Student Question

Would someone born in 1750 find the Britain of 1500 more familiar than the Britain of 1900?

Expert Answers

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This assignment seems designed to encourage you to think about the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Thus your instructor is probably seeking an answer which emphasizes the increasing pace of technological and social change in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Thus you could make the point that to a peasant farming the land, the main source of power in both 1500 and 1750 would have been human or animal, while steam power and other mechanical devices would have been increasingly common in 1900. The great manufacturing towns that arose in the Victorian era would have been unfamiliar in 1500 and 1750.  Another dramatic change was in transportation. In 1500 and 1750, transportation was by foot or animal, while in 1900, railways, steam powered boats, and cars existed. 

Religious diversity increased dramatically in the period after 1750. Women gained the right to own property and began to enter the work force in the late 19th century in ways that were unknown earlier.

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