NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution

Class 11 History Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution, (History) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.

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NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution

Class 11 History Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution

A major change in industries by which goods produced in houses by hands were replaced by those in factories with the help of machines.


  • Works of Arnold Toynbee: Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England: Popular Addresses, Notes and Other Fragments.
  • Works of historians T S Ashton, Paul Mantoux and Eric Hobsbawm

First Industrial Revolution

  • The transformation that occurred in the industrial and economic sectors in Britain during 1780s and 1850s is called as the ‘first industrial revolution’.
  • The initial focus of first industrial revolution was on textiles.
  • The consequences of this revolution changed permanently the human labour, consumption, family structures and social structure.

The term ‘Industrial Revolution’

  • Georges Michelet in France and Frederic Engels in Germany were the scholars who used the term ‘Industrial Revolution’ for the first time.
  • Arnold Toynbee, an English economist used it first time in English, when he was giving lectures at Oxford University.

Factors that led to Industrial Revolution in Britain.

  • Britain was the first industrialized nation, because of its political stability from the 17th century onwards and unification of Wales and Scotland with England under monarchy.
  • This stability paved the way for the common law, a single monetary system and currency with a single market.
    • All these enabled authorities to impose proper taxes on goods that passed through these unified regions.
  • By the end of the 17th century, the prices of goods increased and money became the medium of exchange.
  • People got choice of spending money as well as expansion of their market for the sale of goods.
  • England witnessed a major economic change known as ‘agricultural revolution’ in the 18th century.
  • This was the process of enclosure in which bigger landlords bought up small farms near their properties and enclosed the village common lands.
  • Large estates were created and resulted in the increase in the food production.
  • Landless farmers and those who lived by grazing animals on the common lands were forced to search for jobs somewhere else. Most of them shifted to nearby towns.

Causes of Industrial Revolution Points to be Explained

  • Political Stability
  • Unified under monarchy
  • Common laws
  • Single Currency
  • Taxes on Goods
  • Wages and Salaries
  • Bank of England Founded in 1964
  • India as Colony
  • Invention of Steam engine
  • Agricultural Revolution
  • Markets
  • Invention of Machines

Introduction of Railways and Canals

  • Abundance of Coal and Iron
  • Investment of Capital
  • Use of money as medium of exchange
  • Labour Supply
  • Global Significance of London

Emergence of London

  • The 18th century England witnessed the growth of many towns and population.
  • Out of 19 European cities, whose population doubled between 1750 and 1800, 11 cities were in Britain.
  • London was the largest city in England and was the hub of markets as well.
    • London was a significant city for global trade.
  • By 18th century global trade shifted from Mediterranean ports of Italy and France to the Atlantic ports of Holland and Britain.
  • London became the place for international trade by replacing Amsterdam.
  • London also became a center of a triangular trade between England, Africa and the West Indies.

Development of Transport System

  • Rivers and coastline facilitated the movement of goods in England.
  • Transport by waterways was cheaper and faster than land until the introduction of the railways.
  • During 1724, Rivers in England provided 1,160 miles of navigable water.
  • Except for the mountainous regions, other areas were within the 5 miles of a river.
  • Rivers provided easy movement of coastal ships (coasters) since all rivers flew into the sea.

Development of Financial System in England

  • The financial system of England was implemented by the Bank of England, which was founded in 1694.
  • By 1784, there were more than hundred banks. By 1820s it increased to more than 600 Banks.
  • London alone had 100 provincial Banks.

Iron Industry

  • England was having a plenty of iron and coal resources, which were required for mechanization.
    • It was also rich in other minerals such as lead, copper and tin, which were required for industries.
    • But till the 18th century England was not having usable iron due to the poor method of smelting.
    • For smelting iron ore, charcoal was used and this method had many defects such as charcoal was too brittle to transport across long and distances, its impurities produced poor quality iron, it was in short supply and it failed to generate high temperatures.

