England reaped the benefits of being the world’s first modern, industrialized nation and was the leading industrialized country during the 19th century. During the 19th century England went from mercantilism to free trade evidenced by repealing the Corn Laws which opened the British market to unregulated competition, grain prices fell, and food became more plentiful. During this time England was also referred to as the “workshop of the world” because its finished products were produced so efficiently and economically that they could undersell locally manufactured goods in almost any other market, especially cotton cloth. England would import raw materials and manufacture goods from those materials in its factories to sell and create markets for its manufactured goods. An excellent example of this was the textile industry. By the middle of the nineteenth century, global cotton...
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...nomic, political and social changes that occurred in England appears to go hand and hand and catapulted England to dominate in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early 20th century, Britain 's growth rate, manufacturing output, and Gross Domestic Product started to fall behind the United States and Germany. But England still led the world in trade, finance and shipping, and was somewhat strong in manufacturing and mining. England was the financial center of the world and had built up a vast reserve of overseas credits and huge financial holdings in the United States, especially in railways. These assets proved imperative in paying for supplies in the first years of the World War. Niceties, especially in urban life were beginning to grow and wealth was highly visible and the working classes were beginning to protest politically for a greater voice in government.
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