The industrial revolution itself is bloodless, but the original accumulation of the industrial revolution is indeed bloody and cruel.
More than two hundred years ago, a worker named Watt improved the steam engine, Since then, he has brought mankind into a new era, industrial civilization. This was an important turning point in the history of world development, and realized the major transformation of mankind from a traditional agricultural society to a modern industrial society, which is later called the first industrial revolution.
The “revolution” across the ages
This “revolution” that originated in the United Kingdom and subsequently affected the entire Europe and America has historical significance across the ages. The evolution of human society has had an unprecedented profound and huge impact. It laid a solid material foundation for the new capitalist system, and successively promoted European and American countries from agricultural countries toIndustrialization process of industrial countries. It has provided Britain with a historical opportunity that has never been met in a millennium, and has established its status as a "world factory" by using the advantages of industrialization. The industrial revolution has brought progress and development to mankind, but it also brought new contradictions and challenges to mankind.
This is not accidental
As early as the 15th century, cottage industries that were part-agricultural and part-worker in Britain were very common in rural areas. This family's wool textile handicraft industry has changed with the polarization of farmers. Many cottage industries have become employers who process raw materials for merchants. Therefore, woolen merchants gradually connected separate cottage industries, and at this time, woolen textile industry manual factories appeared.
In the 16th century, scattered handicraft workshops were dominant. But The land movement caused farmers to lose their land, and the surplus labor force continued to increase. The centralized manual workshops founded by big merchants gradually developed, and it became possible to hire more than 1,000 workers at the same time. By the 17th century, hundreds of workers were hired. The workshops have been very common. At the same time, these manual workshops are not only limited to the wool textile industry, but have also been established in mining, metallurgy, salt, paper, glass, nitrate, beer and other industries.
In 1733, the mechanic John Kaye invented the flying shuttle, which allowed one weaver to do the work of two workers, and the production efficiency was doubled.The efficiency of weaving has increased, and there has been a serious yarn shortage in the UK.
Due to insufficient cotton yarn supply , There are contradictions between textiles. This contradiction has not been resolved for a long time. Even due to yarn shortages, some cotton spinning mills have stopped production. Cotton yarn prices rose sharply, spinning workersThe wages have also risen accordingly. In order to solve the problem of insufficient cotton yarn, the government has also adopted various measures. In 1761, the British "Art and Industry Awards Association" issued a reward to encourage people to invent new spinning machines.
In 1764, James Hargreave invented the Jenny spinning machine, which rapidly increased the output of cotton yarn, caused a series of changes in the spinning industry, and brought a huge impact on society.
In 1769, Watt built the first steam engine.
In 1784, the steam engine was further improved, not only for various mechanical movements, but also a device for automatically adjusting the speed of the steam engine was added.
In 1785, a spinning mill using a Watt steam engine was built. Soon, steam engines have been widely used in the cotton textile industry, wool textile industry, mining, metallurgical industry, paper industry, printing industry, ceramic industry and other industrial sectors. Watt steam engines are widely used, and mankind has entered the era of steam.
In addition to this, the United Kingdom is also wonderful in other ways
Why did the first industrial revolution happen in Britain? It’s not accidental. Except for domestic productivity and productionBritain is also changing.
In 1640, a bourgeois revolution broke out in Britain. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, Britain established a constitutional monarchy under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. William and Mary jointly inherited the throne, and it began to select ministers from the parliamentary majority to help govern the country. During this period, the Whig Party often occupied a majority of seats in Parliament. Therefore, the Whig party has been in power for a long time, while the Tory party has rarely been in power. During this period, the British cabinet system was basically formed. The establishment of the parliamentary cabinet system guaranteed the effective rule of the British bourgeoisie and provided political conditions for the industrial revolution.
Secondly, the United Kingdom has the advantage of being geographically isolated from the European continent, enabling the United Kingdom to be in a corner instead of participating in the struggles of countries and countries on the European continent. The United Kingdom can be relatively Development in a stable and peaceful environment, and relatively loose finances.