Invention of Blast Furnace

  • A family of iron-masters, the Darbys of Shropshire, brought about a revolution in the method of iron smelting.
  • Three generations of their family developed a method for smelting iron ore. It was blast furnace.
  • The blast furnace used coke that generated high temperature and replaced the use of charcoal.
  • The process was further refined by more inventions.
  • The second Darby (1711-68) developed wrought iron(less brittle) from pig iron.
  • Henry Cort (1740-1823) developed the puddling furnace and the rolling mill which used steam power to roll purified iron into bars.
  • Now a broader range of products could be produced.
  • In 1770s, John Wilkinson made the first iron chairs, vats and iron pipes of varied sizes.
  • In 1779, DarbyIII (1750-91) built the first iron bridge in the world in Coalbrookdale

Results of the use of Blast Furnace

  • Due to the use of blast furnaces, the British iron industry quadrupled its output between 1800 and 1830, and its product were the cheapest to be available in Europe.
  • In 1820, a ton of pig iron needed8 tons of coal to make it, but by 1850 it could be produced by using only 2 tons.
  • By 1848, Britain was smelting more iron than other countries in the world.

Cotton Industry

  • Important raw materials for textile industry in England were wool and flax.
  • From 17th century onwards, the East India imported bales of cotton cloth from India.
  • Later East India Company established its political control in India and started importing along with cotton cloth, raw cotton, which was woven in England.
  • Till the early18th century spinning was very slow and consumed a lot of labour due to the lack of good technology.
  • To make it even more proficient, production gradually shifted from the homes of spinners and weavers to factories.
  • During 1780s the cotton industry symbolized British Industrialization.
  • Raw cotton was entirely imported and finished cloth was exported.

Inventors and Inventions:

  • John Kay (1704-64) invented flying shuttle loom in 1733.
  • James Hargreaves (1720-78) invented the spinning jenny in 1765.
  • Richard Arkwright (17332-92) invented the water frame in 1769.
  • Samuel Crompton (1753-1827) invented the mule in 1779.
  • Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823) invented the power loom in 1787.

Steam Power

  • During the industrial revolution, the realization that steam could generate tremendous power was important for large scale industrialization.
  • Water had been an important source of energy for centuries but its use was determined by area, season and the flow of water.
  • It was realized that steam power was the only source of energy that was reliable and inexpensive enough to manufacture machinery itself.
  • Invention of steam power and its improvement boosted the industrialization.
  • Steam power was first used in mining industries.

Main inventors of the steam power

  • Thomas Savery (1650-1715) built a model steam engine called the Miner’s Friend in 1698, whose purpose was to drain the water that entered into the coalmines.
  • Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) built another steam engine in 1712.
    • This had the major defect of losing energy due to continuous cooling of condensing cylinder.
  • James Watt (1736-1819) built a final and perfect steam engine whose significance was that it converted steam engine from mere pump into a ‘prime mover’ providing more energy to power generating machines in the factories.
    • Before this invention, the steam engine had been used only in coal mines.
  • James Watt established the Soho Foundry, with the support of a wealthy manufacture Matthew Boulton, from where his steam engines were produced.

Construction of Canals

  • Initially canals were built to transport coals to cities.
  • Transporting coal by road was expensive and slower and was difficult task due to the bulk and weight of coal.
  • The first English canal, the Worsely Canal was built in 1761 by James Brindley and its completion decreased the value of coal by half.
  • Canals were used for transporting coals.
  • The big business men built canals in order to increase the value of their mines, quarries or forests on their land.
  • The construction of canals paved the way for the emergence of many new markets in new towns.
  • For example, Birmingham owed its growth to its position at the heart of the canal system connecting London, The British Channel and Mersey and Humber rivers.
  • In the period known as the ‘canal mania’, from 1788 to 1796, 46 projects for building 25 new canals were begun.

