What were the causes and effects and major inventions of the Industrial Revolution, and why did it begin in England?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

England had a number of things going for it that led to its being the genesis point of the Industrial Revolution. It had a stable government and population; large deposits of iron and coal near the surface, a number of navigable rivers. No part of England was more than twenty miles from a navigable stream. Also, because of the agricultural revolution, the average Briton spent much less on food than one might otherwise; which left money for other consumables, like clothing, etc. Also with the agricultural revolution; large numbers of people were available for work who otherwise might end up working on farms.

The first industry to industrialize, of course was textiles; which benefited from Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin. Cotton clothing was more comfortable and now became less expensive; so demand sky-rocketed. Among the more important inventions were the power loom by Edward Cartwright, the spinning jenny by James Hargreaves and the water frame by Richard Arkwright.

The effects of the Industrial Revolution were mixed. It did make manufactured goods cheaper, and provided work for many people; however those who worked in factories soon lost their identity and were relegated to boring, repetitive work which required no skill, and from which they could be easily replaced.