What were the reasons that allowed Britain to become first industrialized nation in the world? Discuss both geographical and social reasons.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of reasons why (according to scholars) the Industrial Revolution began in Britain and not in some other country.  Some of these reasons are geographical, while others are social and/or political.  Let us examine some of the most important of these factors.

First, there are at least two major geographic factors that helped Britain industrialize before anyone else did.  For one thing, there were huge deposits of coal in Britain that could be used to power the new machines.  Just as important was the importance of waterways in Britain.  There were many navigable rivers and the coal deposits tended to be near those rivers.  Britain also had a long and jagged coastline that made transportation by sea easier.  In these ways, Britain had the ability to extract coal and to move it about the country relatively easily.  This helped make industrialization possible.

A second factor was the empire that Britain controlled overseas.  The British Empire provided raw materials for British mills and captive markets for its finished goods.  For example, a great deal of the cotton that Britain used in its textile mills came from the American colonies.  Since Britain had a larger empire than any other country, it had an advantage in the process of industrializing.

Finally, we can look at political and social factors.  Britain had an economy that was much less regulated than the economies of other countries.  This relatively laissez-faire system helped to promote innovation of the sort that led to the technology used in the Industrial Revolution.  Britain had also been relatively free from domestic conflict for some time.  This made it easier for businesses to grow and prosper.  A final factor was the enclosure movement.  British landlords had been able to push their peasants off the land.  Those peasants then became a large supply of labor that could be used to work in the new factories that were springing up.

All of these factors helped make Britain the first country to industrialize.

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mpagi-adrian's profile pic

mpagi-adrian | eNotes Newbie

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the British legal framework also helped in its industrialization process. there were a number of freedoms in Britain that were not on any other nation in the worlds at the time, like for instance religious freedom. the navigation act also did help so much in protecting the British merchants as they carrid out their businesses on the and also such things like taxation and ownership of property were clearly outlined by the law and therefore trade was way easier in this case and innovations.

jose33's profile pic

jose33 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) eNoter

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apart from what pother explain toward the topic ,lets me share ideas on this topic.the factos which enabled britain to industrialize in the world were,

1.the emergence of over sea colonies from both Asia,America and Africa which they acted as the source of raw material and market for the industrial base in Britain apart from that colonies provided cheap labor who also contributed much on the industrial development in Britain in the 18 c.

emergence and effectively application of navigation act of 1650's which within this act the Britain gain more profits for example from this act,one point was explain that"the materials carried by Britain ship must be taken by Britain then other nation will take them"thus from this point we see how this act contributed much to ensured that industries in Britain had enough raw material any time.

3.high scientific discover in Britain who contributed much in industrial development where by production increased due to the newly machine were discovered day after day by scientific like Newton,Richard in the year of 1776 's up to 1876.this which made Britain to industrialized than other nations in Europe.

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