Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the industrial revolution as “a rapid major change in an economy marked by the general introduction of power-driven machinery or by an important change in the prevailing types and methods of use of such machines.” But along with those changes, another change came. The industrial revolution, which occurred in Britain, also affected the lives of the workers, the families of the workers, and the general population. And while one can argue that the industrial revolution in Britain created some problems, I believe that the industrial revolution provided in Britain provided for a better lifestyle for the workers and the general population. Prior to the Industrial Revolution in England, life was undoubtedly different than when it was after the Industrial Revolution. “A work force that was predominately agricultural in 1750 had become predominately industrial a century later.” (Kishlansky, Geary, and O’Brien, annotation 2) The majority of the people at the time lived in rural settings, leaving only ten percent of the population living in cities. Without the ability to purchase commodities, the people of these towns had to rely on themselves to produce food, furniture, textiles, and tools. The occasional surplus was sold at the local village market. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was some industry that existed. Some manufacturing occurred in the small shops, which were situated within the rural towns. “Craft workers in the shops worked with simple tools to make such products as cloth, hardware, jewelry, leather goods, silverware, and weapons. Some products made in the towns were exchanged for food raised in the countryside. Town products were also exported to pay for luxuries imported fro... ... middle of paper ... staffpages/eichman/Adult_School/world/fall/industrial/1/england.htm>. "Industrial Revolution: Great Britain, 1730–1850." World History on File™: The Expanding World. 3rd ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Rpt. of Industrial Revolution: Great Britain, 1730–1850. New York: Facts On File, 2006. Curriculum Resource Center. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE51&iPin=WHOF0208&SingleRecord=True>. Kishlansky, Mark, Patrick Geary, and Patricia O'Brien. Civilization in the West. 7th ed. Vol. 2. N.p.: Pearson Education, 2008. 637-42. Print. - - -. "Cotton Is King." Civilization in the West. 7th ed. Vol. II. N.p.: Pearson Education, 2008. 631-33. Print. - - -. "The Industrial Revolution in Britain." Civilization in the West. 7th ed. Vol. 2. N.p.: Pearson Education, 2008. 626-27. Print.
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