The Age of Industrialisation Class 10 Notes

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The Age of Industrialisation Class 10 Notes

If you try to trace back the history of the age of Industrialisation you have to go back to the 20th century. It was during this period that all the objects which symbolized progress and modernity came into being and triggered the process of Industrialisation. Machine, Camera, Railway, Printing Press and all entered the landscape and marked the beginning of a new age and this was the age of Industrialisation. It was the modern mechanic who laid the foundation of the modern city by building its bridges, ships and towers. From here, it was the beginning of something new and it was industrialists which brought in the possibility of this newness. Let us know more about this period with the age of industrialisation class 10 notes!

Before the Industrial Revolution

We begin the age of industrialisation class 10 notes with discussing how was life before it happened. And for this the term that we use of Proto-industrialization. It refers to the era that occurred well before the launch of industries in England and Europe. Even before the coming of the age of Industrialisation, industrial production was still happening, even if at a smaller scale.

What happened was that during the seventeenth and eighteenth century, there was a movement of Merchants towards the countryside and there they convinced the small peasants to produce for the international market. Because of colonisation and increase in world trade, these goods were quite in demand and the merchants made use of this opportunity and spread their business from the countryside. 

Now, one can ask why these merchants left the towns and moved towards the countryside? It’s because in the towns, urban crafts and trade guilds have acquired a monopoly and therefore the small merchants could find no opportunities there. So, because of all this, production for trade began in the countryside. Even for the peasants of the rural milieu, this was a beneficial endeavour because now they had an alternative source of fixed income. In this period, the concept of Industrialisation was not yet there but still certain elements of Industrial production could be widely seen and this is the period which is termed as Proto-industrialization. 

Emergence of Factories

Now we will look at the next topic in the age of industrialisation class 10 notes which is the emergence of factories. The earliest manufacturers in England came into being in the 1730s, but the number of factories only compounded during the late eighteenth century. This new age of Industrialisation began with the production of cotton and this was triggered by certain inventions which happened during the time. The most significant among these was Richard Arkwright’s creation of the Cotton Mill. Now cotton production was not restricted to individual households using traditional methods but was conducted on the mill using machinery. Basically, the coming of the Cotton Mill organised cotton production and increased overall productivity. This showcased the impact which these new technologies could have on the industrial landscape and therefore, they slowly started becoming a significant part of nineteenth-century England. 

Before moving onto the next topic in the list of the age of Industrialisation class 10 notes, have a look at the Resource Development Class 10 Notes!

The Industrial Changes

In Britain during the age of Industrialisation, cotton and metal industries were the first ones to undergo significant growth . Cotton, accompanied by the iron and steel industry, were the ones which prevailed during the first stage of Industrialisation. But the overall shift towards an industrial mode of production was rather slow because the majority of the population was still dependent on traditional and domestic modes of production. Also, these newly developed technologies were quite expensive and couldn’t be afforded by most people. The cost of maintenance was also high. 

For instance, the steam engine was a significant invention of the period but even during the nineteenth century they were not very prominent. There were not more than 321 steam engines in all over England during the nineteenth century and these 321 engines were used primarily by cotton, mining, wool, canal and iron industry. In the rest, there was no presence of steam engines. In short, the transition to an industrial economy was very slow because the nineteenth century was a period of labourers and craftspersons and not the mechanical worker or machine operator. 

Hand Labor and Power Steam

Human labour was in abundance in Victorian England as there was a large scale migration to the cities in search of job opportunities. And as the supply of labour was way more than its demand, the wages were quite low. So, the industrialists rather than using machines resorted to the use of human labour. Victorian Britain had no lack of human labourers. During the age of Industrialisation, there were no problems with labour shortages or high wage rates for industrialists. Industrialists expected massive capital investments instead of automation. In certain sectors, the need for labour is seasonal. Industrialists typically favoured hand labour in all those factories where demand plummeted with the season, hiring workers for the season. Also, in industries where production was seasonal like shipbuilding, brewing, bookbinding, etc, the industrialists preferred human labour over machines. And there were certain kinds of productions which were possible only through the skills of hands and also, the upper class and bourgeoisie preferred handmade goods. So, even in the Industrial world, hand labour was in demand. Unlike in countries with labour shortages like America, Britain was able to use the power of its human resources for the development of its industrialist economy.

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Life of the Workers

The livelihoods of workers have been severely affected by the surplus of labour in the economy. In such a competitive environment during the age of Industrialisation, only those found job opportunities who had some social connections and the rest suffered. Also, the employment was largely seasonal which meant months without any employment opportunities. All of this together led to a fall in the standard of living of the workers. Even if the wages were increased, it was followed by continuous periods of price hike and in such a scenario, the real income of the workers never increased. Also, adding to this was the fact that many people were losing their jobs because of the coming of machinery. For instance, with the coming of Spinning Jenny, women who did spinning with their hands lost their source of livelihood.  The threat of unemployment made employees antagonistic towards these new technologies. 

There was a change in this scenario only during the 1840’s when new sources of employment were generated in the cities. Roads and canals were being laid, railway lines were being extended and dams were being built and all this generated a high demand for human labour. And this is one positive outcome of the age of Industrialisation. 

Check out these notes on political parties before you move on the next topic in the age of Industrialisation class 10 notes!

Industrial Development in the Colonies

The age of Indian Textiles

Before the 1750’s, there was an organised network of merchants through which foreign trade of Indian textile was made possible. And the Indian products were in sand because of their superior quality. But with the coming of machinery, the d name for Indian food reduced. Also, in India, the foreign trade was made possible through sea routes like from the ports of Surat and Hoogly. But with time, the European industrialists solely secured for themselves trade rights and this led to the downfall of the local merchants who traded in Indian Textiles. 

