Role of Transport during the Industrial Revolution in Europe For

Roleof Transport during the Industrial Revolution in Europe


Econ30423 U.S. Economic History


ClassDays &amp Time

Dr.John Lovett

SemesterPaper # 1


Rapiddevelopment in Europe was experienced during the industrialrevolution. During this period, many countries in the Europeancontinent underwent strategic development that saw a shift in all itseconomic fronts. As the rest of the world was lagging behind in theireconomic ways, Europe was using better and improved methods of doingthings to facilitate optimum use and accumulation of resources, thatexplain why many countries of Europe are quite ahead in theireconomic might as compared to other countries in the world. However,development did not come on a silver platter, and many numbers offactors enabled European industrial revolution to forge a sustainablelong-run development and maintain their competitive aspects in theworld of limited resources.

Allin all, inventions, innovations, and creativity in the way things aredone played a leading role in ensuring that industrial revolutionwould become a reality in Europe. But looking at the map of Europe,all countries did grow as a result of industrial revolution althoughit is clear that those countries in the eastern part of Europeenjoyed a huge growth prospect compared to those on the eastern side.What factors could have led to such a diversion yet Europe was notlimited by countries boundaries. Was there a unique factor in theeastern part of Europe that made them more competitive to developthan those in the eastern side? This and other questions are some ofthe factors that these papers wish to query to be in a better standto understand the European industrial revolution and its long-runstrategic development.

Thesisof the Paper

Thisessay seeks to review the role of transport and infrastructuredevelopment during the industrial revolution and its core competencein ensuring long-run development. Road, railway and water transportwould be the central focus of study in the essay.

Duringthe 18thand 19thcentury, Europe underwent what later came to be called the industrialrevolution. During this time, rapid economic, social and politicaldevelopment was achieved throughout Europe at different measures.Europe was among the first continent to be occupied since manexistence and as such, the escalating population growth meant reducedland for production and settlement. That pushed people to settlethroughout Europe in a shorter period. To meet the various needsrequired for human existence, people in Europe had to devise newerand better methods of production to produce what was sufficient tomeet the demand. Moreover, the political systems in Europe exertedmore influence and order to its people, and that led to relationshipand togetherness in economic affairs.

Peoplerelated from different places mostly through trade and business. Withtime, the amount of exchange of goods and services grew exponentiallyin volume and the modes of transport at the time were ineffectivebecause they were very expensive, slow and moved limited commodities.A solution had to be sought to increase the amount of goodstransported and reduce the cost of transportation to increase thetotal economic transactions. None other means of transport played aleading role than the road that had its origin in Rome. The railtransport was the other and had its origin in the United Kingdom, andthe Portuguese were superior in the sea front. Coupled with othermodalities, these three form of transport brought a significantparadigm shift that saw a transformation of the European trade,businesses, and industries (Zanden,2009).

RoadTransport and Industrial Revolution

Supposethe driving factor to the invention of the road transport system canbe traced back to the Roman Empire. During these periods, economic,social-cultural and technological growth were not the main factorspursued by the authorities but rather the need to retain power. Romanemperors had a huge army that maintained order. To facilitatemovement of these Army for the supply of food and ammunition. A goodform of transport system had to be in place to facilitate the same.The Roman Empire then devised a better way that would ensure roadwere dry to avoid mud that stifled movement and in some caseparalyzed movement. The Roman roads were so advanced for such anancient innovation because to date the same technology is used inbuilding roads. First, large and spacious rocks were creatively laidat the bottom to see a raised road. The crushed rocks came at the topwhich ensured sufficient and sustainable drainage of the rain water.These roads were all weather because rain would not be a hinderingfactor. The wheel equipment would then move at a faster speed than itwas before. The Roman army could then be able to move and supply themen at the battlefield with whatever they wanted faster. This can beone of the variables that led to the long existence of the RomanEmpire (Szostak,1991).

Withoutknowing, this would become a milestone in the European transport.With innovations some parts in Europe would pave their roadsdifferently depending on the available material and technology. Someused cement while some used tar extracted from the oil refinery.Bottom-line, the design and structure of the road throughout Europemaintained the ancient Roman Empire design. Roads became a pivotaltool in transporting raw materials and finished commodities to themarket in the internal front. For instance, it is evident in Britainduring the reign of General George Wade, where more than 400kilometers of road was constructed to assist in England pursuit toexercise control over Scotland. Road transport became an importantaspect of all life and would be used by many countries of Europe toconquer in the political, social and economic fronts. Some roads werecarefully done to connect the inland with the sea to facilitateimport and export of commodities.

