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'''Industrialisation''' or an '''industrial revolution''' (in general with lowercase letters) is a process of social and economic change whereby a human society is transformed from a pre-industrial (an economy where the amount of capital accumulated is low) to an industry|industrial state This social and economic change is closely intertwined with technology|technological innovation particularly the development of large-scale energy production and metallurgy Industrialisation is also related to some form of philosophy|philosophical change or to a different attitude in the perception of nature though whether these philosophical changes are caused by industrialisation or vice-versa is subject to debate
Industrialisation has spawned its own health problems Modern stressors include noise air water pollution poor nutrition dangerous machinery impersonal work isolation poverty homelessness and substance abuse Health problems in industrial nations are as much caused by economic social political and cultural factors as by pathogens Industrialisation has became a major medical issue world wide and hopefully will become less of a problem over the upcoming years
When capitalised Industrial Revolution refers to the first known industrial revolution which took place in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries The Second Industrial Revolution describes later somewhat less dramatic changes which came about with the widespread availability of Electric power and the Internal-combustion engine
Pre-industrial economies may have sustenance standards of living so that large portions of the population focus their collective resources on producing only what can be consumed by them (in medieval Europe 80% of the labour force were employed in agriculture of subsistence) Some pre-industrial economies such as Ancient Athens have had trade and commerce as significant factors enjoying wealth far beyond a sustenance standard of living Famines were frequent in most pre-industrial societies although some such as the Netherlands and England of the 17th and 18th centuries and the ancient Classical civilisation were able to escape the famine cycle through increasing trade and commercialisation of the agricultural sector
Many third world countries began industrialisation under the influence of either the United States or the USSR during the Cold War This effort has been successful in many East Asian countries and less successful in other areas (excluding some late industrialisers in Europe that were already progressing fast before the second world war)
The currently prevailing "development paradigm" in the international development community (which means the World Bank OECD many United Nations departments and some other such organisations) is poverty reduction which pays attention to economic growth as such but does not recognise traditional industrialisation policies as being beneficial in the longer term (with the perception that it simply creates inefficient local industry that is ineffective in a free-trade dominated world)


  • Bernal John Desmond Science and Industry in the Nineteenth Century Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1970
  • Derry Thomas Kingston and Trevor I. Williams A Short History of Technology : From the Earliest Times to AD 1900 New York : Dover Publications 1993
  • Hobsbawm Eric J Industry and Empire : From 1750 to the Present Day New York : New Press ; Distributed by WW Norton1999
  • Kranzberg Melvin and Carroll W. Pursell Jr. editors Technology in Western civilization New York Oxford University Press 1967
  • Landes David S. The Unbound Prometheus : Technical Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present 2nd ed New York : Cambridge University Press 2003


The spelling industrialisation is a British variant of industrialization The spelling industralization is used in American and Canadian English and often in academic British English

See also

  • Automation
  • Newly industrialised countries
  • Stalinist industrialisation

External links