docility to the supervisory staff and subordination of all behavior to the goal of maximum utilization of the production capacity that the respective work machines produced. Penalties, wage deductions in accordance with the catalog of fines in the factory regulations, and corporal punishment for children were used as leverage. In his poem And did those feet in ancient time , the poet and painter William Blake coined the metaphor dark Satanic mills about the harsh working conditions in the newly created factories, namely in the textile factories ( mills ) .

Women's and child labor did not just begin with the industrial revolution; What was new, however, was their massive employment outside of the family association. Until the legal ban in 1842, they were also used underground in coal mining. The largest share of the workforce was made up of women and children in the textile industry, especially in the cotton industry. Until the first restrictions imposed by the Child Protection Act 1802, it was customary “for orphanages to sell their orphans under the guise of training under the guise of training to cotton manufacturers in accordance with the terms of the contract, in order to save costs. However, there was no talk of training, the children worked, often in two shifts around the clock, as sweepers and weavers on the spinning machines. This child slavery, which earned cotton mills the reputation of dungeons and outraged criticism, gradually declined after 1800, but not the proportion of child labor. Only after the Factory Act of 1833, which limited the working hours of young people between fourteen and eighteen years of age to twelve hours and that of children between nine and thirteen years of age to nine hours, and also introduced effective control of the textile factories by independent factory inspectors, did child labor gradually begin pushed back. "

Friedrich Engels reported on bad forms of exploitative child labor in mines in "The Situation of the Working Class in England":

“Children of 4, 5, 7 years work in the coal and iron mines; however, most of them are over 8 years old. They are used to transport the broken material from the breaking point to the horse path or the main shaft, and to open and close the train doors that separate the different departments of the mine when workers and material pass through. Small children are usually needed to supervise these doors, who in this way have to sit alone in the dark for 12 hours a day in a narrow, mostly damp corridor, without having to do as much work as they need to avoid the dumbing down of boredom to protect from doing nothing. The transport of coal and iron rock, on the other hand, is very hard work, since this material has to be dragged in fairly large runners without wheels over the bumpy floor of the tunnels, often over damp clay or through water, often up steep slopes, and through passages, which are sometimes so narrow that the workers have to crawl on hands and feet. Older children and adolescent girls are therefore taken to this strenuous work. "

The use of women mostly extended to quickly learnable auxiliary activities and the physically demanding manual labor that was not already transferred to machines. However, women were not employed as “machine operators” or in supervisory functions, partly because they were not trusted to be tough or brutal, with which the child laborers were driven over 12 hours a day. Not least with the argument that, after all, they did not have to support a family, women were also inferior to male workers when it came to wages.

Resistance and reform approaches

The capitalist mode of production that spread with the Industrial Revolution created the aforementioned crisis-ridden social situations and led to permanent and sometimes explosive contrasts between the pauperized and proletarianized parts of society affected by it, on the one hand, and the entrepreneurs who were particularly hated as factory owners, on the other. Criticism and resistance caused not only the spread of child and women's labor under inhumane conditions, but also the new strict factory regime, which subjected workers who came from manual or agricultural work contexts to an unfamiliar industrial time discipline. “The terms of the wage employment relationship could be dictated unilaterally by the employer, because coalition, strike and collective bargaining rights were largely absent. There was no protection against the basic risks of existence (illness, accident, old age, unemployment) for the wage workers who were separated from traditional social ties. "

At the turn of the 18th to the 19th century there was considerable resistance and protest actions in England against the spread of factory-based machine work, which eroded the water of commercial home work. The product price that the do-it-yourselfers were able to achieve for their products was, in the meantime, based on that of the cheapest machine make. The machines spoiled the livelihood of the homeworkers; and the wrath of spinners, weavers and dyers, which at times led to machine storms, was directed very directly against them . The culmination of this form of resistance was the uprising of the Luddites in 1811 and 1812, which, starting from Nottingham , found supporters throughout England and led to the destruction of numerous wool and cotton mills. Only massive military operations and the draconian punishment of those involved through execution or deportation to Australia let this movement ebb.

