F2 Life in the Age of Machines

ID# 2459

From the 1760s to the late 19th century, great changes took place【happened, occurred】 in industry【工業】, science, technology and many other areas. This was called the ‘Industrial Revolution【工業革命】‘.


Industrial Revolution first began in Britain【英國】, and then it spread【擴展】 to other European【歐洲的】 countries and the United States of America【美國】.


For the Industrial Revolution to start, a country needed labour【勞工】, capital【資金】, raw materials【原料】, markets【市場】, good production methods【良好的生產方法】 and advanced technology【先進的技術】. Britain【英國】 had all of these.


During the Industrial Revolution, work done by hands began to be done by the machines【機器】. This is why we call the period after 1760s the ‘Age of Machines【機器時代】‘.


In the 17th century, some rich landlords【地主】 enclosed farmland owned by others in order to increase pastures【牧場】 for sheep farming. This action is known as the Enclosure Movement【圈地運動】. After farmers losing their land, some of them went to the town to look for jobs. These new people in towns provided a huge【巨大】 labour force【勞動力】 for the industrial development【工業發展】.


Before invention【發明】 of machines,

  1. most people were farmers. There are some craftsmen who made goods with simple hand tools in their homes. This kind of production【生產】 is known as the domestic system【家庭手工業】.
  2. Most people lived in villages.
  3. The main sources【來源】 of power came from people, animals, wind and water.
  4. Most roads were poorly made. People travelled on foot, on horseback or by carriage【馬車】.

In a workshop【車間】, workers were grouped together to produce goods. Division of labour began to develop. This not only largely increased productivity【生產力】, but also allowed specialisation【專業化】 of tools and the invention【發明】 of machines.


In Britain, the textile industry【紡織工業】 was the first to use machines. Then, the steam engine【蒸汽機】 was improved, and changes took place【happened, occurred】 in the iron【鐵】 and coal mining industries【採礦業】 and in transportation.


In 1733, John Kay【凱伊】, a British【英國人】/Briton, invented【發明】 the flying shuttle【飛梭】, which increased the speed of weaving【織布】. In 1964, the spinning jenny【珍妮紡紗機】 was invented by James Hargreaves【哈格里夫】. This marked【標誌着】 the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.


The first generation【第一代】 of steam engine【蒸汽機】 used a lot of fuel and was inefficient【低效】. In 1979, a Scotsman【蘇格蘭人】 named James Watt【瓦特】 made a greatly improved steam engine. From then on, steam power【蒸汽動力】 could be used to drive【驅動】 machines in the heavy industry【重工業】.


Coal was important to the Industrial Revolution because it was used to smelt【冶煉】 iron【鐵】. More iron produced meant more machines could be made. Coal was also used to heat water and create steam to drive【驅動】 steam engines【蒸汽機】. Without coal, the use of machines in industrial production【工業生產】 would have been very difficult.


From 1761, many canals【運河】 were dug【開鑿】 in Britain. Coal and other raw materials【原料】 could then be shipped by boats to the industrial towns. In 1807, an American named Robert Fulton【富爾敦】 invented the steamship【輪船】.


In 1814, George Stephenson【斯提芬遜】, a British【英國人】/Briton, made the first steam locomotive【蒸汽火車頭】. In 1825, Britain built the first railway【railway】 in the world. In 1885, the first car built with an internal combustion engine【內燃機】 was made.


The British began to use fuel gas【燃氣】 for lighting in the late 18th century. In 1879, an American named Thomas Edison made the first electric light bulb【電燈泡】. Soon, electricity became the most important energy source and replaced steam power【蒸汽動力】 eventually【終於】.


The Agricultural Revolution【農業革命】 increased the production of goods through

  1. the invention【發明】 of the seed drill【播種機】
  2. the use of artificial fertilisers【人造肥料】
  3. the practice of crop rotation【穀物輪耕】 and scientific breeding of animals【動物科學繁殖法】

Machines were used for the mass production【大量生產】 of products. As machines were big and driven【驅動】 by steam power【蒸汽動力】. They needed to be placed in factories. Therefore, the factory system【工廠制度】 began and it replaced the domestic system【家庭手工業】 gradually【逐漸地】.


Mass production【大量生產】 means a large number of workers were employed in a factory to produce large amount of goods. Division of labour means every worker works on only one part of the production process【生產過程】. This allows the workers to work more quickly. As a result, production increases and the the cost of production is lowered.


Many farmers lost their jobs because machines were used in agriculture【農業】. At the same time, industrial towns【工業城鎮】 were growing. Thus, many farmers moved from the countryside to towns for jobs. This process was called urbanisation【城市化】.


Two new opposing classes【對立階級】 were created during the Industrial Revolution. They are the industrial-capitalist class【工業資產階級】 and the working class【工人階級】. The industrial-capitalist class included【包括】 owners of factories【工廠】, mines【礦山】, railways【鐵路】 and banks.


At the early stage【早期】 of Industrial Revolution, workers lived in slums【貧民窟】 and led【過着】 a difficult life in towns. They usually worked long hours but only got low wages【低工資】. As a result, working class movements broke out【爆發】 in Europe in the early 19th century to fight for better living and working conditions. The Chartist Movement【憲章運動】 in Britain(1838 – 1848) was an example.