By the End of the 2nd Half of the 19 Century Britain Was a Mature Industrial Society and Was Able to Experience Many of the Benefits of the Industrial Revolution. Discuss

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By the second half of the nineteenth century Britain was a mature industrial society and was able to experience many of the benefits of the industrial revolution. Discuss.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Britain experienced enormous industrial expansion, thereby creating an improvement in the lives of most of its people. The middle classes fare well by the opening of new opportunities in employment, residing, for the most part, in the new suburbs of the industrial cities and towns. They surrounded themselves with the clutter of possessions associated with a new consumer age. There were modest improvements in the working and living conditions of working class people, many of whom were drawn to the cities from rural areas in the hope of a better life. This essay will examine the conditions of life in late Victorian Britain in order to establish the extent of the benefits brought about by industrial transformation, insofar as they affected the lives of the different classes.

In 1800, twenty five per cent of the population of England lived in the cities and towns. Within a period of eighty years this position was reversed. In 1850, the year of the Great Exhibition, which was a celebration of British industrial achievement, the ‘number of urban dwellers exceeded those who dwelt in the countryside’. The cities of Birmingham and Manchester more than doubled their populations between 1801 and 1831. The industrial revolution was synonymous with the cotton industry in the early part of the century. This was followed by the development of the coal and iron industries, essential to the construction and running of the railways. By the eighteen-eighties, the new industries of steel, engineering and chemicals were well established. British engineering was, for the most part, involved in the manufacture of steam engines and locomotives. Shipping was another…...

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