The State of Britain in 1815
After the end of the Napoleonic wars between France and England, which
had lasted about a quarter of a century, England was the most powerful
country in the world. This had come about because of many changes
throughout Britain in Industry, Agriculture, Society, and Politics and
also because of International incidents. The culmination of all these
changes was that Britain had changed dramatically and had become a
much more 'modern' state. In this essay I will be exploring the
changes and what effects they had.
From about 1750 the Industrial Revolution had begun in Britain, this
was the transition from an essentially land based economy to an
industrial one with high levels of services industries and
manufacturing. This had been brought about by technological
improvements especially in the metal, coal and textiles industries,
some of the improvements included advances in loom technology, such as
Cartwright's power loom. Also there were advances in the use of blast
furnaces and the invention of the steam engine. All these advances
brought about quicker and better ways to produce the goods in the
industries, so many more goods were made, and the economy prospered.
The war with France had also created a need for these goods and so
more workers were needed to make the goods. These situations created
many jobs, and farm workers flocked from rural areas to new industrial
towns, which grew rapidly, this was urbanisation. As industries grew
and grew, Britain's trade flourished and many imports were brought
into Britain. But after the war with France there was less demand for
goods and this caused economic recession.
Though many people found employment in cities they were still very
poor, the industrial revolution and the subsequent urbanisation
created slum conditions and greater differences between the rich and
the poor. In the cities there was also a huge population increase
which caused many problems, such as lack of food. The working
conditions of the poor workers were also horrendous and women and
children were exploited very badly. All these things created a lot of
resentment towards the rich.
Along with urbanisation and flourishing trade, there was also the
spread of the railways around this time, so workers experienced new
ideas as they travelled, and became more conscience of their situation
and wanted to change their situation for the better.
Despite the conditions for the workers at the beginning and the social
problems, over time the industrial revolution brought about a better
standard of living for the people, and along with all the economic
prosperity the Industrial revolution brought about many positive
Some groups did not benefit however, many skilled workers lost their
jobs due to advances in machinery, they became...