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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 to an industrial state (c.f.). This social and economic change is closely intertwined with technological innovation, particularly the development of large-scale energy production and metallurgy. Industrialization 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 industrialization or vice-versa is subject to debate.

When capitalized, Industrial Revolution refers to the first known industrial revolution, which took place in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. (c.f.) The Second Industrial Revolution describes later, somewhat less dramatic changes which came about with the widespread availability of Electric power and the Internal-combustion engine.

Pre-industrial economies generally rely on sustenance standards of living, whereby the population focuses collective resources on producing only what can be consumed by the population, though there have also been quite a few pre-industrial economies with trade and commerce as a significant factor.

Many third world countries began industrialization under the influence of either the United States or the USSR during the Cold War.

See also