Comparative Economic Development

Industrialization of the society had positive as well as negative impact on societies. In Britain as well as in US, industrial revolution has led to inexpensive goods, transportation, and communication developments. From the others side, such issues as pollution, child labor and over-crowding of cities were also raised. Even though there were some differences between US and Britain in terms of industrial revolution, there is a respectable degree of similarities between the two revolutions (More, 2000: p.17-18).
The causes of industrial revolution in Britain are still debated while most of the historians think that the revolution was the result of the social and institutional changes after the English Civil War. The following British Agricultural Revolution improved the efficiency of food production – farms became less dependent on human labor and people were forced into the cities attracted by the new opportunities in factories. England was expanding colonially and new financial markets have been created in the result of the international trade. Technological advances appeared all the time, steam engine being of the highest importance because transportation development gave the opportunity trade development. In addition, Great Britain had vast availability of the key resources and the dense population for the small geographic unit (Berlanstein, 1992: p. 57). For example, the availability of the coal, iron, tin and water power created the perfect environment for the further expansion of industry.
The industrial revolution in US has started after the Civil War. Unlike Great Britain when the industrial growth was spontaneous and fast growing, US already had some industrial developments and after the Civil War they started to expand to include petroleum refining, steel manufacturing and electrical power. The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain was completed in the same steps as in US with the only difference that US people already had an example to follow – British. Industrial expansion has changed the American society – two new classes appeared: rich industrialists and prosperous middle class workers (Green, 1939: p. 68). If British industry was self-sufficient, the American industry greatly benefited from the newly arrived immigrants and migrants from rural areas who were willing to work for low payment.
As the result, in the 18th century the landed aristocracy became the ruling class in Britain. More and more people were moving to cities – their land was either abandoned or sold at the very low price. Rich people were willing to buy the land and as the result their property increased significantly. Further, these people invested funds into factories and machinery. There were two classes of aristocrats – those who were historically rich and came from noble families and those who managed to get land in the result of rural-urban migration (More, 2000: p. 95). The similar situation was in America with the only difference that land owners did not encourage people to migrate – there was enough land for everybody but there was nobody to work on it. Industrial revolution has much increased the power of landed aristocracy in America because they were able to reduce human power expenses.
The trade issue was of significant importance for both nations, British and American. The most important difference was the