The industrial protest movement in Manchester in 1819, where 100,000 people gathered for a peaceful demonstration on St. Peters Field, took on a new, massive dimension. When this gathering was suddenly attacked with firearms by a civil guard, 11 people were killed and 150 to 200 seriously injured. “The following nationwide expressions of sympathy and solidarity with the 'Heroes of Peterloo' - as they were called in reference to the battle of Waterloo that took place shortly before - made a significant contribution to bringing the problems of the industrial workers into public awareness to deal with their demands. "

It was again in 1842 in the vicinity of Manchester, in Ashton-under-Lyne , that a resistance action made waves. At first it was an act of sabotage to interrupt the mechanical work flow, in which the workers pulled out the plugs of the steam boiler at many points. This action also received widespread attention, triggered a major strike in the entire Central English textile industry and sparked calls for a national general strike.

Under the impression of the untenable conditions in the factories and the often spontaneous and incalculable resistance, political guidelines regarding the new working conditions have been made since the beginning of the 19th century. From 1802 Parliament passed a series of Factory Acts that restricted the working hours of children, young people and women. However, it was only through the creation of factory inspectors (1833) who were supposed to monitor compliance with them that they only gained limited effectiveness.

Robert Owen , who rose from an apprentice in the textile industry to factory manager after a few years of previous experience in Manchester, took over his father-in-law's cotton factory in New Lanark , Scotland, around 1800 and expanded it into a much-visited model company , looking for ways to make a living for the industrial wage workers . Not only was child labor prevented there up to the age of ten, but a school was also set up for workers' children aged two and over. Working hours in the factory were limited to 10.5 hours (13-14 hours were common at the time); Housing and daily necessities were offered on the site at affordable prices; There have also been attempts to secure old age and illness for wage workers. The company flourished under these conditions and its competitiveness was not in question, as Owen also showed some ingenuity in terms of production technology. The model character of this approach got around so far that even Habsburg princes and Tsar Nicholas I visited New Lanark.

In the early 1820s, under the influence of Owens' initiatives, craftsmen founded their first cooperatives. a. Supported them in finding housing, in the event of illness, unemployment and in old age and organized joint childcare. In the 1830s, the trade union movement took shape in the Trade Unions , which was directed against the "tyranny of the masters and factory owners" and, as a representation of the interests of the wage workers, also made political demands, for example with regard to the right to vote in the British House of Commons .

But even after the electoral reform of 1832 , the penniless proletariat remained without voting rights, while the wealthy townspeople were now allowed to vote, even if they rented their own home. The Chartist movement that then formed called for universal suffrage (for men) in the People's Charter 1838 . In addition, demands were made for the eight-hour day and for a reform of the law on the poor, so that there was broad support for the Chartists, including from the trade unions. The petitions that were submitted to the House of Commons several times on this basis and confirmed with mass demonstrations were unsuccessful on the core issue of the right to vote, while at least a partial success was achieved in the matter of reducing working hours with the legal introduction of the 10-hour day in 1847.

Revolutionary theory according to Marx and Engels

Gustave Doré : A Dog's Life, 1872

Friedrich Engels, the son of a textile manufacturer from Wuppertal, was given the opportunity to gain direct impressions of the living conditions of the English industrial workers when he was in Manchester in 1842 as part of his commercial training, where his father ran a cotton mill. From 1844 Engels was in close contact with Karl Marx , who, like Adam Smith, had moved from a philosophical debate (particularly with Hegel ) to a political one. To this end, however, together with Engels, he developed a conception aimed at overcoming capitalism. Because of its oppositional stance he was by the Prussian authorities because of the Carlsbad Decrees early prevented from university career and hostility as a journalist on the borders of Germany, so he settled in 1849 in London, where he had as Engels contacts with the Chartists and since 1847 belonged to the League of Communists .

As the intellectual leaders of this league, Marx and Engels wrote the appeal in 1848 which, as the Communist Manifesto, was to acquire enormous historical reach. At the beginning of their course of evidence, which envisaged the overcoming of capitalist structures in a classless communist society, it says: “The history of all previous society is the history of class struggles.” For the immediate present, however, Marx and Engels saw a further intensification of the general historical class antagonism:

“Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, is, however, characterized by the fact that it has simplified the class antagonisms. The whole of society is more and more split into two large hostile camps, into two large, directly opposing classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. "

The competition of the factory-owner-bourgeoisie leading to the "unleashing of the productive forces" and to an unprecedented increase in machine production, on the other hand, carries the germ of unstoppable self-destruction. The compulsion to minimize production costs in order to remain competitive in the market with low prices for the goods produced drives the capitalist bourgeoisie to continually lower the wages paid to the proletarians. These would be driven into absolute impoverishment and would have no other option than to finally unite en masse to take up the fight against their exploiters and to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat as a preliminary stage of the classless society.

