DBQ – “Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in England


Doc 1 – The resources that England had which were needed for industrialization were: iron, coal and wool.

            This document would help support the geographical/resource paragraph for the essay question – essentially, England had coal which powered machines, iron which created the machines and wool which the machines made into thread and then textiles.  If the map is to scale, you can also infer that the resources were fairly close to canals or ports which meant less expense and faster shipping to the factories.


Doc 2 – factory workers were available because of the high wages being offered by the factories; therefore, people left their jobs to pursue factory jobs.

            This document supports the geographical/resource paragraph for the essay – factories needed a large, mobile population to work in the factories.


Doc 3 – According to Smith, workers in factories were so productive because they only performed a few operations; if a person had to complete more than just a few operations, the time involved in completing tasks would increase.

            This document supports an innovation paragraph because the idea of the assembly line was first used in the textile mills to increase production. This document could also be used to support the resource paragraph because if there were not so many people available to work in the factories, then there would not be enough people to man the assembly line.


Doc 4 – Geography helped England industrialize because it has coal and iron deposits, as well as wool fairly close together; if these are not accessible via rivers, and then there are many ports through which these resources can be shipped to factories.

            This document aids the resource/geography paragraph as it discusses the coal, iron and wool resources’ proximity to ports and rivers.  These waterways cut down on shipping time and cost, as land shipping is usually more costly due to the length of time it takes. Because thee resources are close together, they can also be easily experimented with, due to the lower shipping costs.


Doc 5 – Innovation led to the Industrial Revolution starting in England through the variety and amount of English thinkers and inventors being able to communicate effectively and quickly about their new farming and factory techniques.  Also, because this community effort was not diluted by illiterate or unskilled laborers, innovators could expand upon the successes of their colleagues and improve said techniques.

            This document would support an innovation/scientific paragraph as it focuses on how English thinkers are able to work on their inventions.


Doc 6 – A student could choose any of these three inventions, he/she just has to explain his/her answer. 

o       Flying shuttle – increases the speed of weaving which then leads to more cloth being produced

o       Spinning jenny – more threads can be produced which means that those can then be woven into cloth much faster; because it can be used at home, cottage industries (industries started in homes in addition to regular jobs for additional pay; contract work by merchants) spring up

o       Water frame – uses water to more consistently power a spinning machine; can cut down on the amount of time needed for thread to be spun via manpower; also cuts down on amount of cost because less people are needed to spin thread

o       Power loom – water powered means less human power and cost needed, weaves thread into cloth allows for less human intervention and cost; will also produce faster results because water-power is usually more powerful and faster than human power.

o       Cotton gin – American invention in the early 1800s which drives down the amount of time needed to harvest cotton, separates the seeds from the cotton, reintroduces need for slavery in America, produce cheaper cotton to be spun into thread & then woven into cloth

            This document can be used in an innovation paragraph as it focuses on what inventions produced which results.  It could also be used to support a resource paragraph as it infers that with these inventions, less people were needed to work, so more people were available to work in factories.  It could also be used to support a factory paragraph as it describes the inventions that created the first textile mills, the first industry in England.


Doc 7 – The result of these changes in agriculture in England were that

o       Stock breeding improved the quality and amount of meat, milk and wool; resources needed to feed and cloth a growing and industrial nation. 

o       Horse-drawn seed drill planted seeds in straight rows which meant that fewer people were needed to plant crops and that mechanical reapers could then harvest the crops easier.

            This document could support an innovation paragraph due to the improvements in agriculture which are able to support a growing number of city dwellers due to increased harvests.  It could also support a resource paragraph as it infers that less people are needed on farms to plant and harvest crops; therefore, people are available to work in factories.


Doc 8 – These four changes enabled England to industrialize more easily because enclosures allowed large farms to operate without the interference of peasant needs, four year rotation of crops allowed each part of the land to be utilized every year in a different way, new crops provided cheap sources of food for both humans and animals, the country being divided into large farms allowed the land to be used more effectively and efficiently, thus driving up the production of food, yet lowering the cost of that same food.

            This document would support a resource paragraph as it describes how farms create more food and infers that more people are available for other jobs.  It could also support a political paragraph as it states that Parliament id not interfere with the consolidation of land into large farms.


Doc 9 – Two reasons cited by Knowles to explain industrialization in England are: the lack of internal tariffs in England and the lack of political interference in business.

            This document would support a political paragraph as it states that England’s freedom in politics and economics, as compared to other countries like France and Germany where businesses are strictly regulated and shipping costs are prohibitive toward industrial development, led to its status as being the first country to industrialize.


Remember – these support paragraphs are only suggestive; there could be other variations of support which have not yet occurred to the author and which you may want to inform your colleagues of.