Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hi, I’m John Green; this is Crash Course World History and today we’re going to discuss the series of events that made it possible for you to watch Crash Course. And also made this studio possible. And made the warehouse containing the studio possible. A warehouse, by the way, that houses stuff for warehouses. That’s right, it’s time to talk about the industrial revolution. Although it occurred around the same time as the French, American, Latin American, and Haitian Revolutions— between, say, 1750 and 1850— the industrial revolution was really the most revolutionary of the bunch. No way, dude. All those other revolutions resulted in, like, new borders and flags and stuff. We’ve studied 15,000 years of history here at Crash Course, Me from the Past. And borders and flags have changed plenty, and they’re going to keep changing. [that's a twofer: awesome + ominous] But in all that time, nothing much changed about the way we disposed of waste [g'luck with toilet teching, Bill Gates!] or located drinking water or acquired clothing. Most people lived on or very close to the land that provided their food. [like above an Eata Pita?] Except for a few exceptions, life expectancy never rose above 35 or below 25. Education was a privilege not a right. In all those millennia, we never developed a weapon that could kill more than a couple dozen people at once, or a way to travel faster than horseback. For 15,000 years, most humans never owned or used a single item made outside of their communities. Simon Bolivar didn’t change that and neither did the American Declaration of Independence. You have electricity? Industrial revolution. Blueberries in February? Industrial revolution. You live somewhere other than a farm? Industrial revolution. You drive a car? Industrial revolution. You get twelve years of free, formal education? [peep the creepy teacher in the back] Industrial revolution. Your bed, your antibiotics, your toilet, your contraception, your tap water, your every waking and sleeping second: [mongol-tage footage!] Industrial revolution. [Intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] Here’s one simple statistic that sums it up: Before the industrial revolution, about 80% of the world’s population was engaged in farming to keep itself and the other 20% of people from starving. Today, in the United States, less than 1% of people list their occupation as farming. I mean, we’ve come so far that we don’t even have to farm flowers anymore. Stan, are these real, by the way? I can’t tell if they’re made out of foam or digital. So what happened? TECHNOLOGY! Here’s my definition: The industrial revolution was an increase in production brought about by the use of machines [get ready to man-suit up, Skynet] and characterized by the use of new energy sources. Although this will soon get more complicated, for our purposes today, industrialization is NOT capitalism— although, as we will see next week, it is connected to modern capitalism. And, the industrial revolution began around 1750 and it occurred across most of the earth, but it started in Europe, especially Britain. What happened? Well, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The innovations of the Industrial Revolution were intimately interconnected. Like, look, for instance, at the British textile industry: The invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay in 1733 dramatically increased the speed of weaving, which in turn created demand for yarn, which led to inventions like the Spinning Jenny and the waterframe. [& later, Princess Leia bun sock hats] Soon these processes were mechanized using water power, until the steam engine came along to make flying shuttles really fly in these huge cotton mills. The most successful steam engine was built by Thomas “They Didn’t Name Anything After Me” Newcomen [is that Dutch?] to clear water out of mines. And because water was cleared out of those mines, there was more coal to power more steam engines, which eventually led to the fancying up of the Newcomen Steam Engine by James “I Got a Unit of Power and a University Named After Me” Watt, [Farnsworth's raw deal tops, even still] whose engine made possible not only railroads and steamboats but also ever-more efficient cotton mills. [the touch, the feel… of technology] And, for the first time, chemicals other than stale urine, [you must be kidding] I wish I was kidding, were being used to bleach the cloth that people wore— the first of which was sulfuric acid, [sounds super chafey] which was created in large quantities only thanks to lead-lined chambers, which would’ve been impossible without lead production rising dramatically right around 1750 in Britain, thanks to lead foundries powered by coal. And all these factors came together to make more yarn that could be spun and bleached faster and cheaper than ever before, a process that would eventually culminate in $18 Crash Course Mongols shirts. [no exceptions!&$%# ] [ha] Available now at DFTBA.com. Thanks, Thought Bubble, for that shameless promotion of our beautiful, high-quality t-shirts available now at DFTBA.com. [TeamCrashCourse: lousy with subtlty] So, the problem here is that with industrialization being so deeply interconnected, it’s really difficult to figure out why it happened in Europe, especially Britain. And that question of why turns out to be one of the more contentious discussions in world history today. For instance, here are some Eurocentric reasons why industrialization might have happened first in Europe: There’s the cultural superiority argument that basically holds that Europeans are just better and smarter than other people. [somebody explain Mr. Bean then] Sometimes this is formulated as Europeans possessing superior rationality. By the way, you’ll never guess where the people who make this argument tend to come from— unless you guessed that they come from Europe. And then, others argue that only Europe had the culture of science and invention that made the creation of these revolutionary technologies possible. Another argument is that freer political institutions encouraged innovation and strong property rights created incentives for inventors. And, finally, people often cite Europe’s small population because small populations require labor-saving inventions. Oh, it’s time for the Open Letter? [it's not the yellow chair he's rolling over to so I just can't bear to look.] An Open Letter to the Steam Engine. But first, let’s see what’s in the secret compartment today. Oh, it’s a Tardis. [you're welcome, Whovians] Truly the apex of British industrialization. Dear Steam Engine, You know what’s crazy? You’ve really never been improved upon. Like this thing, which facilitates time travel, probably runs on a steam engine. [Eye of Harmony > steam engine, ftr] Almost all electricity around the world, whether it’s from coal or nuclear power, is just a steam engine.