All approaches to social reform within the existing ownership structure of the means of production (agricultural land, commercial enterprises and factories), whether by the state or through initiatives such as the Owens, had no future for Marx and Engels, but merely served to disguise the in Reality inexorably pushing for the proletarian revolution. This already included a global perspective:

“By exploiting the world market, the bourgeoisie has made production and consumption in all countries cosmopolitan. […] The bourgeoisie is tearing all, even the most barbaric, nations into civilization through the rapid improvement of all production instruments, through the infinitely easier communications. [...] It forces all nations to adopt the bourgeoisie's mode of production if they do not want to perish ... "

Development of living standards

The intended comprehensive sounding board for the Communist Manifesto was only to be created by industrialization after it was published in 1848. For at that time there was only in England an industrial proletariat that was locally concentrated and partly organized on a large scale. In Germany and France, industrialization was still in its infancy, while the revolutionary movement that encompassed large parts of Europe in 1848/49 was essentially aimed at enforcing civil liberties against feudal reactions and monarchical rulers in the era of the Holy Alliance .

Just as British economic development was decades ahead of that on the European continent, so were changes in the social structure and the conditions of proletarian existence. This is why the development of the standard of living of the British working class in the course of the industrial revolution - as with Engels - was the focus of contemporary observers. There has been widespread controversy about this among economic and social historians. The opponents of the debate were assigned to two “camps”, on the one hand the pessimists and on the other hand the optimists, depending on whether they assumed a deterioration or an improvement in the standard of living during the English early industrialization.

A study by Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson from 1983 estimated the development of real wages between 1755 and 1851 in several occupations and came to the conclusion that wages rose only slightly from 1781 to 1819, in the period from 1819 to 1851 themselves however, doubled. This view has been partially questioned by other economists. Charles Feinstein used a different price index than Lindert and Wiliamson and said that the increase in wages must have been significantly less. The economist Nicholas Crafts estimated that per capita income in England rose from US $ 400 in 1760 to $ 430 in 1800 and $ 500 in 1830 to $ 800 in 1860. According to these estimates, the income of the poorest 65% of the population rose by over 70% between 1760 and 1860. From a long-term perspective, this justifies an optimistic view.

However, the initially sluggish increase also allows pessimistic conclusions. For example, given Craft's estimate of low income growth of 0.3% per year by 1830, the situation of workers may well have deteriorated by then. In a simulation, Mokyr showed that without technological progress, population growth would have significantly reduced the standard of living. An estimate that said life expectancy in England rose 15% between 1781 and 1851 is controversial. However, according to Osterhammel, the USA alone was able to offer its citizens “an energetically more than minimally sufficient” food supply among the western societies of the early 19th century.

Most economic historians agree that the distribution of income became more unequal between 1790 and 1840. "As far as the shares in the national product are concerned, it is clear that the increase in capital and pension income was far above and that of wage income far below the increase in the average per capita income." If one takes into account the consequences of unemployment, environmental pollution and population density, a temporary deterioration in living standards seems plausible. It is sometimes argued that a series of wars ( American Revolution , Napoleonic Wars , British-American War ) dampened the positive effects.

Further studies confirm the view of an initially only slight increase in the standard of living. Modernization spread only slowly in England. Feinstein noted only a slight increase in consumption until 1820, then a rapid one. Gregory Clark states that there was no rapid increase in per capita income between the 1760s and 1860s. Paulinyi sums up: “Overall, however, the position of the pessimists seems realistic, according to which the majority of factory workers, whose wages were not only above the agrarian proletariat, but also above the mass of the so-called 'working poor', until the 1840s Years of deterioration in living conditions was characteristic. ”Similarly, Osterhammel says:“ Overall, the life of the working population in England between 1780 and 1850 did not improve. After that , wages clearly outperformed prices, and life expectancy gradually began to rise. "

Aspects of reception and interpretation

A multitude of different interpretative accents with regard to the conditions of origin, driving forces as well as spatial and temporal extent of the industrial revolution shows that one has not reached a uniform view of this historical event in the history and social sciences.

