Stephen Peterson

Stephen Peterson

How did the Industrial Revolution develop and spread during the 18th and 19th centuries? What were the early industries that came to shape the modern era?

Under Napoleon’s leadership, the French political, education and legal systems were fundamentally remodeled. The French Revolution reconfigured not only France but also the political development of Europe as a whole. While the entire authority structure in France was overturned, the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, all parts of a political revolutio

[1], failed in growing their society and world dominance.

England, however, seemed impervious to the political revolutionary change. British life in the 18th and 19th centuries was transformed by industrial, social and cultural development, the country’s rulers seemed somehow to avoid the mistakes of their continental counterparts. Maxfield, (2009) discusses that the Industrial Revolution began in England and occurred only in England in this century. The use of iron, the development of the steam engine, not only improved England’s factory systems but furthered their transportation development by the use of locomotives and railroads

[2]. These and a many other number of factors contributed to England’s role as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

England’s ideas of building a better industry for themselves, focusing on engaging people to build on and improve their culture, spread this industrialization to other European countries, including Belgium, France and Germany, and to the United States. By the mid-19th century, industrialization was well-established throughout the western part of Europe and America’s northeastern region. Britain’s revolutionary idea to create change in something other than politics, created world economic growth and industrial advancement.


[1] Evans, E. (2011, February 17). History. Retrieved from British Broadcasting Corporation:

[2] Maxfield, John. 2009. “A Comprehensive Outline of World History.” 615-668. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Generic license.


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