Revision Notes History Class 10 Chapter 4 The Age of Industrialisation

Important Dates to Remember

  • 1600: Establishment of the East India Company.
  • 1730: The earliest factories in England came up.
  • 1764: James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny.
  • 1771: Richard Arkwright created the first cotton mill.
  • 1776: A.D. Crompton invented ‘Mule’. It was a combination of Spinning Jenny and cotton mill.
  • 1781: James Watt patented the Steam Engine.
  • 1781: Mathew Boulton manufactured the new model of the steam engine.
  • 1830-1840s: Dwarkanath Tagore set up six joint stock companies in Bengal.
  • 1854: The first cotton mill was set up in Bombay.
  • 1855: The first jute mill was established in Bengal.
  • 1856: The first cotton mill in Bombay started production.
  • 1863: London Underground Railway started operation.
  • 1874: The first spinning and weaving mill of Madras began its production.
  • 1900: Music publisher E.T. Paull produced a music book.
  • 1912: J.N. Tata set up the first iron and steel plant in India at Jamshedpur.
  • 1917: Seth Hukumchand, a Marwari businessman, set up the first Indian jute mill in Calcutta.

Important Terms

  • Fuller: A person who ‘fulls’ i.e., gathers cloth by pleating.
  • Stapler: A person who ‘staples’ or sorts wool according to its fibre.
  • Sepoy: An Indian soldier in the service of the British.
  • Dyer: A person who dyes fabrics.
  • Jobber: A person employed by the industrialists to get new recruits for the mills.
  • Carding: The process in which fibres, such as cotton or wool are prepared prior to spinning.
  • Entrepreneurs: A person, who makes money by starting or running businesses, especially when this involves taking financial risks.
  • Guild: An association of craftsmen or merchants following the same craft. These guilds protected the interests of the members and supervised the quality of the product and work.
  • Metropolis: A large, densely populated city of a country or a state, often the capital of the region.
  • Vagrant: A person who has no home or jobs, especially one who begs.
  • Fly Shuttle: It is a mechanical device used for weaving, moved by means of ropes and pulleys. It places the horizontal threads (called the weft) into the vertical threads (called the warp).
  • Industrialization: Industrialization is the process by which an economy is transformed from primarily agricultural to one based on the manufacturing of goods.
  • Proto-industrialization: Period before or beginning of industrialization.
  • Industrial Revolution: The revolution that replaced the cottage industry by the factories.
  • Spinning Jenny: This machine was invented by James Hargreaves in 1764. It sped up the spinning process and reduced labour demand.
  • Gomasthas: They were the paid servants who were appointed by the East India Company to supervise weavers, collect supplies and examine the quality of cloth.


Before the Industrial Revolution

Proto-industrialization is referred to the phase which existed even before factories began in England and Europe.

  • There was large-scale industrial production for an international market not based on factories.
  • In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, merchants from Europe moved to the countryside, supplying money to peasants and artisans, requesting them to produce for an international market.
  • Merchants were restricted to expand their production within towns because rulers granted different guilds the monopoly right to produce and trade in specific products.

The Coming Up of the Factory

  • In the 1730s the earliest factories in England were set up, but only in the late eighteenth century, the number of factories
  • Cotton was the first symbol of the new era and its production boomed in the late nineteenth century.
  • Richard Arkwright created the cotton mill where costly machines were set up and all the processes were brought together under one roof and management.

The Pace of Industrial Change

  • First:  – In Britain, the most dynamic industries were cotton and metals.  Cotton was the leading sector in the first phase of industrialization up to the 1840s, followed by iron and steel industry.
  • Second:  The new industries found it difficult to displace traditional industries.
  • Third:  The pace of change in the ‘traditional’ industries was not set by steam-powered cotton or metal industries, but they did not remain entirely stagnant either.
  • Fourth: Technological changes occurred slowly. James Watt improved the steam engine produced by Newcomen and patented the new engine in 1781. His industrialist friend Mathew Boulton manufactured the new model. Steam engines were not used in any of the other industries until much later in the century.

Life of the Workers

  • The workers’ lives were affected by the abundance of labour in the market.
  • To get a job, workers should have existing networks of friendship and kin relations in a factory.
  • Till the mid-nineteenth century, it was difficult for workers to find jobs.
  • In the early nineteenth century, wages were increased.
  • The fear of unemployment made workers hostile to the introduction of new technology.
  • Spinning Jenny was introduced in the woollen industry. After the 1840s, building activity intensified in the cities, opening up greater opportunities for employment.
  • Roads were widened, new railway stations came up, railway lines were extended, tunnels dug, drainage and sewers laid, rivers embanked.

Industrialization in the Colonies

The Age of Indian Textiles

In India, silk and cotton goods dominated the international market in textiles, before the age of machine industries. A variety of Indian merchants and bankers were involved in this network of export trade – financing production, carrying goods and supplying exporters. By the 1750s this network, controlled by Indian merchants, was breaking down. The European companies came into power – first securing a variety of concessions from local courts, then the monopoly rights to trade. The shift from the old ports to the new ones was an indicator of the growth of colonial power.

European companies-controlled trade through the new ports and were carried in European ships. Many old trading houses collapsed, and those who wanted to survive had to operate within a network shaped by European trading companies.

What Happened to Weavers?

After the 1760s, the consolidation of the East India Company did not initially lead to a decline in textile exports from India. Before establishing political power in Bengal and Carnatic in the 1760s and 1770s, the East India Company had found it difficult to ensure a regular supply of goods for export. After the East India Company established political power, it developed a system of management and control that would eliminate competition, control costs, and ensure regular supplies of cotton and silk goods. It was established by following a series of steps.

  1. By eliminating existing traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade, and establishing more direct control over the weaver.
  2. By preventing Company weavers from dealing with other

The weavers were granted a loan to buy the raw materials once an order was placed. Weavers who took loans needed to hand over the cloth they produced to the gomastha. Weaving required the labour of the entire family, with children and women all engaged in different stages of the process. Earlier, supply merchants had a very close relationship with weavers, but new gomasthas were outsiders with no social link with the village.

In many places in Carnatic and Bengal, weavers set up looms in other villages where they had some family relation. In other places, weavers along with the village traders revolted, opposing thCompany and its officials. Over time many weavers began refusing loans, closing down their workshops and taking to agricultural labour. By the turn of the nineteenth century, cotton weavers faced a new set of problems.

Manchester Comes to India

In 1772, Henry Patullo said that the demand for Indian textiles could never reduce since no other nation produced goods of the same quality. But, unfortunately, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, India witnessed a decline in textile exports. In the early nineteenth century, exports of British cotton goods increased dramatically. At the end of the eighteenth century, import of cotton piece-goods was restricted into India. In India cotton weavers faced two problems:

  1. Their export market collapsed
  2. Local market shrank and glutted with Manchester

By the 1860s, weavers faced a new problem. They could not get sufficient supply of raw cotton of good quality. Even the raw cotton exports from India increased due to which the price increased. By the end of the nineteenth century, other craftspeople faced yet another problem. Factories in India began production, flooding the market with machine-goods.

Factories Come Up

In 1854, the first cotton mill in Bombay set up and went into production two years later. By 1862 four more mills were set up and around the same time jute mills came up in Bengal. The first jute mill was set up in 1855 and another one after seven years in 1862. In the 1860s, in north India, the Elgin Mill was started in Kanpur, and a year later the first cotton mill of Ahmedabad was set up. By 1874, the first spinning and weaving mill of Madras began production.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page