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How did the Industrial Revolution transform British society?

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One of the long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution in Britain was its effect upon the countryside. Large numbers of men, women, and children moved from rural villages to the new factories in search of better opportunities. As time went on, the age-old structures and rhythms of country life changed dramatically. Country folk were part of a society in which they had been closely attached to the soil since time immemorial. Their whole world revolved around the village and its life. Every aspect of their lives was determined by their relationship to the natural environment: their work and play, their births, their marriages, and their deaths.

All of that changed when country folk moved to the rapidly-developing towns and cities. Here, they felt isolated, no longer part of a wide support structure which provided not just assistance during the bad times but also a sense of identity. Newly-arrived workers from the countryside were suddenly turned into cogs in a gigantic economic...

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