The various scientific schools differentiate between the following areas of focus and research on the industrial revolution in Great Britain:

For Osterhammel it turns out that the newer research controversies compared to the older, so-to-speak classic concepts have hardly opened up anything new. The Marxist reading of industrialization as the transition from feudalism to capitalism through accumulation and concentration of capital, the theory of the cyclically structured growth process of a capitalist world economy with changing leading sectors according to Kondratiev and Schumpeter , the five-stage Model of an industrial transformation to Rostov including the take-off stage , the most important of which marks the transition to “exponential” growth. The realization remains:

"Almost three centuries of empirical research and reflection by a succession of the best minds in the history and social sciences have not resulted in a general theory of industrialization."

Recent research suggesting a change in perspective includes the finding that up until the 1820s the growth of the English economy was slower than previously assumed and as expressed in the term Industrial Revolution . Nevertheless, this designation has its justification, according to Osterhammel:

“Even the greatest skeptics who strive to make an industrial revolution quantitatively invisible have to face the fact that there are countless qualitative testimonies from contemporaries who, in the expansion of industry and its social consequences, are radically upheaval, the beginning of a "New times" saw. "

The earlier overestimation of the early industrial growth rates in England is based on the simultaneous underestimation of the growth generated by handicraft production and small-scale proto-industry in the decades before and around the middle of the 18th century. “Since the starting level of the gross national product in the sixties of the 18th century was consequently higher than previously assumed, growth could not have been as rapid as the older studies had assumed. One therefore assumes a gradual acceleration of economic growth. ” Condrau, however, doubts with others that it is even possible to derive modern economic indicators with the help of data from the 18th century. The qualitative criteria developed by Berg and Hudson for the concept of revolution, which they derive from the testimonies of Robert Owens and other contemporaries, also appear plausible to him.

Max Weber emphasized another qualitative characteristic at the turn of the 20th century when he described the rational way of life based on the “professional idea” as one of the constitutive components of “the modern capitalist spirit”:

“The Puritan wanted to be a professional - we have to be. Because asceticism was transferred from the monk's cells into professional life and began to dominate inner-worldly morality, it helped in its part to build that powerful cosmos of modern economic order, which is bound to the technical and economic requirements of mechanical-machine production, who today determines the lifestyle of all individuals who are born into this engine - not just those directly economically employed - with overwhelming compulsion and will perhaps determine until the last hundredweight of fossil fuel has burned up. "

Reception in the novel

See also


  • Robert C. Allen : The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (New Approaches to Economic and Social History). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009, ISBN 978-0-521-68785-0 .
  • André Armengaud: The Industrial Revolution . In: Carlo M. Cipolla, Knut Borchard (Ed.): European Economic History . Volume 3, Fischer, Stuttgart / New York, NY 1985, ISBN 3-437-40151-3 .
  • TS Ashton: The Industrial Revolution 1760-1830. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1968.
  • TS Ashton (Ed.): Toynbee's Industrial Revolution . A Reprint of Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England. With a new introduction. August M. Kelley, New York 1969.
  • Knut Borchardt : The industrial revolution in Germany . Piper, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-492-00340-0 .
  • Fernand Braudel : Social history of the 15th-18th centuries Century , Volume 3, Chapter 6: Industrial Revolution and Growth . Kindler, Munich 1986.
  • Christoph Buchheim : Industrial Revolutions. dtv, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-423-04622-8 .
  • Gregory Clark : A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2007.
  • Flurin Condrau : The industrialization in Germany. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-15008-2 .
  • NFR Crafts: British Enonomic Growth during the Industrial Revolution. Clarendon, Oxford 1980, ISBN 0-19-873067-5 .
  • Phyllis Dean: The First Industrial Revolution. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1982, ISBN 0-521-22667-8 .
  • Arne Eggebrecht, Jens Flemming, Gert Meyer, Achatz v. Müller, Alfred Oppolzer, Akos Paulinyi, Helmuth Schneider: History of work. From ancient Egypt to the present. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1980, ISBN 3-462-01382-3 (in the narrower sense of the industrial revolution there pp. 193-302).
  • Hans-Werner Hahn : The industrial revolution in Germany. 2nd Edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-57669-0 .
  • Eric Hobsbawm : European Revolutions. 1789 to 1848. Kindler, Zurich 1962; again 1978, ISBN 3-463-13715-1 .
  • Eric Hobsbawm: Industry and Empire. British economic history since 1750. 2 volumes. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1969.
  • David S. Landes : Prometheus Unleashed. Technological change and industrial development in Western Europe from 1750 to the present . (TB edition) dtv, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-423-04418-7 .
  • Peter Mathias / John A. Davis (Eds.): The First Industrial Revolutions. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1990, ISBN 0-631-16039-6 .
  • Jürgen Osterhammel : The transformation of the world. A story of the 19th century. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58283-7 .
  • Akoš Paulinyi : Industrial Revolution. From the origin of modern technology. Reinbek 1989, ISBN 3-499-17735-8 .
  • Toni Pierenkemper : Controversial Revolutions. Industrialization in the 19th century . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-596-60147-9 .
  • Sidney Pollard : The Genesis of Modern Management. A Study of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain . London 1965.
  • Sidney Pollard: Peaceful Conquest. The Industrialization of Europe 1760-1970. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1981.
  • Peter N. Stearns: The Industrial Revolution in World History. Westview Press, Boulder, CO 1993, ISBN 0-8133-8597-0 .
  • Dieter Ziegler : The industrial revolution . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-15810-5 .