Invention of the Railways

  • First steam locomotive (Stephenson’s Rocket) was invented by Stephenson in 1814.
  • The railway transport emerged a new transport system providing cheaper and faster movement of goods.
  • The iron track replaced the wooden one in 1760s.
  • Historians argue that the invention of railways took the industrialization to the second stage.
  • Richard Trevithick devised an engine called ‘Puffing Devil’, in 1801, which pulled truck around the mine.
  • In 1814, George Stephenson constructed a locomotive called ‘The Blutcher’ that was capable of pulling a weight of 30 tons up a hill at 4 mph.
  • All these developments paved the way for the development of the railway transport.
  • The first railway line was constructed between the cities of Stockton and Darlington in 1825 and next railway line connected Liverpool and Manchester in 1830.
  • During ‘little railway mania’ from 1833-37,1400 miles of line was built and during the bigger ‘mania’ of 1844-47,another 9,500 miles of line was sanctioned.

Changes in the lives of people

  • During the period of industrial revolution, there were a lot changes in the lives of people.
  • Intelligent and talented got opportunities.
  • Rich people invested their money during this period with a hope of getting more profit and multiplying their money.
  • Wealth, incomes and productive efficiency increased.
  • It also affected people negatively that could be seen in broken families, new addresses, degraded cities and pathetic working condition of workers in the factories.
  • The number of cities in England with a population of 50,000 grew from 2 in 1750 to 29 in 1850.
  • The growth of city did not bring adequate number of houses, sanitation and clean water.
  • New comers were forced to live in crowded slums near to factories.
  • The rich people shifted to suburb areas, where they got clean air and water.

Condition of the Workers

  • According to a survey in 1842, life expectancy of workers was lower compared to non-workers in the cities.
  • The life expectancy in Birmingham was 15 years, in Manchester 17 and in Derby 21 years.
  • Many people died at young age and children lived only up to five in the new industrial cities.
  • Population in the cities increased not due to newborn babies but due to the immigrants from villages.
  • Deaths were caused by diseases like cholera and typhoids. In 1832 more than 31,000 people died due to cholera.
  • Until 19th century, the municipal authorities did not pay attention to solve the sufferings of the people.
  • The medical knowledge in understanding and curing these diseases was unknown.

Condition of Women and Children

  • The industrial revolution brought about important changes in the way the women and children worked.
  • Before the industrial revolution, the children and the women worked either in farms or at home.
  • They worked under the watchful eyes of parents and relatives.
  • Women in villages worked in farms; they reared livestock and gathered firewood or were involved in spinning cotton.
  • It was necessary for the women and the children to work and support the meager earnings of men.
  • Industrialists preferred to employ women and children, who did not oppose the poor working conditions and work on lower wages than men.
  • The women were employed in cotton textile industry, silk –lace making and knitting industry.
  • While the children were often employed in metal industry, coal mines and cotton textile industry.
  • So, women and children often worked long hours in inhumane working conditions.
  • The government took some time to decide that the working children and women should be protected by laws.
  • A number of laws were passed by the government to improve the working condition of the children and the women.
  • In 1819 Laws were enacted prohibiting the employment of children under nine.
  • Working hours for those who were between nine and sixteen years old was reduced from sixteen to 12 hours a day.
  • In 1833, a law was enacted that permitted children under nine to work only in silk factories and limited working hours.
  • It also enabled the appointment of many factory inspectors who ensured the rules prescribed in the law were followed strictly.
    • In 1847, the Ten Hours Bill was passed making working hours as 10 hours for women and young people.
      • These laws applied only to textile industries and not to mines.
    • The Mines Commission of 1842 was set up to look into the working condition in mines.
      • It revealed that workers condition had worsened.
      • Many laws were enacted.
    • The Mines and Colliers Act of 1842 prohibited children and women from working in coalmines.
    • Fielder’s Factory Act in 1847 declared that children under 18 should not work more than 10 hours a day.

