The Industrial Revolution was the major shift of technological, social economic and cultural conditions
in the late 18th and early 19th century that began in Britain and spread throughout the world. During that time, an economy
based on manual labour was replaced by one dominated by industry and the manufacture of machinery. It began with
the mechanisation of the textile industries and the development of iron-making techniques, and trade expansion was enabled
by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. The introduction of steam power (fuelled primarily
by coal) and powered machinery (mainly in tectile manufacturing) underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity.
The development of all-metal machine toos in the first two decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more
production machines for manufacturing in other industries.
The period of time covered by the Industrial Revolution varies with different historians. Eric Hobsbawm held
that it 'broke out' in the 1780s and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T.S Ashton held that it
occurred roughly between 1760 and 1830 (in effect the reigns of George III, The Regency, and George IV).
The effects spread throughout Western Europe and Norht America during the 19th century, eventually affecting
most of the world. The impact of this change on society was enormous and is often compared to the Neolithic Revolution,
when various human subgroups embraced agriculture and in the process, forswore the nomadic lifestyle.
The first Industrial Revolution merged into the Second Industrial Revolution around 1850, when technological and economic
progress gained momentum with the development of steam-powered ships, railways, and later in the nineteenth century with the internal
combustion engine and electrical power generator. At the turn of the century, innovator Henry Ford, father of the assembly
line, stated, "There is but one rule for the industrialist, and that is: Make the highest quality goods possible at the lowest
cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."
It has been argued that GDP per capita was much more stable and progressed at a much slower rate until the Industrial
Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, and that it has since increased rapidly in capitalist