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52 Cards in this Set

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Industrial Revolution

New sources of energy and power (i.e. coal and steam) were used to build and run new machinery, decreasing the use of human and animal labor, and increasing productivity. Human labor was reorganized to maximize profits from the new machines; factories replaced workshops. Beginning after 1750, Europe shifted from a traditional economy based to farming and handicrafts to an economy based on machine-based manufacturing, specializied labor, and industrial factories.

Agricultural Revolution

The application of new agricultural techniques that allowed for a large increase in productivity in the 18th century.

cotton industry

This industry took the first major steps toward the Industrial Revolution in the 1770s and 1780s with the creation of the modern factory; new advances in production made it more efficient to bring workers to the machines and organize labor collectively than to leave workers dispersed in their cottages; this brought laborers and their families to live in the new towns that grew around the factories.


Constructed in the 1750s and 1760s to link major industrial centers in England; funded by both public and private investment.

Richard Arkwright's water frames

A machine that used water or horse power to spin yarn; increased productivity in the cotton industry.

James Hargreaves' spinning jenny

This invention allowed spinners to produce yarn in greater quantities than with a spinning wheel.

Samuel Crompton's mule

This invention combined aspects of the water frame and the spinning jenny to increase yarn production even more.

hand-loom weavers

Although initially able to prosper due to the inefficiency of early power looms, they were gradually replaced by the new machines, beginning in the 1820s.

the cottage system

A system of textile manufacturing in which spinners and weavers worked at home in their cottages using raw materials supplied by capitalist entrepreneus.


Used to power steam engines; seemed "unlimited" in quantity; allowed greater flexibility in the location of factories, as they no longer needed to be located near rivers.


A derivative of coal; used in the process of puddling to produce high quality iron.

James Watt and the rotary engine

This invention used steam power to turn a shaft, thus driving machinery. As a result, steam power could be applied to spinning and weaving, leading to the establishment of cotton mills across Britain.

Henry Cort

Developed the system of puddling.


A system using coke to burn away the impurities in pig iron to produce high-quality iron, which was used in the creation of factory machinery; replaced the process of producing iron using charcoal, used since the Middle Ages.

Richard Trevithick

Developed the first steam-powered locomotive, on an industrial rail line in southern Wales; pulled 10 tons of ore and 70 people at 5 miles an hour.

George Stephenson's Rocket

Locomotive used on the first public railway line (extending 32 miles from Liverpool to Manchester), opened in 1830; traveled 16 miles per hour.


Contributed significantly to the Industrial Revolution; demand for coal and iron furthered the growth of those industries; created new job opportunities; cheaper and faster transportation reduced the cost of goods, increasing sales and creating more markets and more factories. A symbol of the Industrial Revolution, it provided a visible sense of power and economic growth.

the factory

The chief means of organizing labor for the new machines of the Industrial Revolution; hired workers no longer owned the means of production, as in the cottage system, but were simply paid wages to run machines.

factory discipline

To increase productivity and efficiency, factory workers were forced to work regular hours and in shifts to keep a steady pace of production; this timed format was a massive adjustment from preindustrial practices. Rules were minute and detailed, with dismissals and fines for misdoings; children were often beaten for their infractions.

Great Exhibition of 1851

The world's first industrial fair, organized by Britain; showcased the wide variety of products created by the Industrial Revolution; visited by six million people. Britain had become the first industrialized nation, and the wealthiest, creating one half of the world's manufactured goods.

the Crystal Palace

Enormous structure made entirely of glass and iron; housed the Great Exhibition of 1850; a tribute to British engineering.


A tax on imported goods; used by Continental governments to futher their own industrialization; after Continental markets were flooded with cheap British goods, governments responded by using these taxes to protect their fledgling industries.

joint-stock investment banks

A bank created by selling shares to investors; these banks have greater access to capital than private banks. Used on the Continent to mobilize the savings of thousands of small and large investors to create a supply of capital used to invest in industry; essential to Continental industrialization.

