The Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Britain
Dr. S. Heathorn
March 30th 2017
The Victorian period in Britain was an era of change. Trade and industry grew dramatically in this time with the invention of new machines and the creation of factories had an effect on all people. The industrial revolution was a challenging time for Britain, although it thrust Britain fifty years ahead of other European countries it brought about many negative effects as well. The revolution improved the overall state of Great Britain mainly through the innovation and invention of new technologies, with improvement of communication and transportation to mention a couple. People from all classes were affected by the industrial revolution. The lower class suffered greatly with unhealthy living situations and horrific working conditions within the factories. The middle class experienced a time of wonder, new inventions and technologies fascinated them and made work life much more efficient and easier. The upper class were able to profit massively, selling and buying these new technologies and running the factories that utilized them. Throughout this essay I will explain the changes the revolution brought about for the people of Britain, the British economy, the inventions that were created and how this affected the British nation.
The factors that allowed the industrial revolution to commence are still debated among historians. Some believe it came from the outgrowth of social and institutional changes wrought by the end of feudalism in Great Britain after the English Civil War in the 17th century.[footnoteRef:1] The colonial expansion of the 17th century and the advancement of universal exchange, production of financial markets and the collection of capital are additionally referred to as variables. Relative factor prices also played a major role. Britain had a unique combination of high wages and low fuel costs because of how cheap coal was. This made work sparing and fuel-utilizing development very productive. Other nations were negligent in embracing this since they had diverse costs for work and fuel.[footnoteRef:2]Another reason for why the industrial revolution first started in Britain is that the nation had developed much quicker than their European neighbours. Great Britain also had a vast amount of natural and financial resources. Along with that, there was a significant presence of an entrepreneurial class that believed in progress. The existence of this class is frequently connected to the Protestant hard working attitude and the specific status of disagreeing Protestant organizations, for example, the Quakers, Baptists and Presbyterians that had prospered with the Civil War.[footnoteRef:3] The hypothesis that Protestantism helped spark the industrial revolution was challenged by philosopher Bertrand Russel who claimed that a class of idle people enjoyed privileges that were based on social injustice. That workers...