How the Industrial Revolution Affected Great Britain


From the later part of the 18th century through the early 19th century, Great Britain underwent an incredible change in virtually all aspects of their lives – thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Scientific developments and technological inventions brought forth growth in both faming production and industrial output, a huge expansion in their economy as well as huge changes in living conditions. This brought about a brand new sense of national pride. Perhaps the biggest changes occurred in rural regions, where landscapes became urban and industrialized after sharp advances in farming, industry and shipping. Wealth began to accumulate in these regions and country banking was needed for the first in history.


Agriculture had been the backbone of the British economy for many centuries. But in the 18th century,  new farming systems started an agricultural revolution that created much larger amounts of crops and fed the growing population. In the early 19th century, land became quite important in terms of both political and economic power. The aristocracy typically owned most of the countryside, with their tenants farming and raising livestock. Now there were new kinds of tools, fertilizers and harvesting methods that greatly increased productivity and agricultural wealth. However, in spite of urbanization and industrialization, farming still remained a major provider of employment within the provinces. Over time, geographical specialization of crops were established, with southeast England assigned to grow grain for example, and Scotland or Leicestershire was assigned to breed and raise cattle and sheep.


During the mid-18th century, the growth in population and foreign trade brought forth a bigger demand for manufactured goods. Mass production was accomplished by using steam power instead of water and animal power. The inventions of new technology and machinery increase production even more. Among other inventions, it was steam power that really served as the catalyst for the bold Industrial Revolution.

Coal also became a huge factor in the progression of industrialization; it was heavily used for producing steam power that industry needed. Developments in mining technology help assure that more and more coal would be available to power all the factories and propel all the railway trains and steamships. Britain’s cotton industry became internationally vital, but so did metalworking and the manufacture of soap, glass, and earthenware.

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