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The Role of Technology in British Industrialization during the 18th Century (Essay Sample)


discussing the contribution of technology to british industrialization


The Role of Technology in British Industrialization during the 18th Century
This paper discusses the extent to which technological growth is regarded as a change that came from outside Britain’s industrialization during the 18th century.The extent of technological innovation at this period was significant in the textile factories. This is due to the fact that textile factories were the first inventions in the British industrial revolution. Necessity also played a key role in technological invention because industries were looking for more efficient and cost-effective methods of production, and reliable transportation means to transport finished products to the market. Increasing demand in the global market for industry products encouraged mass production and the invention of technologies that can increase production. The adoption of technology became necessary to the point that no key industry player could stay in business without invention and innovation. The fact that the textile businesses were focused on making profit made technological innovations a key aspect of industrial production. This shift in terms of all the businesses having a common approach towards making of profits made technology more relevant and open to the industries. In this paper a critical focus will be directed towards explaining the extent to which various exogenous factors in technology contributed to British industrial revolution. The paper argues that technology was, to a large extent, an exogenous factor that combined with necessity to accelerate the pace of Britain’s industrial growth during the 18th century.
The term exogenous implies that it is a change that came from outside the British industrialization thus implying that various innovations had already commenced thus triggering later innovations that revolutionizedBritish industries in the 18th century. This is valid since the industrial revolution came after various strides had been made in the technology innovation sector in the society. For instance, the historian Professor Crafts argued that the Britain’s cotton spinning machines may not have been invented in England, but elsewhere such as in France. This observation suggests that British industrialization benefited from earlier technological inventions. Technology growth is an exogenous factor due to the fact that various technological and commercial activities in the society triggered the acceleration of industrial revolution activities. The pre-industrial society was characterized by a slow and steady rise of technology innovations that changed a majority of aspects in the manner of living. The fact that necessity the mother of invention and technology innovation was staking place in the pre-industrial age the extent at which striking innovations were being made was very slow. The rate of innovation that took place during the industrial revolution was characterized by a single innovation which opens up various platforms for other innovations to take place. The ability of technology to come up with industrial production through use of various developed machinery gave rise to mass production.
Among important innovations were some micro inventions closely linked technological developments that indicate the extent by which innovation was taking place during the pre-industrial revolution period. The gains made as a result of advancement towards industrial machines were in the fields of textile, steam power and ironmaking. Under textiles various macro inventions development of a mechanized cotton spinning machines took place. The machine effectively increased the workers output and this opened up the platform for development of the cotton gin, cotton weaving and spinning machines. These machines effectively increased the workers output and led to increased production. In the iron making industry technology innovation was able to substitute coke for charcoal thus significantly lowering the energy cost in the industries. The increased energy ensured smelting of iron in mass since coke had the ability to be used in the blasts. This indicates the technology extent increment during the industrial revolution. The use of coke energy technology opened up a platform for other innovation such as the use of cast iron lowing cylinders and steam power.A steam power also enhances the steam engine efficiency thus greatly enhancing fuel conservation. This opened a platform for the adoption of steam powered engines with rotary motion thus enhancing industrial output efficiency.
The industrial revolution in the economic perspective can be described as a steady increment in the growth rate of total and per capita output. The rate of production was higher thus regarded as revolutionary compared to the rate of production that was being witnessed before. Growth increment is regarded as development due to the fact that trade played in the industrial growth. Therefore industrial revolution can be viewed as a self-integrated in the manufacture output that radically changed the British society. Given that a general production mechanism consists of inputs, capital, raw materials labor and technology.The key driver towards production during the industrial revolution is technology; this is due to the fact that it played the role of determining the optimal material ratios, labor inputs and capital. Technology is a vital variable that is used in determining the given efficiency and rate of production during the process of transformation. This is estimated with regard to the units of output and the input units relative to each other. The increased technical development in the early stages of industrial revolution such as watts steam engine and the iron rolling process are regarded as transformative factors that effectively led to the industrialrevolt. The use of metal technology while using the decentralized power sources that were permitted by the technological inventions led to the birth of industrialrevolution.The constraints brought about by employment of old technological method to the outputs were eased by the advancement of new technology.
The effects of technology towards demand is an important aspect given that looking at what led to the technological advancement and giving birth to industrial revolution forms the major part of this paper. Feedback loops are employed toexamine technology and society. This is due to the fact that they had a deep impact to the growth and development of the economy.The early British society relied on agriculture but with the rise in the industrial revolution and technological development the agrarian class moved to the industrial centers to offer the labor force required.Crafts writes that “Macro inventions were central to economic development in this period, however, and these are best seen as exogenous technological shocks.” The achievement of the agrarian revolution was therefore part of the exogenous technological shocks that set the ground for the industrial revolution. For instance, agricultural activities created the situation of necessity in which produce had to be moved to the market, effectively helping to jumpstart the development of transport infrastructure from which the industrial revolution benefited heavily. The peasants and small scale farmers formed a majority of the work force since Technology innovation marked the dramatic shift from agriculture to development of industries thus presenting them with a unique opportunity.
The theory of unfettered economic growth
This theory effectively describes the feedback process being used so as to enhance the continuity in market growth while basing on the supply side. On the supply side more efficient and specialized techniques are used in conducting the investigation. The profits are invested towards the development of these techniques of production. The use of the feedback process has the abilityto steer continuous market growth thus connecting supply and demand over a given time frame.The output in a certain production level ensures there is an increment in output through increased in levels of productivity. The falling rates of levies and taxes also enhanced economic growth and expansion.
On the side of demand, capacity expansion ensures that enough employment opportunities are created. In situations where the wages are partly low the employment opportunities created will increase significantly the living standards. The availability of finished products from the industries will be able to meet the demand that will increase as a result of improved living standards through more purchases. This theory forms its core significance in the advancement and growth of the middle class labor systems in place. This is also known as the theory of market expansion. The relative market indicators including prices of goods, service quality and delivery details are not affected immensely if the levels of supply and demand are kept at par with each other. When the demand remains high and the cost of operations such as capital, labor and cost of various materials will become low. The profits being made will remain consistent and returned back to the highly productive investment so as to steer further growth. The 18th century was partly faced with fallout in prices which were able to be revived after the technological innovation phase that witnessed industrial revolution.
The mechanism of profit producing growth and growth producing profit cycle isutilized so as to bring out the general idea of an industrial economy. Other factors that efficiently contributed to the development of the industrial economy include the availability of adequate labor, raw materials and physical capital thus enhancing their effectiveness in the economy. The rising average income proved to be sufficient in enhancing the demand of various goo...
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