Was 18th century to the 19th, only approximations

coal significant to the industrial revolution in Great Britain

and motivation

with degrees in history, are all of the same meaning that the british
industrial revolution was based on the shift from wood and charcoal towards
coal. However, other factors did contribute to the revolution in England. In
order to come with a conclusion on the significance of coal, a base of
Manchester has been used to explain a trend of the industrial revolution and
the impact on Britain.



with degrees in history, are all convinced about that the british industrial
revolution was a switch from charcoal, timber, etc, toward coal instead.

the 18th and 19th century some big things happened in Europe, and especially in
England. Prior to the 18th century, Britain, did in fact produce
coal, but not in large quantities. The pits were not of significant sizes, and
most of them were simple pure open holes in the ground. Because the quantities
of mined coal were small, it was mostly locale and did not contribute to a
large-scale economy. During the British industrial revolution, due to iron and
steam, the demand for coal ascended. The technology was in heavy innovation and
thus it became much easier and efficient to produce coal, and to transport it
around Britain. (continue)

the output of coal enlarged approximately 10 times the value from the start in
about 1750 until 1850, whereas the production power of a man only changed a
little bit. Therefore, the drift of resources and particularly of labor in to
the industry, is showing a strong evolution foundation in the British economy
during the industrialization.

of the knowledge of coal

do a proper research on the coal industry and the significance of it in the
British industrial revolution, a series of reliable outputs of coal for the
centuries it lasted would be needed, however, no such thing exists. In a matter
of fact, the first complete data on the production of coal in Britain are from
the company Mineral statistics and it is from 1854, which is about when the
industrial revolution in Britain was over.

for the period during the industrialization from 18th century to the
19th, only approximations have been used, which does not make the
numbers exact but clearly show a trend of coal.


need for coal

need for coal was caused off different variables.  The British population rose, together with
the national market, and because people moved from the rural areas to suburban
places(insert table with population and movement), they did not have the same
opportunity of consumption of charcoal and wood. In the begin


prior to IR

was an agricultural economy with less than 10 million citizens, and the living
standards were low. The big factory industry was not created yet, which meant
people were working smaller places. The structure of the society was old school
with a strict and rigid hierarchy. England was ruled and controlled by an
aristocratic oligarchy.

population in the mid 1700’s began to increase rapidly, due to a decreasing
rate of death which was caused of improvements of living standards, thus a
rising demand for goods and services had to be supplied.

wise, in the 1700’s, landlords surged for a way to increase their revenue
through enhanced supplies of good sat lower costs. They managed this by using
innovative and efficient farming techniques and technology. All in all, this
lead to a increase in the food production, which was essential to keep the
demand of the growing population supplied. The landlords therefore gained
significant profits they were able to further invest. Due to the new
technology, people were dismissed in the rural districts, and sought towards
the factories to avoid unemployment.


to Alexis de Tocqueville who was a historian and social observer, who in 1835
went on a trip to Britain and made extensive descriptions in his journal of the
imprints the visit to Manchester had on him. In the journal he has written that
the foul drain, from the greatest stream of human industry flows out to
fertilize the world, and as a metaphor the filthy sewer as he saw Manchester
as, would pure gold would come out of. Furthermore, he elaborated that he saw
people of Manchester attaining the most complete development, where miracles
are created by the citizens.

his journal he emerged a picture of the industrial revolution that showed it
was possible to create production of greater wealth bigger than ever before,
and it could be divided throughout more segments of the population.
Nevertheless, the revolution brought a extensive transformation of the domestic
and work live in the general working class, through immediate exploitation of
the labor force and the evident natural destruction.

Journeys to England &

by J.P. Mayer (Editor)

brief elaboration of the industrial

substituted human labor

supply of great production capacity was created

exploitation of coal was introduced

emerged and created the factory system to organize the process of production

to the industrialization innovation occurred but due to the supply of coal, the
efficiency of the technological innovation took off. This idea of keep
innovation and making productions as efficient and less costly has ever since
been a factor in industries.

to increased innovation and efficiency, it was possible to further take
advantage of the sorroundings.

