What factors caused the Industrial Revolution to begin when it did?  

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The most important set of factors that determined when the Industrial Revolution happened had to do with science and the scientific mindset.

The Industrial Revolution depended largely on technology.  Technology, in turn, develops through science and the scientific way of thinking.  Thus, the coming of the Industrial Revolution was made...

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The most important set of factors that determined when the Industrial Revolution happened had to do with science and the scientific mindset.

The Industrial Revolution depended largely on technology.  Technology, in turn, develops through science and the scientific way of thinking.  Thus, the coming of the Industrial Revolution was made possible by the promotion of scientific thinking.  This trend started with the Renaissance and increased with the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment.

It is also important to look at the impact of education on industrialization.  Innovations like the printing press helped lead to greater levels of education by the time of the Industrial Revolution.  This meant that there were and more people who would be likely to be able to help bring about scientific and technological innovation.

Finally, there are those who credit the Protestant Reformation for helping to cause the Industrial Revolution to come about.  The Reformation weakened prohibitions on lending money, for example, and helped to develop capitalism.  Some also argue that it led to the Protestant work ethic which helped to drive the Industrial Revolution.

In these ways, it was mainly intellectual factors that laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution.

 

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