The Extent to Which Economic Developments Had Made Britain into an Industrial Nation by 1830

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The Extent to Which Economic Developments Had Made Britain into an Industrial Nation by 1830 By 1830, Britain had undergone essential and irreversible structural changes in the economy and industry. Its urban labour force was also considerably altered and had grown tremendously in the previous 50 years to the expense of agricultural labour. However not all the characteristics of an industrial nation were present by 1830 and a lot was still to be done. One of the features of an industrial nation is a large rate of economic growth, 2% p.a., which was achieved by Britain well before 1830. Industrial production expands at a higher and more sustained rate in an industrial economy than in a pre-industrial economy whose characteristics are low productivity and low output per head. Britain’s industrial output in the 18th century increased 4 times! The output increase was biggest in the four following areas: cotton, coal, Iron and Wool. Cotton increased 57 times, Coal 6 times, Iron furnaces in the South of Wales and Yorkshire expanded and became more productive, even wool production increased rapidly. However, the output increase was not as extreme for the other areas in industry and cotton, iron and engineering only accounted for 1/4 of manufacturing output. The fact as to whether factories are a distinction of an industrial nation is widely deliberated. It is true that it was in the areas where factories were most common, that the most rapid growth was found; however, even in the 1880’s workshops were very popular and it was mainly the textiles that moved into factories in the 1830’s. By 1835 304,000 people were working in cotton factories and even those factories were small: only 3% of 973 factories employed more than 1000 men. In other areas production increased without any change in the kind of work done, this might suggest that factories are not essential in an industrial nation. There were a lot of working masters in Britain at that time, 3240 in West riding employing from one family, very popular in the 18th century to 1000 in the 1830’s or even more in
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