Al these factors lead to the industrial
revolution and economic growth.


is considered to be the birthmother of the industrial revolution. When thinking
of the revolution, some development within technology occurred in that period.
Regularly, several inventions are listed here. The Steam engine, James Watt
invented, and other machines such as machines for the textile industry, in the
presence of the power loom and spinning jenny, created new methods and




is obvious that these breakthroughs combined with the coal industry, was huge
contributors to changing the British social and economic order. However, this
technological innovation has been going on for several years ahead 1760.
Britain already used coal on smaller and local scale, however through
increasingly and better utilization of coal in the industry, England was really
able to take off.

main reason for the takeoff, was the way coal was being used. prior to the
revolution, coal prices(insert) has been rather high, and alternatives was used
instead of coal. Wood and charcoal was used in many industries and their
processes, for instance glassmaking and for smelting metal and the cotton

the beginning of the 1800’s, a demand for cotton grew because of internal and
external markets. However, old methods such as the putting-out system was not
adequate to meet the new demands.  The
Putting-out system was a system where the work was done in homes of families,
where families was the “machine” of production, thus this was a very
inefficient system where only a limited production output could be reached. to
put a numbers into this innovative system and depict the process and innovative
profit gain, England produced approximately 40.0000.0000 yards of cloth in
1795, were as in 1850 an impressive production of approximately
yards of cloth was created.

solution to a getting a substantial profit in the cotton-industry was to
increase the production and keep labor cost low. a mechanized production was
therefore imminent, which lead to a the beginning of technological innovation.
As we see with technology today, for instance, when Iphone’s do not have the
sufficient technology to run an app, a newer phone is needed. The same concept
was used in the cotton industry. When a problem emerged, a new invention was
incorporated in the production. This way of thinking and developing and being
innovative can be put in the-sustaining process of innovation framework.

diffused across the economy, slowly at first, and then more rapidly, so that
eventually coal was being used to fuel not just the metallurgical industries,
but textiles and many other sectors as well. Steam accounted for 35,000 out of
the 170,000 horsepower installed in Britain in 1800; for 165,000 out of 350,000
in 1830; for 2,060,000 out of 2,300,000 in 1870; and for 9,659,000 out of
9,842,000 in 1907 (Crafts 2004, p. 342).( omskriv)

with the more industrial approach and mechanized production, fuel for the
machinery became of high importance. Water as a power source was used, however
factories had to be located near water. Water was more and more replaced by the
upcoming steam-power, which made it possible for factories to be located
wherever they wanted. Manchester was a city with a great capacity of coal, thus
many factories opened there. In fact, Manchester only had 25000 citizens in
1773 and not any mills, however in 1802, the population has risen to a mere
number of 95000 and 52 mills was built. The exploitation of coal, mixed with
the factories and the productions system, evolved the production of goods, the
labor that was needed and the standard of living. Production was now being
planned on a large scale and a vast number of workers, hundreds, were working
in the factories and this lead to that workers created a barrier between home
and workplace.

had only been done in small scale in England prior to 1760. When the industry
started mining more and more coal, it created the industry for coal, and it
quickly grew. Prior to the industrial revolution there was only a restricted
quantity of coal at the surface and due to England being in a rainy climate,
they were simply flooded easily, so there was for years a concern that the used
coal stock would be used up. However, with the help of the patent based watt
machine, they created a machinge to drain mines in order to keep the flow of
coal going. These machines made it possible to dig father down below surface
and increase the supply of coal.

to the well-working watt-engine in several industries, a patent was
established, which of course had a great impact on the economic leadership
Britain took in during the 18th and 19th century

  However, when the industry grew, so did the
supply and demand for, which mean that a few things occurred. 

having a big industry, which people needs, the need for transportation
increased. Therefore, it was necessary to create ways of getting coal from mines
to consumers. The means of transportation was not sufficient at once the coal
industry grew, which eventually lead to the construction of large-scaled
networks of transportation routes such as turnpikes, navigable rivers and
canals. .