In addition, due to the geographical advantage of Britain, it has promoted the development of maritime trade and colonial trade, opened up markets, and promoted The development of business, the desire for profit, promoted the productivityDevelopment has created a demand for new technologies.
Another important source of the accumulation of British primitive capital is large-scale colonial plunder, slave trade and overseas trade. At the end of the 9th century, Britain completed the preparation of the sea fleet. With the opening of new routes, Britain, which is located on the new route, has the unique conditions to expand overseas trade. However, Spain, which has a European navy and fleet, controls the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the United States, and Portugal, known as the "colonial pioneer", controls the eastern channel around the Cape of Good Hope. The British tried to avoid powerful enemies and planned to open a sea route from northeastern and northwestern England to the east via the Atlantic Ocean, but they all failed. So the British invaded Spanish America and sold the cloth and slaves most needed in the region. The cloth was made in England, and the slaves were bought from Africa.
In the middle of the 18th century, Britain became a powerful colonial nation in the world. With the expansion of foreign markets and increased demand for products, these British craftsmen tried their best to improve production tools and increase production, thus supporting the industrial revolution Happened.
Production changes promote thought changes
After the first industrial revolution, the labor productivity of British workers increased by 20 times. 266 times that of yarn workers; In the middle of the 18th century, Britain’s coal production and cotton processing volume were equivalent to half of the world's;The industrial output value is 51% of the world, import and export trade accounts for 25%, and the railway mileage exceeds 10,000 kilometers. At this time, London has become the world's financial center.
The huge leap in productivity triggered by the Industrial Revolution requires a broader market. However, the development of British industry was still largely affected by the remnants of the feudal system and the constraints of mercantilism. Therefore, the British bourgeoisie urgently needs economic freedom. At this time, Smith's laissez-faire economic theory came into being.
Smith believes that the role of the government should be the role of a "night watchman", "the government with the least control is the best government." Smith's free economic thoughts played an important role in opposing feudalism and promoting the development of capitalism by the emerging bourgeoisie.
Social change is also on the way
After the industrial revolution, the proportion of agriculture in the British national economy fell to 21%, and the rural population was among the national population The proportion of China dropped from 70% in the 18th century to 22% in 1841, and only 14.2% in 1851. By the mid-19th century, urban peopleThe population has exceeded 50% of the total population of the country. At this time, Britain has changed from an agricultural country to an industrial country.
With the development of the industrial revolution, the working class is also growing. They are constantly awakening during the struggle with capitalists. From spontaneous struggle to conscious struggle. The 12-year charter movement requires universal suffrage.Although this goal was not achieved at the time, it undoubtedly played a huge role in promoting the democratic process and social progress.
Economy feeds back on the victory of politics
In fact, after the "Glorious Revolution" in the 17th century, the economic situation determined the It does not really dominate. This situation did not change until a series of parliamentary reforms began in 1831. In 1831, the parliament passed a new electoral law that reduced the number of representative seats in "declining electoral districts" controlled mainly by landlords and allocated these seats to newly industrial cities. The industrial bourgeoisie gained more voting rights in Congress, which enabled the bourgeoisie to obtain a recognized majority and a strong position in Congress, laying the foundation for the rule of the bourgeoisie.
In 1835, the Parliament passed the "Municipality Act", The bourgeoisie of state-owned religions opened the door to local government, and urban power was gradually transferred to the bourgeoisie. In 1867, the British Parliament passed a new parliamentary reform plan, abolishing the 46 "declining towns" in the House of Commons and transferring them to industrial cities;The property qualifications of voters were used to expand the scope of voters; at the same time, Britain also implemented the reform of the civil service system. Strengthened the rule of the industrial bourgeoisie. These parliamentary reforms enabled the British bourgeoisie to obtain legislative power. In 1846, due to social pressure, Congress finally abolished the Corn Law.
Engels believed that the reform of 1832 and the abolition of the Corn Law in 1846 not only enabled the British bourgeoisie to “recognize and have a strong position” in Parliament, but also made the industrial bourgeoisie permanent Gain "advantage over land nobility". The time is now in the middle of the 19th century. Only then can we say that the capitalist system has truly defeated the feudal system.