Credit Mobilier

A joint-stock investment bank in France.

the Kreditanstalt

A joint-stock investment bank in Austria.

the American System

A system of production featuring interchangeable, identical parts, allowing the final product to be put together easily; reduced costs and saved labor by eliminating the need for skilled workers; revolutionalized labor in America.


Facilitated transportation on America's waterways; remedied America's lack of good internal transportation, which was limiting economic growth, as the cost of transporting goods was prohibitively expensive.

India's cotton cloth production

One of the world's greatest exporters of cotton cloth in the 18th century, thousands of hand spinners and weavers became unemployed when British control brought inexpensive British factory-produced textiles. An example of the policy pursued by industrialized European states to prevent the growth of industry in their colonies.

Ireland and the potato

This nutritious and relatively easy to grow crop gave peasants a basic staple to survive and allowed for population growth; they faced desperate poverty as a result of the oppression of absentee British landlords, whose main concern was to collect rent.

the Great Famine

With probably half the population dependent on the potato for survival, this blight, a fungus that turned the potatoes black, decimated the Irish population. Led to the deaths of more than one million Irish, and the emigration of two million Irish to America and England.


As urban conditions worsened, middle class families moved to outer areas of the city, where they could insulate themselves and reside in individual houses with gardens.

Britain's Poor Law Commission

Investigated conditions in the early British industrial cities, producing detailed reports of the physically and morally debilitating effects of urban industrial life.

Edwin Chadwick

British urban reformer, obsessed with eliminating poverty and squalor; appointed as secretary of the Poor Law Commission, he published a report of his investigations which advocated a system of modern sanitary reforms.

the Public Health Act

Advocated by Edwin Chadwick, it created a National Board of Health to establish modern sanitary systems.


Deadly disease that ravaged Europe in the 1830s and 40s, espcially in overcrowded cities; inspired public health reforms, advocated by middle class citizens who were fearful of the filthy conditions that helped the disease spread.


The new middle class produced by the rise of industrial capitalism; included people involved in finance, commerce, industry, as well as professionals and government officials.

the old and new elites

New industrial entrepreneurs, such as bankers and factory owners, came from the middle classes; they amassed wealth and began to play an important role alongside the traditional landed elites, buying great estates and acquiring social respectability.

the working class

Consisted of a mixture of groups in the early 19th century; factory workers, agricultural laborers, domestic servants, and urban artisans.

child labor

Significant source of labor during the Industrial Revolution; cheap and abundant, it made up to 29 percent of the total workforce.

domestic servants

Predominant type of female labor during the Industrial Revolution; continuation of traditional female work patterns.

Combination Acts of 1799 and 1800

Outlawed associations of workers in Britain; failed to prevent the formation of trade unions, however; repealed in 1824. A response to the radicalism of the French working class.

trades unions

Outlawed associations of workers in Britain; failed to prevent the formation of trade unions, however; repealed in 1824. A response to the radicalism of the French working class.

Robert Owen

Cotton magnate and social reformer; believed in the creation of voluntary associations to demonstrate the benefits of cooperative living; his beliefs appealed to the trade unionists.

the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union

Developed under the direction of Robert Owen; a national federation of trade unions, with the goal of organizing a strike for an 8 hour work day; lack of working class support led to a collapse of the federation.

the Amalgamated Society of Engineers

The largest and most successful trade union in England, formed in 1850; secured generous unemployment benefits for a small weekly payment.


Skilled craftspeople who attacked the machines they believed threatened their livlihoods, in 1812; received local support, but ultimately failed to make an impact.

People's Charter

A document drawn up by the London Working Man's Association; demanded universal male suffrage, payment for Parliament members, elimination of property qualifications for Parliament members, and annual Parliament sessions.

the London Workingmen's Association

Created the People's Charter, demanding political democracy.

Factory Act of 1833

Strengthened child labor legislation; the result of efforts to reform conditions in industrial factories.

Ten Hours Act of 1847

Reduced the workday for women and children between 13 and 18 to ten hours.

Coal Mines Act of 1842

Eliminated the employment of boys under ten and women in mines.


Peaceful British worker's movement with the goal of achieving political democracy; gained millions of petition signatures, yet their demands were rejected by the members of Parliament. First important political working class movement.