CBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes: Industrialisation in the Colonies
The term “colonial industrialization” refers to the process by which European colonial powers of the 18th and 19th centuries established industrial economies in the countries they had conquered. It significantly altered the colonial economy, government, and society.
The Roots of Colonial America’s Industrial Revolution
- The raw materials used in Europe’s factories came from the colonies.
- The European superpowers sought to increase demand for their manufactured goods.
- The availability of low-cost labour in the colonies lowered production costs.
As a result of industrialization, the colonies experienced:
Industrialization sparked urbanisation in the colonies.
The increased need for raw materials necessitated the further plundering of the colonies’ natural wealth.
Traditional colonial power structures were challenged by the rise of a new social class of industrialists and capitalists.
Growth in communication and transportation infrastructure aided in the free flow of goods and people across the colonies.
There was a rise in the urban working class after the advent of wage labour and the factory system.
As a result of industrialization, nationalist movements flourished, and citizens demanded more autonomy from their colonial rulers.
The Colonies’ Early Attempts at Industrialization
The industrialization of India can be traced back to the British, who brought the factory system and textile mills to the country, boosting the development of cities like Bombay and Calcutta.
Africa: Mining and plantation industries were established by European powers, leading to the exploitation of the continent’s resources and the development of major urban centres like Johannesburg and Nairobi.
Indonesian cities like Jakarta and Surabaya owe their existence to the rubber plantations established by the Dutch in the 1600s.
Overall, the colonies’ social, economic, and political structures were significantly altered as a result of industrialization. Cities and industries flourished as a result, but at the expense of natural resources, and a new elite of wealthy industrialists and capitalists was born.