How does industrialisation AND ITS consequences make a middle class visible in the first half of the 19th century
started in Britain and depending on the speed of knowledge transfer in that age and time, it soon spread throughout the world in some shape or the other. Within a few decades, the socioeconomic system that was based on manual labour was to be replaced by a culture which was dominated by industry and manufactured goods (Hobsbawm, 1999).
Hobsbawm (1999) suggests that the revolution started with the changes to the textile industries which were the first to start using machines. The creation of the machines themselves was based on the refinements in how iron was produced that allowed the creation of new tools and equipment. At the same time, other elements required for improved communications, delivery of goods and transport were more or less in place which helped to expand the trade between cities as well as countries. Waterways, improved conditions of roads and the presence of railways all helped in making sure that goods as well as people could move from one location to another without significant investments of time and money.
Additionally, Mr. Watt had understood the genie contained in steam power and had unleashed it by 1760. Although earlier designs also existed he is credited with creating the first working steam engine which allowed machines to work much faster, better and at an untiring pace as compared to human effort. Steam power was also added to boats, ships and other means of transport but the effect it had on the workshops and industrial plants was the greatest in terms of how it would change the fabric of society (Wikipedia, 2007).
The coming of The Enlightenment provided an established system which accepted the real business related applications of the growing body of scientific knowledge that had been accumulated by Britain. In fact, the development and perfection of the steam engine can be considered only a small part of it since the process of the Industrial Revolution was guided by scientific analysis and the development new political as well