The Industrial Revolution, which spanned between 1750 and 1850, was characterized by a significant economic expansion that started in Britain before being adopted in other parts of the world. The Industrial Revolution contributed to economic growth in various ways. In particular, the shift from agricultural production to manufacturing triggered unprecedented economic progress during the industrialization period.
The change witnessed in the production sector during the Industrial Revolution called for the specialization of the prevailing labor force, which, in turn, fostered the efficiency of manufacturing activities in the British economy. As Hartwell argues, the migration of workers from a peasant economy to an industrial one prompted an improvement of the national income. It also mitigated the issue of unemployment during the 18th century. In this regard, the Industrial Revolution enhanced economic advancement by addressing the issue of joblessness and, consequently, the productivity of the workforce.
Furthermore, the industrial revolution fostered the availability of excess capital in economies such as Britain, thereby enhancing international trade. According to Hartwell, the per capita income rise witnessed in Britain during the Industrial Revolution prompted the country to take a leading role in matters regarding the global economy. As such, Britain, among other industrialized countries, depended on the international financial system to source input materials, as well as the market for manufactured goods. Consequently, revenue realized from intercontinental trade contributed to the growth of economies that participated in the Industrial Revolution. Thus, improved productivity of the labor force was also witnessed, hence raising the availability of capital and promoting international trade.