The First Industrial Revolution – Page 76 – Google Books


the coal industry grew bigger and bigger it, the means of transportation became
of bigger importance almost by the second. Therefore, the infrastructure had to
innovated, and Britain expanded its canals to become more sufficient. It was a
necessity, and some even argue for that if it had not done that, the British
industrialization could have been delayed up until the railways was introduced
to the city, in fact Deane stated “if Britain had to depend on her road to
carry her heavy goods traffic the effective impact of the industrial revolution
may well have been delayed until the railway age”

a reaction to the increased demand for transportation, the brits took advantage
of the cheap and easy water naval transportation, at the coast and inside the country
in canals and rivers.

seen in the above standing picture, it is obvious to the naked eye, that the
canals and river were a network between the bigger cities, that had seen great
development with industries and population. Some of them were Manchester,
Liverpool and Bristal.

to water had been of huge importance to economic growth and stability in Britain,
thus cities in the country side without canals and rivers were “handicapped”. As
John Taylor said, “There is not any town or city, which hath a navigable river
at it, that is poore”, which states the problem a place like Manchester had
before the new network of canals. The mix of great scale raw materials, fuel,
and living materials were dependent on low-cost, large water transportation. Ergo,
water-transportation was a strong influence on the scale of the economy of the
location of the city. Instead of moving the factories toward the water, canals
could instead manipulate the water to access it to promising manufacturing places.
Thus, the barrier of scale and location was removed, and changed the economic landscape
in Britain. However, compared to the later on railway, which was built in a
relative short period, the canals took time to build. Again, the picture above,
shows that it took 40 years to make them canals ready, which means that for the
main part of the industrial revolution in Britain, canal transport was limited
to certain areas and of course the larger important paths.

canals economic effects was high, however the further from the banks you go,
the less powerful the water transport got. Coal could be 4 times as expensive,
when it was transported just 2 miles from the canals. The easy access to bulk transportation
of coal was not the only thing canals were used for. Also the provision of food
to the population was an important function of the water transport.


great assumption is that being closer to a coalmine, would lead cities to grow,
with the help of the new technology. The new techonolgy in the coal-industry
directly stimulated groth in the economy, and through the the-sustaining
process of innovation framework, with larger and better machines, more coal was
needed. Thus, being in the proximity of coalfmines, where coal was cheaper,
makes great sense. this economic growth, with further factories, is a stimulant
to trigger the growth of population. As seen in Manchester, population went from
23000 in 1773 to 108000 ini 1823.( Barbara Freese. Coal: A Human History. (New York: Penguin Books) 2003.)


of coal

a founds math-solution, Wrigled created the estimation that the production of
coal in England in 1800 yelded the energy, that would have required 11.000.000
acres of woodland. The coal production in England was equivalent to 25.000.000
acres of woodland. England’s land consists of 32.000.000 acres, and the british
land is 57.000.000 acres. so according to Wrigley, by 1820’s “the british coal
production liberate an area as large as the entire island. So the effieciency
of coal compared to wood was imminent, thus can explain a positive picture of
coals signifance in the industrial revolution


conclusion made about coal is that local supplies of coal were essential, or at
least highly desirable, if a region was to industrialize during the 19th
century. Matthias (1983, p. 11) puts the argument starkly: “The logistics of
energy inputs based upon coal, translated against available transport in a
pre-railway age, precluded any major industrial complex in heavy industry from
developing except where coal and ore were plentiful and adjacent to one another
or to water carriage.” Coal was bulky, heavy and costly to transport. It was
also a fuel, whose weight vanished when 3Landes (1965, p. 327) calculates that
the UK was consuming coal in 1870 whose calorific content could have fed 850
million adult males. 4 it was used in the production process: there were thus
substantial cost savings if coal was used close to where it was mined (

the increased use of coal was a symptom of technological change, which all
authors accept was the main driver of the Industrial Revolution, and which has
been the focus of a series of major works by Mokyr (1990, 2002, 2009). England
always had coal, but it took the Industrial Revolution for this geographical
advantage to achieve its full economic potential. There is no real dispute on
this point: as we have seen Wrigley does not view coal as being a sufficient
condition for the Industrial Revolution, but rather as a necessary one.5


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