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The Industrial Revolution

A History in Documents

Laura L. Frader

Publication Date - April 2006

ISBN: 9780195128178

160 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.95

A telling in informative documents of the Industrial Revolution.


The Industrial Revolution: A History in Documents uses a wide variety of primary source documents to chronicle a period of great international social and technological change that began in England in the 18th century. Improvements were made to the steam engine that meant that many tasks that had been done by hand in the past could be mechanized. With locomotives and steamships, goods could now be transported very quickly and within a reasonably predictable time. Other changes included the use of iron and steel, invention of new machines that increased production (including the spinning jenny), development of the factory system, and important developments in transportation and communication (including the telegraph). Thay all led to agricultural improvements, a wider distribution of wealth, political changes reflecting the shift in economic power, and sweeping social changes. This book relies on primary sources such as personal diaries, advice books, poems, business reports, letters, photos, and essays to tell the story behind this rapidly changing period and its far-reaching effects.


  • Uses a wide variety of primary source documents to chronicle a period of great international social and technological change that began in England in the 18th century
  • The author introduces and places in context letters, diaries, government reports, laws, songs and poems, association statements, newspaper articles, posters, paintings, illustrations, and photographs of artifacts
  • Emphasizes the socially complex results of the Industrial Revolution, including the great hardships the new labor force experienced

About the Author(s)

Dr. Frader is a Professor of history at Northeastern University. She specializes in French social and labor history and European women's and gender history, and has written extensively on these topics. Her publications include Peasants and Protest: Agricultural Workers, Politics and Unions in the Aude, 1850-1914 (University of California Press, 1991); Gender and Class in Modern Europe (co-edited with Sonya O. Rose, Cornell University Press,1996), Race in France: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Difference (co-edited with Herrick Chapman, Berghahn, 2004); The Industrial Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2006); and Breadwinners and Citizens: Gender in the Making of the French Social Model (Duke University Press, 2008) as well as many articles in English and French-language journals. She has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Modern History and French Historical Studies, and serves on the editorial board of French Politics, Culture, and Society.

Table of Contents

    What is a Document?
    How to Read a Document?

    Chapter One: Before the Industrial Revolution

    Hard Work in the Countryside
    The Power of Guilds
    Labor Bondage
    Rural Revolution

    Chapter Two: The Age of Machines

    The New Spirit of Enterprise
    The Force of Steam
    Race and Gender
    Harsh Discipline and Awful Conditions

    Chapter Three: Picture Essay: A Childhood at Work

    Chapter Four: The Family and Private Life in the Industrial Age

    Middle-Class Ideals
    Working-Class Realities
    Juggling Work and Family
    The Endless Day

    Chapter Five: Global Repercussions

    World Trade in Slaves
    Empire Building
    Global Industrialization

    Chapter Six: Protest and Resistance

    From Violence to Organization
    Socialism and Revolution
    International Movements
    omen's Place: Home or Factory?
    Governments Take Action

    Further Reading
    Text Credits
    Picture Credits