Legislationacross Europe was enacted pointing the responsibilities of the statesin construction and maintained of roads. Turnpike Act in 1707 in theUnited Kingdom provides such an important aspect of legislation withan intention of bestowing the responsibility of constructing andmaintaining roads. This is because roads had become an importantfactor in the freight of goods and services across the country.Following that act of parliament, other legislation and amendmentshave been enacted with an intention of placing the responsibility ofroad transport for optimum benefits. As such, resources would be usedproperly to ensure that roads are in good shape at all times andfacilitate movement of cargo throughout the country, hencestimulating economic growth. Even Rome had a system of financing andmaintaining the road systems for roads inside Rome and those out ofthe Rome jurisdiction. Development in these two countries suggeststhat road was considered an important political and socio-economicfactor.

Theinvention of the roads and their development in Europe broughtimportant milestone worth noting. First, it increased his speed atwhich finished goods reached the customers in the market. At the sametime, the producer of such goods and services were in a position toget raw materials in time, hence, ensuring the production cycle ismaintained. Instances of shortages, unmet demand, and bottleneck,would come to be limited or eliminated. People were able to move andsettle on long distances away from home, and that facilitatedbusiness creation and self-employment opportunities. Mobility wasgreatly enhanced by roads, and physical proximity was not an issuesince people could easily meet and interact creating a businessnetwork and market for goods produced.

Roadscreated a new opportunity for the motor vehicles industry. It is nodoubt that Europe is one of the best producers of vehicles in theworld. With roads, there was a need to develop wheel equipment thatmoved with advanced speed to increase movement. Many companiesemerged and undertook extensive research and development of theexisting vehicles. It is undisputable that Germany is the worldleading producers of vehicles regarding quality. Many people aroundthe world are still puzzled by the wonderful performance of theGermany machines. Altogether, roads provided an opportunity thatEuropean market identified and positioned themselves as the leadersin producing that commodity. Apart from Germany, France and Britainare also leading producers of these beasts of the road althoughGermany is the father of motor vehicles with Mercedes-Benz,Volkswagen, and audio the desire of many around the world, allproducts from Germany. Road transport continues and will continue toinfluence the social and economic aspects of the European continent(Mokyr,1976).

RailwayTransport in Europe and Its Influence during Industrial Revolution

Withincreased population around Europe, the demand for goods and servicesenormously increased as well. As such, the supply of these finishedproducts though the road transport was becoming difficult becausemeeting the demand was becoming a burden. As such, another form oftransport had to be devised to increase the capacity to transportgoods and services at one time. Railway transport became the onlyoption available at that time little did Europe realize that it wouldbecome a permanent solution. It all started with Matthew Murray whois believed to be the first person to create the first commerciallocomotive. England was well ahead of other nations and hence theneed to handle huge cargo necessitated innovation that lead to aventure in railway transport. England is the pioneers of the railwaytransport in England. Other countries followed suit but France, whichis a neighboring country made significant achievement in railtransport.

Othernotable innovation ions in the rail transport that acted as driversfor its success are George Stephenson, who produced a coal enginepowered train. Railway transport became a common phenomenon in Europewith major European city being interconnected to facilitate trade.With a free trade European market during the 17thand 18thcentury, there was a need for movement of huge capacity goods fromone part of the continent to another a lower cost. Trains enabledthat aspect and proved very beneficial in advancing the economy ofvarious countries of Europe. These ancient trains were slow and usedcrude sources of power although their contribution at the time wasnotable they revolutionized transport systems with rail transportgood would be transported to long distances in huge leads and volumeand much more factor than a single wheeled equipment that would makevarious trips.

Thetrain would become increased the efficiency of moving goods over longdistances. Interdependence between European nations on the economicfront was started during the industrial revolution. Since peoplewould be able to acquire what they did not produce from othernations, they specialized in producing what they were better inproducing. In economics, this is called the aspect of comparativeadvantage. On their part, they would produce goods in huge quantitiesmore than what they need knowing well that the surplus would beexchanged in the market. Specialization was enhanced through sucharrangement, and the result can be seen today because differentcountries are better in producing other produce than others. Railwaytransported helped in removing congestion in roads that lead to theirdestruction. Road transport was used for short distances andperishable commodities while the long distance and durable productswere transported by rail (Wakounig&amp Ruzicic-Kessler, 2011).

