Fuel for the Ages

Published: 2021-06-29 02:11:09
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Category: History

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In the past, people knew only limited types of fuel sources. These sources included the plants they consumed and the wood they charred. They were helped by their domesticated animals like horses or bulls, which were the only energy used by humans in any country nation. With time, other sources such as windmills and waterwheels were built, and they harnessed more energy, but there was still a limit of energy people could use and these machines were not the most reliable because they depended on nature. All life functioned within the instant flow of energy from the sun, water and wind. People could not store it for the future and when these were not available it limited their use. In days of no winds, the windmills were practically useless, when there was no water the waterwheels would not work. Problems like these disappeared with the Industrial Revolution that opened the door towards development and storing more energy. (Big History Project)
Industrial Revolution changed how people worked and provided for their daily needs. What used to be luxuries became normal, everyday things in their life, necessities that everyone can use. People discovered an additional source of energy that had an unbelievable potential in terms of lifestyle and work force. The sources were none other than the fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil, and natural gas. The coal was the first one to be made underground from the residues of plants and animals that had dated back to the geologic times. Also, the coal was the energy that started the Industrial Revolution. These fuels, when burned, released the energy that had been stored from the sun itself, which had been deposited there hundred of millions of years ago (Big History Project).
Great Britain was the country that started the Industrial Revolution. The new sources of fuel were not the only contributors to the development, things like new technologies, investment, internal marketplaces, and water passage contributed a lot to the industrial development.
Peasants from the countryside came to the cities to become factory workers, the agriculture improvements made possible to feed more citizens which created a cycle. More food meant more people; more people meant a bigger amount of production. The fact that the world opened and trade domain boomed, the merchant sector became one of the important sectors in the country, leading to the creation bourgeoise, the enriched people that made fortunes with commerce. They became so influential that their social class competed with the aristocrats. This started the age when simple people had an actual chance to make money and to become rich, not just tied to the higher classes. The world economy developed, and opportunities were open to even more trade around the world.
Invention appeared soon enough, contributing to the fast industrialization of the world. James Watt improved the steam engine, combined his knowledge with the others’, thus making the way for more improvements like railways, ships with steam engines, bridges made of iron etc. Watt also made an engine that produced steam; it drove a piston helped by a partial vacuum. It was first applied for the mines that had water problems, which allowed the extraction of coal in large quantities and then to other natural resources. Other improved his engine which made it work ten times better by 1900.
The textile industry replaced the handmade work and led to higher quality of cloth in general. The prices were also affordable for common people thanks to the fact that the cotton gin helped make even more raw cotton, which in turn provided the material for the British looms. The Industrial Revolution spread in Western Europe, but they could not keep up with constant improvement of the British. In other countries like France, agriculture still dominated all sectors of life.
The British colonies in North America helped Great Britain keep its title as the number one inventor and contributor to the Industrial Revolution. The British dominated in the regard and the products from the colonies were a great source of their development. One of those products was cotton, which Great Britain the worlds leading producer of cotton cloth. The steam engine also helped in this domain, one of those could spin many looms which made production even bigger.
By 1851, the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain was associated with smoke from factories all around the cities, which expanded like never before. The rail road and dense population in the urban area were also associated with the Industrial Revolution, which in turn symbolized the Modern Era.
It is important to point the Great Britain tried to conceal any information about their engines that revolutionized the way pay people worked and developed all domains, especially economic one. Despite the efforts, countries developed their factories and railroad. The first countries to do this were Belgium, Switzerland, France followed by Germany and then by other European countries. This permitted Europe as a continent to keep its leadership when it came to trade and dominance in economic and political domains.
The industrialization also changed the way social life was seen; it did not only challenge the social classes but also paved the way to revolutions and work ethics. Thanks to the idea of more independence from the aristocrats that rules every aspect of the life, the United State took notice that simple people gained the power to be more financial independent and they rose to create a new country and power that will diminish the Europe’s influence in the world. Every aspect of life changed, and it created a world that depended on one another, that fought for their rights. This led to Globalization and other modern technologies and innovations that made the lives of people much simpler.

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