Why did Britain change during the industrial revolution of 1750-1900?

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ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the big changes in Britain during the industrial revolution was the movement of people from low paying farms to better paying factory jobs.  The move was made from necessity to feed families.  Farm labourers were lured in because of the number of jobs the cities held.  During this time housing facilities were being built very quickly and poorly.  Many families had to live in two room apartments with no running water or indoor plumbing.  Child labour was utilized in the cities.  The children were sometimes working as young as 5 years old. They made little money and were treated badly.

This was also a time a positive change for the country.  Britain became a leading nation in industry.  Due to this, the country's financial status improved.  As Britain's finances grew and improved people were able to educate themselves better.  This lead to new technology and  innovations in medicine which allowed for better overall health of citizens.

During the Industrial Revolution fashion became more complex because of the invention of the sewing machine and the use of patterns.  "Women's fashion began to balloon out with ruffles, decorations and petticoats."

lit24 | Student

During this period (1750-1800) the population of the country more than doubled. This dramatic increase in the population expanded the labor force and it increased the demand for goods and services. This indirectly further spurred the industrial revolution which proved economically beneficial.

The rapid industrialization and the increasing population contributed to the process of urbanization and soon Britain became the world's first urbanized society.

There were remarkable developments in the transportation system. Better roads and the canal system enabled goods to be transported cheaply and quickly. The revolution in transportation culminated in the beginnings of the railway system.

The Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions resulted in the rise of a newly rich bourgeois or middle class. However, ownership of land was the single important marker of social status. The newly rich industrial and commercial class often tried to purchase social status by buying up land from the rural gentry.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Industrial revolution refers to the great changes in form of rapid development of industrialization that took place during the 1700's and early 1800's in the in several parts of the world.

Starting in 1700"s in Great Britain the Industrial Revolution started spreading to other parts of Europe and to North America in the early 1800's, becoming widespread in western Europe and the northeastern United States by mid 1800's.

Industrial Revolution changed the Western world from a basically rural and agricultural based society to a predominantly urban and industrial society. In addition to the changes in way people used technology, the Industrial Revolution also caused great changes in people's way of life, and the social systems. These changes can be attributed to several factors including Greater and cheaper production of many goods including many new products which mad life easier of people, the increasing importance of capital in production, need for centralized location of production activities, and deskilling of work.

Mass production using machines displaced some workers, but others found new job opportunities working with machinery.  Both workers and employers had to adjust to a new cold and impersonal relationship.  In addition, most workers lived and worked under harsh conditions in the expanding industrial cities.

The close relatiionship that often exised between employers and employees under earlier system, became impossible in the large factories of the which developed as a result of Industrial Revolution.

The working day in factories than - about 12 to 14 hours a day for six days a week - was about same as that existed earlier. But because of needs to keep the machines running for the maximum time employees were forced to work faster and without rest

Jobs became more specialized, and the work monotonous. As the production using old technologies became comparatively uneconomical, artisans lost their traditional means of livelihood and were forced to work in factories at very low wages. Women and children who also worked as unskilled labourers earned even lower wages a small fraction of men's low wages.  Children as young, as under 10 years of age, also worked in factories resulting in great damage to their health.

Rapid urbanization was not accompanied by development of proper housing. This resulted in development of overcrowded slums where people lived in extremely unsanitary conditions causing many diseases.

Workers were not permitted to vote and could do little legally to improve their condition.  In Britain law forbade workers from joining trade unions. But some workers did form trade unions and also went on strike or rioted.

However the conditions of the working class improved gradually during the 1800's.  Law forbidding trade unions were repealed and new laws regulating factory conditions to ensure better working conditions were passed. A Reform Bill passed in 1932, gave most middle-class men the right to vote.  Another Bill, passed in 1867, granted voting rights to many city workers and owners of small farms.

Although the working class people in the lowest economic strata became poorer during the Industrial Revolution, the middle and upper class people prospered. Many people made fortunes during the period.

New products developed during Industrial Revolution provided new comforts and conveniences to those who could afford them.