Furthermore, with colonisation new ports were set up in Bombay and Calcutta over which they had complete control. And now if Indian weavers wished to engage in foreign trade, they had to do so with the help of these European channels which further led to their exploitation. 

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What happened to the Weavers?

The fall of Indian textile industry didn’t happen immediately after the consolidation of power by the East India company during yeh age of Industrialisation. Even during that time, Indian textiles were required to meet the overall demand. So, they didn’t cut the production entirely but tried to gain control over the production and trade. This became possible once The East Indian Company attained monopoly over trade. So, what the company did was eliminate the brokers and traders and establish a direct control over the weavers.

  1.  For this purpose, the Gomasthas were hired who supervised the production and examined the product quality. 
  2. The company brought in a system of advances whereby the weavers could get a loan to cover the production cost. The condition was that the final product would be given directly to the Gomasthas and not to any other trader. So, what happened was that these weavers had to take whatever prices they could get from the Gomasthas. This inturn led to their exploitation. 
  3. Also, under this system, the wavers had to work even harder and include their entire family in the process of production to ensure that they complete the work on time. And when they failed to do so, were beaten up by the Gomasthas. 

This in overall led to the decline of the weavers during yeh age of Industrialisation. Unlike the traders who had some personal connection with the weavers, their relationship with Gomasthas were completely monetary in nature and therefore exploitative. The weavers got caught up in a vicious circle where the loan that they had taken from the company bound them to the company even if they were being exploited and not given the right wages. Owing to all this, the weavers were forced to flee and migrate to other parts, leaving behind their source of livelihood. 

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Manchester Comes to India

The already bad condition of Indian weavers worsened because of the coming of Manchester made goods. With the development of cotton industries in England, an effort was made to reduce the competition that they faced by the goods from other markets. To meet this end various steps were taken.

  1. Import duties were imposed in Britain, prevention foreign goods from entering the British market.
  2. East Indian Company was made to sell Manchester goods in Indian markets. 

As a result, the Indian weavers started losing their hold over the Indian markets during the age of Industrialisation because these British goods were cheaper. Also, their export market collapsed because of the import duties. Leading to a complete decline of Indian Textiles. Adding to this, during the American civil War, Britain had to shift to India for the import of cotton. This led to a rise in prices of cotton and Indian weavers began to suffer in the absence of raw materials for production. 

Factories come up

By the second half of the nineteenth century, factories started coming up in India. The first cotton mill came up in 1854 in Bombay and by 1862 four other mills came into being. Also, around the same time Jute mills were being set up. And with this change the Indian landscape. 

The Early Businessmen

The development of trading began in the late eighteenth century when the British started selling opium to China and brought tea to England from China. Small Indian businessmen merited from this trade and therefore dreamt of establishing a business empire of their own in India. For instance, Dwarkanath Tagore befitted a lot during the trade with China and set up joint stock companies. Later his company saw a down crash during the business crisis of 1840’s. But later on in the nineteenth, century, several other traders who had benefited from the trade set up their own industries. And these industries slowly expanded themselves through the trade Networks. But the restrictions which the weavers faced slowly began to impact these Indian industrialists too. With increasing colonial control, decreased the mobility of these industries. Now, their export of finished goods to Europe was restricted and had to limit themselves to the export of raw materials like cotton, wheat and indigo. 

Where Did the Workers Come From?

As factories started being established in India, there was an increased demand for workers. This demand was easily met because a lot of peasants and artisans have lost their jobs and travelled to cities in search of employment. They usually moved to their nearby urban centers in s reach of Job opportunities. But even with the increase in labor demand, employment remained quite high. And more than often only those people got employment in these mills and factories who had some prior connections with someone working there.  

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Peculiarities of Growth in Business

Some kinds of items, such as tea and coffee, were of concern to the European Managing Departments. Therefore, during the Age of Industrialisation, the Britishers developed plantations for tea and coffee and started investing in mines, indigo and jute. Such goods were used for export purposes only. The Indian industrialists made sure not to compete with the British goods and therefore choose an industry which was not predominated by them ie., Yarn. They began to start producing Yarn and selling them within India or in China. But later on, there was a shift in the tide of Industrialisation with the beginning of the Swadeshi movement boycotting foreign goods. Also, India lost a significant part of its trade with China when they decided to produce Yarn within their country or export it from Japan. As a result, Indian industrialists shift from Yarn to cloth production. 

Predominating Small-scale Manufacturing

Even during the age of Industrialisation, small-scale manufacturing predominant yeh Indian markets. The majority of the Indian workforce worked in small factories and units for the home. In the twentieth century, both handicrafts and handloom production expanded. This positive turn occurred when they started introducing modern technologies.  These technologies helped them in increasing production without driving up prices unnecessarily.

But the fact remains that these weavers and craftsmen were exposed to the uncertainties of the market. They were highly exposed to market fluctuations and had to work hard to ensure their survival throughout the year. Sometimes, the whole family including women and children had to contribute in the process of production. But their overall contribution to the growth of Industrialisation is not negligible. 

Goods Market

Now, when during the age of Industrialisation, these British made products came to India, they had to establish their position and capture the Indian market and this they did through advertising. Beginning with putting their brand label like “Made in Manchester”, they tried to build trust among the Indian buyers. And slowly, they resorted to other ways of advertising their products. They started printing the images of Indian Gods and Goddesses on labels in order to establish a sense of familiarity among the Indian masses. And they also started printing calenders in order to promote their products. 

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The age of Industrialisation clearly changed the landscape of the entire world. There a movement towards modernity, factories were established, modern technologies were adopted. And this is the newness that came in with Industrialisation. 

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