The Industrial Revolution around the turn of the 19th century used manufacturing advancements to spur society from economies based on agriculture and handicrafts to large-scale industries, changing how populations grew and organized themselves. Join Rick as he explores the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, follows the impacts of manufacturing across Europe, and considers the state of industrialization today.
Refer to the "Notes to Viewers" below for a list of comprehension questions, discussion prompts, and project ideas to guide you through the playlist and further your learning.
Notes to Viewers
1. Why is England’s Ironbridge considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution? What material did it make widely available, and what was the impact of this material?
2. How is the work of the candlestick maker and printer in the Blists Hill Victorian Town an example of industrialization?
3. What were the dominant industries in Cornwall historically? What is the dominant industry today?
4. Why were Cornwall’s engine houses built? Why were they later abandoned?
5. Where did the Cornish tin miners go after the tin industry in Cornwall died? What does it mean when Rick says, “Cornish mining had a diaspora in the 1800s”?
6. Which industry was most important in Lyon, France during the Industrial Revolution? What was the influence of the Jacquard loom on this industry?
7. Why were the windows in Lyon’s factories so large? What does this suggest about the lives of Industrial Age workers? Would you want to work in one of these factories? Why or why not?
8. What examples does the Netherlands offer of the relationship between the natural world and industry?
9. Why was Hamburg’s busy port abandoned? What has modern society done to revitalize it?
10. Why was Hamburg once called “Europe’s gateway to the world”?
11. What does Ethiopia have to offer the rest of the world in terms of resources?
12. How is Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park an example of continued industrialization in the modern world?
13. What is a good definition of industrialization? What factors made industrialization possible? How did industrialization influence European populations and the ways in which they organized themselves geographically? How has industrialization influenced the way your community is organized?
14. What is an example of an industrial neighborhood or city in your area? How do you know this? What does an industrial area look, sound, and smell like? What are the stereotypes about people from industrial areas? Why do these stereotypes exist?
15. Using examples from the playlist, what causes industries to grow, and what eventually causes industries to die? What are the major industries in your area? Do you think the industry is currently growing or dying? What are the repercussions of this growth or decline in your community?
16. Using examples from the playlist, what are most societies like before industrialization, during their industrial peak, and after the primary sources of industrialization leave? When it leaves one place, where does the work of industrialization go? What do you think the future holds for the community around the Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia?
17. How is industry tied to the natural world? How do you think climate change will affect industries around the globe? Which industries will be most affected? Are there any industries that could benefit from climate change?
18. Today, we live in the Third Industrial Revolution, also known as the Digital Revolution. How do you think modern technology has influenced industrialization? What new industries are booming in the Digital Age, and what industries are dying? How has the Digital Revolution impacted the lives of individual workers and the ways in which society organizes itself? What do you think the next revolution will be?
19. Find an adult who worked in a certain industry for multiple decades. Interview them about what changes they saw in the industry during their career. Did the industry boom? Did it fail? What technological advancements happened during their career? How did if affect their work? Once you complete the interview, write two journal entries from their perspective—one from their first year working in the industry and one from their last year working in the industry. Include details about their daily work life, the equipment they use, and their thoughts on the industry as a whole.
20. Choose an industry to research. Read a few articles about the industry. Then, create an illustrated timeline of the industry. Include important technological advancements, booms, impacts on the local population, and declines.
21. Choose a modern industry and dream up an invention that could transform it. Imagine that you have a meeting with the top executives in the industry. Create a presentation complete with visuals to pitch them on your product, and tell them what long-term effects this invention will have on the industry.
22. Watch Rick's special on fighting global hunger. List all the ways that you see industrialization at work in Guatemala and Ethiopia. How is industrialization in these countries today similar and how is it different from industrialization in 19th century Europe? How do you think these developing nations will look in ten, fifty, or a hundred years?
WA SOCIAL STUDIES LEARNING STANDARDS: E1.9-10.1, E2.9-10.2, G1.9-10.2, G2.9-10.2, G2.9-10.3, H1.9-10.2, H2.9-10.3