How did the Industrial Revolution change Great Britain?

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The Industrial Revolution had an enormous impact on Great Britain. Cities and towns grew in a process that is known as urbanization. Urban areas grew in population and importance because the factories were located in the larger population centers so that labor and transportation needs could be met. As agricultural techniques improved, the number of farmers needed decreased. Naturally, many migrated towards urban centers to find work.

The Industrial Revolution also improved transportation networks. Manufactured goods need to be transported to markets to be sold. As a result, Britain improved its transportation infrastructure. This is especially true of the development of rail lines to connect the different towns and ports. New canals were constructed for river travel in order to connect the industrial cities with the necessary inputs for goods. Communication networks were also improved as a necessity for the new industrial economy.

Unfortunately, there were negative consequences to industrialism. The system created stark social class lines with some acquiring vast sums of wealth while others  suffered. Laborers were required to work long hours in dangerous conditions with very little rights. Children were utilized as laborers which ultimately hurt their ability to seek a better future. Women increasingly left the home to seek employment.  As a result of these inequalities, many demanded social and political change to improve the conditions of the lower classes.

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How was Britain affected when industrialization took place?

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.

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