Web links

Commons : Industrial revolution  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Mirow : History of the German People: From the Beginnings to the Present, Vol. 1 . Katz, Gernsbach 1996, ISBN 3-925825-64-9 , pp. 502-503.
  2. ^ Frank Edward Huggett: A Dictionary of British History: 1815-1973. Blackwell, Oxford 1974, p. 128.
  3. "The broad mass of industrial workers' families always lived on the limit of the physical subsistence level and could only achieve the minimum wage in order to be able to eke out their miserable existence with continuous work thanks to the man's continued health and the cooperation of the woman and mostly also the children." (Quoted from Dieter Ziegler : Die industrial Revolution. Wiss. Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, p. 46.)
  4. If you put the aspect of coping with existence in the foreground, there are probably only two really decisive turning points in cultural history: that Neolithic transition from the hunter culture to a fixed way of life and the modern to technical industrialism. Even then, the transformation was immensely profound and went straight through people, it must have lasted for many centuries. Arnold Gehlen , Anthropological Research , Reinbek 1961, p. 99.
  5. ^ Georges Friedmann: La crise du progrès. Esquisse d'histoire des idées 1895–1935 , Paris 1936
  6. Daniel Bell: The third technological revolution and its possible socio-economic consequences. In: Merkur vol. 44/1990, p. 28 ff.
  7. Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen: Introduction: Digitization of industrial work. In: Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen / Peter Ittermann / Jonathan Niehaus (eds.): Digitization of industrial work. The vision of Industry 4.0 and its social challenges. Baden-Baden 2015, p. 11.
  8. ^ Hans-Werner Hahn : The industrial revolution in Germany. Munich, 2005: “Industrial Revolution” or Industrialization ?, p. 51 f. (on the problem of the term)
  9. ^ Adolphe Jérôme Blanqui: Histoire de l'économie politique en Europe. Paris ³1845, pp. 180f.
    see. Toni Pierenkemper: Economic history: An introduction - or: How we got rich, 2005, p. 21 f. (Industrialization versus Industrial Revolution), page 22
  10. Pierenkemper 1996, p. 12.
  11. ^ Friedrich Engels: The situation of the working class in England. Marx-Engels-Werke Vol. 2, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1962, p. 250.
  12. ^ Dietrich Hilger, Industry as an epoch term industrialism and industrial revolution. In: Basic historical concepts . Historical lexicon on political and social language in Germany. Vol. 3, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1982, pp. 286-296.
  13. Jürgen Osterhammel : The Metamorphosis of the World: A History of the 19th Century , 2009, p. 916.
  14. Osterhammel 2009, p. 917.
  15. ^ Flurin Condrau , Die Industrialisierung in Deutschland , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, p. 22, with reference to David Landes , What Room for Accident in History ?: Explaining Big Changes by Small Events. In: Economic History Review 47 (1994) pp. 637-656.
  16. Pierenkemper 1996, pp. 161f., With reference to David Landes and Eric Hobsbawm .
  17. ^ Christoph Buchheim, Industrial Revolutions. Long-term economic development in Great Britain, Europe and overseas , Munich 1994, p. 45ff .; quoted n. Pierenkemper 1996, pp. 162f.
  18. “Somewhat euphemistic” is what Pierenkemper calls the term “agricultural revolution” for the processes in question. Pierenkemper 1996, p. 15.
  19. Osterhammel 2009, p. 932.
  20. Pierenkemper 1996, p. 10; Osterhammel 2009, p. 910: "On the other hand, nobody denies that industrialization, at least in its beginnings, was never a national, but always a regional phenomenon."
  21. NFR Crafts: British Enonomic Growth during the Industrial Revolution. Clarendon, Oxford 1985, p. 23; quoted n. Pierenkemper 1996, p. 13f.
  22. Pierenkemper 1996, pp. 17/164