Repression of the Government and Protest movements

  • England enacted two Combination Acts in1795 against inciting the people to protest.
  • These laws banned unauthorized public meetings of over 50 persons/People protested against the ‘Old Corruption’.
  • Members of Parliament were against giving the right to vote to the working class people.
  • They supported the Corn Laws, which prevented the import of cheaper food till the prices in Britain had increased to a certain level.
  • The workers flooding the towns and factories protested in order to show their anger and frustration.
  • There were food or bread riots from 1790 onwards.
  • The trade in food items was in favour of traders and affected the poor people.
  • The workers seized stocks of bread and sold it at a correct cost rather than at the rate fixed by traders.
  • Enclosure was a process from the 1770s.Under this process big landlords merged hundreds of small farms to form big farms.
  • It affected poor rural families who sought after industrial work.
  • With the introduction of machines in the cotton industry, thousands of handloom weavers were thrown out of work and were subjected to poverty, as they could not compete with the machines in the textile industry.
  • The weavers began to demand minimum wage from 1790s.
  • When parliament refused their demand, they went on strike.
  • In Lancashire, cotton weavers destroyed the power looms in desperation.
  • Croppers of Yorkshire destroyed shearing-frames that threatened their livelihood.
    • They traditionally sheared sheep by hand.
    • During riots in 1830, the farmers destroyed threshing machines, as they found that new threshing machines threatened their job.
  • Luddism was a well known protest movement that fought for the right of workers, who were affected by the arrival of new machines from 1811to 1817.
    • It was started by General Ned Ludd.
    • Minimum wages, control over the wage of women and children, work for those who had lost their jobs because of industrialization and right to form trade unions were some of the demands of the participants of this movement.
  • In August 1819, nearly 80,000 working class people gathered peacefully at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester and demanded for democratic rights of political organization.
    • They were crushed with iron hand by the government.
    • It came to be known as the Peterloo Massacre.

Contemporary Literature

  • The contemporary literature describes the suffering of people during industrial revolution.
  • Hard Times written by Charles Dickens reflected the contemporary industrial society and the deplorable conditions of poor people.
  • D.H Lawrence, another British essayist and novelist also describes about the hardships of people.

Was there an Industrial Revolution? (Debate on Industrial Revolution)

  • The term Industrial Revolution was used to describe the changes that occurred in Britain between 1780s to the 1820s.
  • The term ‘industrial revolution’ has been challenged by modern historians.
  • Industrialization was a gradual change in industrial sectors rather than a sudden revolution.
  • The concentration of workers in factories, wide use of money etc. were already existed prior to the 19th century.
    • Industrialisation carried out these processes towards new levels.
  • Large areas of England left unaffected by factories or mines.
    • Therefore the term industrial revolution was considered as incorrect.
    • Industrialisation had center on a few regions or cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham or Newcastle.
  • The remarkable growth of cotton textile industry was based on non-British raw material and sales abroad and no-metallic money.
    • Metallic money and steam power was rare till the 19th century.
  • The rapid growth in British imports and exports from the 1780s occurred due to the resumption of trade with the North America.
    • The American war of independence had disrupted this trade.
  • Sustained industrial growth was to be seen after 1815-20.
  • The French Revolution and Napoleonic wars affected industries and factories decades after 1793.
  • Industrialization is closely related with investment of capital, building of infrastructure, installing new machines and rising productivity.
    • However productive investment grew steadily only after 1820.
  • The cotton, iron and engineering industries had accounted for less than half of the industrial production until the 1840s.
  • Why the British economic growth was faster after 1815?
  • Historians pointed out that from 1760s to 1815, Britain tried to do two things simultaneously-to industrialize, and to fight wars in Europe.
  • Borrowed capital was used to fight the wars rather than invested.
  • Nearly 35%of the cost of the war was collected from the people as tax.
  • Workers of factories and farms were transferred to the army.
  • Rise in food prices adversely affected the buying of consumer goods by the poor.
  • Napoleon’s policies of blockade, and British response to them led to the closing of Europe to British traders.
  • The word ‘industrial’ used with the word ’revolution’ is too limited.
  • The transformation extended beyond the economic or industrial sector also became apparent in the social sector.
  • It generated two prominent classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletarian labourers.

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History
Chapter 1 From the Beginning of Time
Chapter 2 Writing and City Life
Chapter 3 An Empire Across Three Continents
Chapter 4 The Central Islamic Lands
Chapter 5 Nomadic Empires
Chapter 6 The Three Orders
Chapter 7 Changing Cultural Traditions
Chapter 8 Confrontation of Cultures
Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution
Chapter 10 Displacing Indigenous Peoples
Chapter 11 Paths to Modernisation

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