Britain was the first nation in the world to experience an industrial revolution and these were the decades that saw the start of this process. Britain had already undergone an agricultural revolution from the Elizabethan era onward whereby enclosure of land had modernised farming and meant that the nation escaped the Malthusian population trap, whereby the population would grow beyond the food supplyand see the excess population drop off. A range of factors in Britain combined making the ideal conditions for the inducstrial revolution to take place. Firstly a wealthy middle class of merchants were ready to invest in new ventures, the agriculture growth enabled the population to grow and be fed providing a new urban based workforce. The growing colonial empire provided raw materials and a ready market for goods which the British were keen to export around the world. With regard to transport Britain was lucky as it was an island and had invested in the navy and merchant shipping for some time. Lastle the Bank of England was solid and there was spare money in the system meaning investmen opportunities could be backed. Add to this coal and iron deposits and an established woolen industry and Britain would be ready for development. These decades saw the development of the industrial revolution, the increasing growth of the new towns and the development of mining. These were the years when the merchant classes expanded into early industry and the canal era. The canal era reached a head during this time period and the UK had the first effective canal system to transport heavy materials such as coal to the ports and this was very helpful during an era when the roads were still medieval and slow.