  23. Eric Hobsbawm : Industry and Empire , Vol. I, Frankfurt am Main 1969, p. 55.
  24. David S. Landes, Der unleashed Prometheus , Cologne 1973, p. 52.
  25. ^ Werner Heisenberg: The Physicist's Conception of Nature, London 1958.
  26. ^ Karl Marx, Das Kapital , Volume I, Marx-Engels-Werke, Volume 23, Berlin 1962, p. 394.
  27. Constanze Kurz and Frank Rieger : Arbeitsfrei: A journey of discovery to the machines that replace us . Riemann Verlag, 2013, p. 10
  28. ^ R. Fahrbach: The history of the Streichwoll- and Kammwollspinnerei, in: EHO Johannsen (Ed.): The history of the textile industry . Leipzig, Stuttgart, Zurich 1932, p. 82 ff; Axel Föhl: The industrial history of textiles. Technology, architecture, economy . Düsseldorf 1988, p. 49f.
  29. a b Walter Minchinton, The energy base of the British industrial revolution , in: Günter Bayerl (ed.): Wind and water power. The use of renewable energy sources in history , Düsseldorf 1989, 342–362, p. 356.
  30. Dieter Ziegler, The Industrial Revolution , Darmstadt 2009, p. 1.
  31. Walter Minchinton, The energy base of the British industrial revolution , in: Günter Bayerl (ed.): Wind and water power. The use of renewable energy sources in history , Düsseldorf 1989, 342–362, p. 348.
  32. Michael Mende, early industrial drive technology - wind and water power , in: Ullrich Wengenroth (Ed.) Technology and Economy , VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1993, pp. 289-304, p. 291.
  33. Jonathan Hornblower, In: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
  34. ^ Ben Marsden, Watt's Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention , Columbia University Press, 2004.
  35. Michael Mende, From wood to coal - process heat and steam power , in: Ullrich Wengenroth (Ed.) Technology and Economy , VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1993, 305-324, p. 317.
  36. ^ JC Carr, W. Taplin: History of the British Steel Industry. Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1962, p. 1: … the industry's growing demand for fuel had so depleted timber reserves… as to create a serious national problem.
  37. Paulinyi 1989, p. 169.
  38. Osterhammel 2009, p. 1013; summarized by Ziegler 2005, p. 56.
  39. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, History of the Railway Journey. On the industrialization of space and time in the 19th century , Munich 1977, p. 11.
  40. Quoted after Wolfgang Schivelbusch, history of the railway journey. On the industrialization of space and time in the 19th century , Munich 1977, p. 39.
  41. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, History of the Railway Journey. On the industrialization of space and time in the 19th century , Munich 1977, p. 43f.
  42. Quoted after Wolfgang Schivelbusch, history of the railway journey. On the industrialization of space and time in the 19th century , Munich 1977, p. 37.
  43. Paulinyi 1989, p. 189.
  44. Osterhammel 2009, pp. 1014f .; Paulinyi 1989, p. 194.
  45. Quoted after Wolfgang Schivelbusch, history of the railway journey. On the industrialization of space and time in the 19th century , Munich 1977, p. 16.
  46. Max Weber: Ascetic Protestantism and Capitalist Spirit. In other words: sociology. Universal historical analyzes. Politics. , ed. by Johannes Winckelmann, 5th edition. Stuttgart 1973, p. 370.
  47. Max Weber: Ascetic Protestantism and Capitalist Spirit. In other words: sociology. Universal historical analyzes. Politics. , ed. by Johannes Winckelmann, 5th edition. Stuttgart 1973, p. 373ff.
  48. Max Weber: Ascetic Protestantism and Capitalist Spirit. In other words: sociology. Universal historical analyzes. Politics. , ed. by Johannes Winckelmann, 5th edition. Stuttgart 1973, p. 375f.
  49. Quoted after Wilhelm Treue u. a., Sources for the history of the industrial revolution, Göttingen 1966, p. 163.
  50. Quoted after Wilhelm Treue u. a., Sources for the history of the industrial revolution, Göttingen 1966, p. 163ff.
