How was Britain affected when industrialization took place?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are many ways in which Britain was affected by industrialization.  Let us look at two of the most important ways.

First, Britain’s society changed dramatically.  Before industrialization, Britain had been a much more rural country.  Many more people farmed.  While people were not exactly independent, they had more control over the circumstances of their work.  After industrialization, many more people lived in cities and worked in factories.  Their situations were often very difficult, as can be seen in things like the books of Charles Dickens.  The sorts of social ties that had bound people together and had helped them to get by in the country were lacking.  This constituted a major change.

Second, Britain became economically and politically more powerful.  As the first country to industrialize, Britain got a jump on other countries.  The early industrialization of Britain was perhaps the major factor that made it the preeminent world power in the 1800s.  Without the economic boost of industrialization and the effects of industrialization on Britain’s military power, it might not have been as rich and powerful as it was.