Before the Industrial Revolution:
- There was large-scale industrial production for an international market which was not based on factories. This phase of industrialisation is known as proto-industrialisation.
The Coming Up of the Factory
- The factories in England multiplied in the late eighteenth century.
- In 1760, Britain was importing 2.5 million pounds of raw cotton for its cotton industry which went up to 22 million pounds by 1787.
The Pace of Industrial Change
- The new industries could not easily displace traditional industries.
- Although, the pace of change in the ‘traditional’ industries was not set by steam-powered cotton or metal industries, they did not remain entirely stagnant either.
Industrialisation in the Colonies
The Age of Indian Textiles
- Before the machine industries came into picture, silk and cotton goods from India dominated the international market in textiles.
- The European companies gradually gained power.
- Trade through the new ports came to be controlled by European companies, and was carried in European ships.
What Happened to Weavers?
- The East India Company proceeded to develop a system of management and control that would eliminate competition, control costs, and ensure regular supplies of cotton and silk goods.
- Weavers eagerly took the advances, hoping to earn more.
- By the turn of the nineteenth century, cotton weavers faced a new set of problems.
Manchester Comes to India
- In 1772, Henry Patullo, a Company official, had ventured to say that the demand for Indian textiles could never reduce, since no other nation produced goods of the same quality.
British Textiles in India:
- The British industrialists pressurized the government to impose duties on cotton textiles so that Manchester goods could sell in Britain without any outside competition.
- By the end of the 19th century, factories in India began production, flooding the markets with machine-made goods.
- Consequently, the weaving industry decayed and died.
Factories in India:
- 1854: First cotton mill came up in Bombay
- 1855: The first jute mill came up; and another one in 1862
- 1860s: The Elgin mill was started in Kanpur
- 1861: The first cotton mill of Ahmadabad was set up
- 1874: The first spinning and weaving mill of Madras began production
The Early Entrepreneurs
- The British in India began exporting opium to China and took tea from China to England.
- Many Indians participated in this trade by providing finance, procuring supplies and shipping consignments.
- They accumulated their initial wealth partly from exports to China and partly from raw cotton shipments to England.
- Other trading activities included carrying goods from one place to another, banking, transferring funds between cities and financing traders.
- Industrialists employed people from villages, ensured them jobs, helped them settle in the city and provided them money in times of crisis.
The Peculiarities of Industrial Growth
- The European Managing Agencies established tea and coffee plantations, acquiring land at cheap rates from the colonial governments.
- The yarn produced in Indian spinning mills was used by handloom weavers in India or exported to China.
- Nationalists during the Swadeshi movement mobilized people to boycott foreign cloth.
- Industrial groups organized themselves to protect their collective interests, pressurizing the government to increase tariff protection and grant other concessions.
- As the war prolonged, Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs including jute bags, cloth for army uniforms, tents and leather boots, horse and mule saddles and a host of other items.
- Industrial production boomed owing to the increase in the working hours and the establishment of new factories.
- Unable to modernize and compete with the US, Germany and Japan, the British economy crumbled after the war.
- Handloom cloth-production expanded steadily between 1900 and 1940.
- Technological changes and other small innovations made the handloom cloth production rise.
Market for Goods
- Advertisements expanded the markets for products and shaped a new consumer culture.
- The label was needed for making the name and the place of manufacture and the name of the company familiar to the buyer.
- Advertisements became a vehicle of the nationalist message of Swadeshi.