Answer :

England was the hub of industrialisation that commenced in the early 18th century. The early factories were established in England by the 1730s. The number of factories increased dramatically in the late 18th century. The first good whose production boomed during this period was cotton. It was followed by the rapid establishment and expansion of the iron and steel industry.

The driving force of industrialisation was the inventions and technological changes of the 18th century. These innovations increased the efficiency at each stage of production and enhanced the output produced per worker, especially in the case of cotton and other textile industry. Increased managerial efficiency also resulted in the expansion of production. This efficient management ensureda vigilant supervision and control over the production process, maintaining the quality and the regulation of the labour force employed.

This led to the emergence of a new class of people called the bourgeoisie and gave more power to the aristocrats who benefitted largely from the trade prospects that arose from the increasing industrialisation. The merchants and entrepreneurs incurred huge profits from the increased industrialisation of the economy.

Factories began to be considered as an inseparable part of England by the early 19th century. But this did not hamper the production taking place in the bylanes and the workshops. This did not imply that there was a shortage of human labour. Poor peasants and others moved to the cities in search of jobs. This large inflow of labour reduced the wage rate. This enabled the industrialists to use all the available human labour and did not undertake capital investment in improving machinery. But the increased demand for labour reduced after a period when the industries were employed to their full capacity. Thus there were many unemployed workers who had to wait in poor conditions by living in the streets and sleeping under bridges till they were employed.

In many industries the demand for labour was seasonal. Industries like gas works and breweries were seasonal with their demand during the cold seasons increasing rapidly. Thus the workers were employed in the peak seasons and they were largely unemployed during the off-season. Some returned back to villages and others started doing odd jobs during the period.

Thus the commencement of industrialisation had a mixed impact with the bourgeoisie and merchants benefitting from the increased trade opportunities and the workers suffering for their survival.

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