Railwaytransport has undergone various transformation aimed at improving itsproductivity. Speed had to be the limiting factor by greater heightmaking it the worst candidate to be considered for the transit ofhumans. However, the train has undergone a rigorous transformationthose and have seen increased in speed and use of power. Most trainin the modern world uses oil fuel and electricity. Europe has asuccessful railway transport due to increased speed and use ofelectricity that see hit train speed almost that of a helicopter.Railway transport is an important aspect of transport in Europe justas it was during the industrial revolution. Many countries in theworld have taken from Europe in the design and structure of therailway transport making Europe a special place. Some remarkably railtransport highlights include the underwater tunnel connecting Englandand France, which also acts as a tourist attraction site (Goodman&amp Chant, 1999).

SeaTransport in Industrial Revolution in Europe

Populationin Europe was becoming an increasing concern, and many countriesthought it important to explore newer grounds. Portugal can be giventhe gratitude in the development of the sea transport that was alsostrategic in Europe`s industrial revolution. The rulers of the timebelieved that across the sea, there was a possibility of land thatcould provide settlement for these people. Christopher Columbusundertook four successful voyages across the Atlantic Ocean toAmerican where they discovered America. Vasco da Gama was alsocommissioned and happened to be the first European to settle on theeast coast of Africa. The voyages would later lead to thecolonization and exploration of resources in Africa and America bythe European. Need for raw materials and supply for the Europeanindustries had grown and so was the market for the goods produced.This new exploration of the world provided an opportunity.

Oncenews went across Europe of the existence of the African and theAmerican continent, investment in exploration ships grew, and the seabecame a very busy place for trade. Nations started to take controlof their waters with an aim of influencing trade. England, forinstance, created the navy that had to oversee the activities takingplace in its waters. Other countries had to follow suite. Britishgained control of the upper part of the greater American continent,which is occupied by the United States and Canada while Spain tookthe southern part except Brazil, which was a Portuguese territory.Africans were taken in these field as slaves where they worked inthese plantation. They would later become a significant population inthe United States history when the United States later gainedindependence. English would become the official language in theUnited States while the south is dominated by Spanish except theBrazilians Portuguese.

Scramblefor and partition of Africa and America destabilized the once strongties in Europe and created rifts. Europe was no longer a free tradearea and each country had its trade restriction. Some worked togetherwhile some interacted for mutual benefit. Each country, therefore,had to up its game to be in front in annexing the world resources.England, Germany, France Italy and some other few countries were theleading players. Tension grew by the day, and many wars started to beexperienced with each territory trying to show might. The first andthe Second World War were fought at the peak of the industrialrevolution due to the high tension. With developed forms of transportin the road, railway and water transport, each country grew ininfluence and wanted to be in control. Affiliations were formed, andthe strong were to survive. Perhaps Germany was fierce in its coursebecause it is reported as a common factor that caused both wars.Water transport connected Europe to the rest of the world, enablingthem to venture in Asia, American, and Africa. British colonizedIndia and, as a result, emerged numerous resources (Dietz,1927).


IndustrialRevolution referred to the period in Europe when there was a drasticdevelopment in the economic, political, social and technologicalfront. The economic front, however, changed significantly, and thatcan be manifested by the extent of Europe aggression in the economicfront in the world. To be successful, there were factors which madeEurope successful in the pursuit of industrialization. Improvement intransport and communication network was the leading factor thatfacilitated economic growth. Transport ensured fast movement of rawmaterials from producers to processors and subsequently finishedgoods from the producers to the customers. The advent of roadtransport particularly can be traced back to the Roman Empire whenthere was great need to move goods from the army. Many countrieslater adopted the structure and design of this road, hence,developing a successful road network.

Trainsand railway transport have their origin from the English people andwould later become among the greatest form of transport. Watertransport enabled identification and location of new continents whichled to colonization. The subsequent struggle to control the land ledto European boundaries, affiliations, conflicts and later war.Nonetheless, Europe continued to experience growth and influence manyevents of the world. Transport have greatly continued to influencethe economic aspects and prospects of the European market up to dateconsidering its strategic position on the world map. However, what isworth noting is that the east part of Europe experienced extensivegrowth than their eastern counterparts despite there been no boundaryduring most of the industrial revolution period. Europe competitiveadvantage gained in many aspects continue to reign despite the risein other countries in the world.


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