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The Industrial Revolution, occurring first in Britain in the early eighteenth century, saw a huge movement away from the countryside to the growing towns and cities. With this process there was a natural break down in the 'community' of the village that surrounded the village church and saw the local priest as a close member of the community. Naturally the larger industrial societies began to see a detachment of society away from 'God' and prayer, however there was a huge growth in church movements such as the Methodists amongst the working classes. Leading members of society wished to promote 'thrift, hard work and sobriety;' turning the working classes away from drink and loose living. The teetotal thought behing Methodism was something employers siezed on and the Industrial Revolution saw a huge growth in the Methodist Church. Also groups such as the Salvation Army grew through the new Cities, and church groups promoted working class hobbies such as the Brass Band movement. Victorian England still largely saw the Church at the heart of life inspite of the new cities.
I believe that, due to the suffering that occured, even when promised that prosperity would come, religion was a faith in which faith was depleted greatly during the Industrial Revolution, as confidence from the human being capable of producing life-saving inventions (which, initially, only God could make) gave them the audacity to ask questions regarding personal philosophy and spirituality, away from the supernatural diety and more towards the logical, easier to understand theory called SCIENCE, which was backed up by many increasingly popular theorists, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin, as we know them today.
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