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Industrialisation (also spelt 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 (an economy where the amount of capital accumulated per capital is low) to an industrial state (see Pre-industrial society). 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 industrialisation or vice-versa is subject to debate. The world's first industrialised city was Manchester in northwest England.

Industrialisation has spawned its own health problems. Modern stressors include noise, air, water pollution, poor nutrition, dangerous machinery, impersonal work, isolation, poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse. Health problems in industrial nations are as much caused by economic, social, political, and cultural factors as by pathogens. Industrialisation has become a major medical issue world wide, and hopefully will become less of a problem over the upcoming years.

When capitalised, Industrial Revolution refers to the first industrial revolution, which took place in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Second Industrial Revolution describes later, somewhat less dramatic changes which came about with the widespread availability of electric power, the internal-combustion engine and assembly lines.

Most pre-industrial economies had standards of living not much above subsistence, meaning that the majority of the population were focused on producing their means of survival. For example, in medieval Europe, 80% of the labour force was employed in subsistence agriculture.

The countries in green are considered to be the current industrialising nations (see: Newly industrializing countries). China and India (in dark green) are special cases.

Some pre-industrial economies, such as Ancient Athens, have had trade and commerce as significant factors, 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, the Italian city states of the 15th century and the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations were able to escape the famine cycle through increasing trade and commercialisation of the agricultural sector. It is estimated that 17th century Netherlands imported nearly 70% of its grain supply and 5th century BC Athens imported 75% of its total food supply.

Many third world countries began industrialisation under the influence of either the United States or the USSR during the Cold War. This effort has been successful in many East Asian countries and less successful in other areas (excluding some late industrialisers in Europe that were already progressing fast before the second world war).

The currently prevailing "development paradigm" in the international development community (which means the World Bank, OECD, many United Nations departments and some other such organisations) is poverty reduction, which pays attention to economic growth as such, but does not recognise traditional industrialisation policies as being beneficial in the longer term (with the perception that it simply creates inefficient local industry that is useless in a free-trade dominated world).

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cs:Industrializace da:Industrialisering de:Industrialisierung es:Industrialización fr:Industrialisation gl:Industrialización ko:산업화 hr:Industrijalizacija lt:Industrializacija nl:Industrialisatie ja:工業化 no:Industrialisering pt:Industrialização ru:Индустриализация fi:Teollistuminen uk:Індустріалізація


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