Industrialisation (or industrialization) or an industrial revolution (in general, with lowercase letters) is a process of social and economic change whereby a human society is transformed from a pre-industrial to an industrial state (c.f.). This social and economic change is closely intertwined with technological innovation, particularly the development of large-scale energy production and metallurgy. Industrialisation is also related to some form of philosophical change, or to a different attitude in the perception of nature, though whether these philosophical changes are caused by industrialization or vice-versa is subject to debate.
Pre-industrial economies often rely on sustenance standards of living, whereby large portions of the population focus their collective resources on producing only what can be consumed by them, though there have also been quite a few pre-industrial economies with trade and commerce as a significant factor, enjoying wealth far beyond a sustenance standard of living. Famines were frequent in most pre-industrial societies, although some, such as the Netherlands and England of the 17th and 18th centuries were able to escape the famine cycle through increasing trade and commercialization of the agricultural sector.
The Industrial Revolution was the major technological, socioeconomic and cultural change in the late 18th and early 19th century resulting from the replacement of an economy based on manual labor to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture.
The causes of the Industrial Revolution were complex and remain a topic for debate, with some historians seeing the Revolution as an outgrowth of social and institutional changes wrought by the end of feudalism in Great Britain after the English Civil War in the 17th century.
This "second" Industrial Revolution gradually grew to include the chemical industries, petroleum refining and distribution, electrical industries, and, in the twentieth century, the automotive industries, and was marked by a transition of technological leadership from Great Britain to the United States and Germany.
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