What were the geographical and social factors that allowed Britain to become first industrialized nation in the world?
The main geographical factor behind Britain becoming the first industrialized nation was the location of Britains coal deposits. Britain's coal deposits were easily accessed, and navigable waterways ensured that coal was easily transported to urban centers. Social factors that contributed to Britain's industrialization included Britain's large population, which was able to work in factories, as well as Britain's stable government.
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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