Dictionaries say this expression refers to "the period, expecially in the 18th-19th centuries in Europe, when machines were invented and the first factories were established". But this expression doesn't give us the deep sense of this event. In fact the words "industrial" and "revolution" mark the deep change inside the society, as a direct effect of the transformations change inside the society, as a direct effect of the transormations in the field of the productive system.
The elements from wich the Industrial Revolution developed and the elements the event carried along with itself are:
Inventions and technical improvements;
Investments and capital accumulation;
Spirit of enterprise and State role;
Development of the cities and the workers' matter;
So let's consider these points one by one:
Inventions and technical improvements
We can find plenty of new inventions in the textile fild but the most important change is the discovery of the Steam Engine by Watt. The increasing of the industrial activity helped, as a consequence, the development in the transport field: roads were improved, canals were built and above all steamers and railway were put into use.
Investments and capital accumulation
The birth of factories was favoured by the investments some men from the middle class and the gentry made with the money they had accumulated. From that time on capitalism became the economic system of the free market, dominated by profit laws.
Spirit of enterprise and State role
Both spirit of enterprise and State role were necessary at the beginning of industrialization. The aim of the State was the planning of industrialization and its role became greater and greater in the course of time. On the other hand spirit of enterprise came to be very important because it exploits the investment which is the main element of the productive system.
Development of the cities and the workers' matter
With the rise of factories we can see a fast development of the cities. In the social field the middle classes and the workers became more and more important. From this moment on we can see the beginning of the struggle between these two classes. In fact workers began to protest for their condition and a group of them, luddites, showed their protest by destroying the machines of the factories.
Agrarian revolution essentially consisted in the enclosing of "common" land to define legal rights of ownership and in the elimination of the "open-field" system of cultivation, both existing since medieval times. This organization of agriculture improved the quality and quantity of harvest, because a clear definition of property encouraged landlords to introduce the use of new agricultural machinery and to experiment with new methods of irrigation, drainage, crop rotation, the use of fertilizer, etc..., wich produced great advantages for the nation as a whole. But these deep changed brought about by the Enclosure Acts greatly impoverished both landless poor and the small free-holders because from that time on they could exploit resources of "common" land. As a consequence, many of them sold their holdings and either became landless labourers working for the great landowners or migrated to the new industrial towns causing a real demographic revolution. In fact population increased expecially in towns.