  51. Ziegler 2005, p. 79f.
  52. Landes, Wohlstand , p. 205.
  53. ^ Sidney Pollard: The Genesis of Modern Management. A Study of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain. London 1965.
  54. Harry Braverman: Working in the Modern Production Process. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 61.
  55. Sidney Pollard. Factory discipline in the industrial revolution. In: Wolfram Fischer / Georg Bajor (ed.): The social question . Stuttgart 1967, pp. 159-185.
  56. Osterhammel 2009, p. 198.
  57. Osterhammel 2009, pp. 190f.
  58. Osterhammel 2009, pp. 235ff.
  59. Osterhammel 2009, p. 956.
  60. Quoted after Wilhelm Treue u. a., Sources for the history of the industrial revolution, Göttingen 1966, p. 126ff.
  61. Osterhammel 2009, p. 366.
  62. Osterhammel 2009, p. 399.
  63. Tocqueville quoted after. Wilhelm Treue u. a., Sources for the history of the industrial revolution, Göttingen 1966, p. 126ff.
  64. Paulinyi 1989, pp. 210ff.
  65. Paulinyi 1989, p. 213.
  66. ^ Friedrich Engels, The situation of the working class in England , Barmen 1845, pp. 137f.
  67. Paulinyi 1989, p. 213 f .; Flurin Condrau , Die Industrialisierung in Deutschland , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, p. 66: "Women were recruited as such in a special way, also thanks to the gender-specific discriminatory wages."
  68. ^ EP Thompson: Time, Labor Discipline and Industrial Capitalism. In the S. Plebeian Culture and Moral Economy. Ullstein, Berlin 1980, p. 34ff.
  69. ^ Lothar Roos: Entry Social Question. In: Georg Enderle u. a. (Ed.): Lexicon of business ethics . Herder, Freiburg 1993, column 969.
  70. Pierenkemper 1996, p. 36.
  71. a b Pierenkemper 1996, p. 37.
  72. ^ Frank E. Huggett: A Dictionary of British History 1815-1973. Blackwell, Oxford 1974, pp. 97-99.
  73. Wolfram Fischer and Georg Bajor presented it for the first time in a German publication: Wolfram Fischer / Georg Bajor ' Die Sozialfrage. Koehler, Stuttgart 1967, pp. 51-156.
  74. The debate was triggered with an essay by TS Ashton from 1949 ("The Standard of Living of the Workers in England, 1790-1830").
  75. ^ Peter H. Lindert, Jeffrey G. Williamson: English Workers' Living Standards during the Industrial Revolution. A new look. In: The Economic History Review. New Series, Vol. 36, No. 1, 1983, pp. 1-25, DOI: 10.2307 / 2598895 .
  76. a b c Nardi Nelli, Clark (2008): Industrial Revolution and the Standard of Living. The Concise Encyclopedia if Economics. In contrast, Osterhammel 2009, p. 259, with reference to Szreter / Money, Urbanization (1998): “During the early industrialization in Great Britain, between around 1780 and 1850, life expectancy initially decreased and moved away from the high level that England had had already reached Shakespeare's time. "
  77. a b Osterhammel 2009, p. 259.
  78. a b Paulinyi 1989, p. 214.
  79. ^ Clark, Gregory: A Farewell to Alms. A Brief Economic History of the World. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2007, p. 194.
  80. ^ Mokyr, Joel (1999): Editor's Introduction: The New Economic History and the Industrial Revolution. In (Mokyr, Joel, eds.): The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective. 2nd Edition. Westview Press, 1999.
  81. Osterhammel 2009, p. 913.
  82. ^ Patrick K. O'Brien, Industrialization, 1998; quoted after Osterhammel 2009, p. 915.
  83. Osterhammel 2009, p. 910 f.
  84. Ziegler 2005, p. 5.
  85. Maxine Berg, / Pat Hudson, Rehabilitating the Industrial Revolution. In: Economic History Review, 2nd, 45 (1992), pp. 24-50; quoted n. Flurin Condrau , Die Industrialisierung in Deutschland , Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt: 2005, p. 23.
  86. Max Weber: Ascetic Protestantism and Capitalist Spirit. In other words: sociology. Universal historical analyzes. Politics. , ed. by Johannes Winckelmann, 5th edition. Stuttgart 1973, p. 378 f.