Industrial Revolution : The Rapid Development Of Industry

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term ‘Industrial Revolution’ is defined as “the rapid development of industry that occurred in the late 18th and 19th centuries, brought about by the introduction of machinery…characterised by the use of steam power, growth of factories, and the mass production of manufactured goods.” . However, although this may be a commonly shared view of this period, the concept of the Industrial Revolution is widely debated amongst various historians. Whilst many feel the term well describes the changes taking place within industry, trading and the new energy being used at the time, some historians find the concept problematic due to its implication that the changes of the time happened at a ‘revolutionary’ pace whereas it instead took 150 years for the transition to be fully implemented. Similarly, other historians find difficulties with the term and come to question; was the revolution solely down to an industrial change or was this period in history due to other changes within Britain which then impacted and caused the Industrial Revolution? As the two main bases of the concepts term ‘industrial’ and ‘revolution’ can be questioned, it can be argued that the ‘Industrial Revolution’ is not the most helpful concept to account for the changes taking place between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century, only to a certain point as it fails to account for other characteristics and changes of the period.
Historians such as E. A Wrigley
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