History and Citizenship Education
(Cycle One)

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Industrialization : an economic and social revolution

Britain was the first nation to go through the transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. This economic revolution, which began in the middle of the 18th century, had a profound effect on society: new social groups emerged and completely transformed the traditional social order. The study of the experience of Britain allows students to understand this phenomenon, which subsequently spread to many countries in Europe and North America in the 19th century.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a social phenomenon that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: capitalism, social classes, legislation, liberalism, mode of production, revolution, socialism, union movement and urbanization.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

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  1. Impact of industrialization on society today
    1. Names countries that are industrializing (e.g. Brazil, China, India)
    1. Indicates factors that enable countries to industrialize (e.g. capital, workforce, resources)
    1. Indicates consequences of industrialization for society (e.g. urbanization, trade, consumer society)
  1. Industrialization, an economic and social revolution, and its effects on British society
  • 2.1.   Location in space and time
    1. Locates on a map the first industrial territories and large cities of the 18th century (e.g. Liverpool, London, Manchester)
    1. Locates on a time line the industrial revolution and related facts (e.g. enclosure laws; Watt’s steam engine; the steam locomotive The Rocket)
  • 2.2.   Industrialization
    1. Indicates some of the causes of industrialization in 18th-century Britain (e.g. abundance of capital, technological innovation, increased agricultural production, available workforce, abundance of coal)
    1. Lists some characteristics of industrial production (e.g. mechanization of production, division of labour)
    1. Names the sectors of production that were the first to industrialize: textile, metallurgy
    1. Indicates effects of industrialization on migration flows (e.g. rural exodus, urbanization)
  • 2.3.   Social structure
    1. Indicates factors that led to the formation of new social classes in industrializing societies (e.g. capital, employment)
    1. Explains what differentiated the bourgeoisie from the working class, in terms of means of production (e.g. the bourgeoisie owned the means production; the workers owned labour power, which they sold for a wage or salary)
    1. Lists characteristics of working-class neighbourhoods during the Industrial Revolution (e.g. proximity to factories; air pollution from coal burning; cramped, unsanitary housing)
  • 2.4.   Economic organization
    1. Lists some of the political principles of liberalism espoused by the bourgeoisie (e.g. free enterprise, few government restrictions, recognition of individual rights)
    1. Names economic institutions associated with the development of capitalism (e.g. banks, stock exchange)
    1. Indicates the source of income of the bourgeoisie: profit
    1. Explains some repercussions of profit seeking (e.g. to increase profits, the bourgeoisie tries to lower workers’ wages and raise the prices of goods sold)
    1. Indicates advantages of new means of transportation developed during the Industrial Revolution (e.g. steam locomotives and steam boats could maintain a steady speed and carry heavy loads, which facilitated the transportation of raw materials)
  • 2.5.   Labour movement
    1. Describes some working conditions at the start of industrialization in Britain (e.g. long working hours, no rights or security, women and child labour)
    1. Indicates actions taken by workers to improve their social and economic situation (e.g. demands for the right to organize, demands for better working conditions, strikes)
    1. Indicates advantages that unions provided for workers (e.g. power to negotiate with employers)
    1. Lists principles shared by socialist and communist movements (e.g. common ownership of means of production, search for justice and social equality)
    1. Indicates actions taken by governments to deal with workers’ demands and demonstrations (e.g. repression, refusal to grant the right to organize, laissez-faire policy)
  1. Contribution of individuals and institutions to the improvement of living conditions in society today
    1. Names organizations that work to improve living conditions (e.g. UNICEF, Oxfam)
    1. Indicates some of the goals of organizations working to improve living conditions in society (e.g. to eradicate poverty, to eliminate child labour)
    1. Names measures that can help improve living conditions in a society (e.g. education, labour standards)
    1. Names individuals who have helped improve living conditions (e.g. Mother Teresa, Lucille Teasdale)

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