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Industrial Change in Britain

Uploaded by Honeybee984 on Jul 29, 2001

Industrial Change in Britain:'There was frequent and widespread discontent’ How accurate is this statement?


The Industrial Revolution is a term describing the many changes that transformed Great Britain from approximately 1760 and 1830. The main feature was the change to the factory system that depended on power driven machinery instead of manpower and the rapid growth of the cotton industry. The Industrial Revolution occurred because the scientists and inventors used their imaginations to develop new products and to exploit the opportunities of booming markets. Examples of this occurred in the textile, pottery and iron industries. The development of mining, particularly of the widespread use of coal, road improvements due to the road tolls, the building of canals, the growth of coastal shipping and the later rise of the railways were all crucial in the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain meant that the country could import cotton, woollen goods, iron and steel, machinery, hardware and coal on a huge scale. Other countries were not so industrialised therefore Great Britain had a strong advantage over them.

Factory owners were able to move their products around the country more quickly, more cheaply and with greater safety than previously. For example, Britain’s main fuel was coal. As the towns grew they needed more coal. The coal was heavy and difficult to transport by road. During this time many canals were built and soon a canal network made transporting coal, merchandise and communicating a lot easier. During the Industrial Revolution, the cotton industry rapidly increased with the invention of an improved spinning wheel powered by water. These machines were quickly mass-produced for factory use. Factories could be built in the towns and employ many workers. The cotton industry saw rapid growth and needed many workers to keep it going.

The increase in factories and employment meant that there was a huge amount of work to do. Many children obtained work in the factories instead of attending school. Before the Industrial Revolution, families worked hard but could also rest when they could not work. In the factories, children and adults alike were expected to work very long hours and hardly ever had free time at home. In some cases, children worked from 3am to 10pm. Children could easily be trained to work in the textile industries because it was made up of simple tasks. Sunday was a day of rest, yet in some factories, the children...

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Uploaded by:   Honeybee984

Date:   07/29/2001

Category:   European History

Length:   4 pages (1,009 words)

Views:   1271

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