This era was the era of the industrial revolution in Britain. During which Britain changed from an agricultural country, to an industrial country. Its empire and trade expanded and it greatly developed into an important and powerful nation on the whole. Everything was affected. In my essay I will discuss how, what and why different things changed during this era. I will do this referring to the three sources (pictures), of an imaginary place in Britain, changing over three time periods between 1750 and 1900 (1750, 1830 and 1890).
I will start off with transport. In the first picture:1750, there a three horses, loaded up with items of trade. This is because in the 1750’s that was the way of transporting goods. Horses were loaded with all the items of trade their owner had, and were taken round town for anyone interested to buy the items. Also noticeable in the picture is the rather old fashioned, horse drawn carriage. This was the main way of transporting people.
The roads at this time in the picture are dirt tracks. In the second picture: 1830, the most significant thing is the train. The railway started in 1825. By 1829 locomotive engineering had improved further, producing fast, efficient engines for passenger and freight transport. So naturally, in 1830, railways were rapidly spreading out through Britain. This meant that this imaginary town, was basically linked up to the rest of Britain by a quick and efficient way. This opened up a huge window of opportunity. Think about the new possibilities ie trade, communications. Trade would not be limited to certain small areas.
Seems simple nowadays, the whole idea of railways, we even take it for granted, but for then it was a big thing. You could even go as far as saying that this was one of the catalysts and most important things in the Industrial Revolution. The roads at this time in this picture look slightly developed from the dirt tracks, but still the same kind of thing. A toll-bar is visible (people were charged for travelling on the roads). By 1890, in the third picture this imaginary town’s transport industry had developed quite a lot. The railway had developed a lot, and the town had developed a tram system, for internal transport. There is not a horse in sight. There are proper roads and no toll-bars. But why did all this, everything mentioned in this paragraph, happen? Well, at that time, people’s ideas were developing. Science and technology were also developing.
Now on to industry. In the first picture, there is not a lot to talk about regarding industry. Farming is the main industry here (which I will get on to in the next paragraph). At the top there is a very basic and small coalmine. There is also an ironmonger (not really industry though). In the second picture there is a huge textile factory. Typically for that time, privately owned, most probably with hundreds of underpaid workers. The coalmine at the topped has developed as need for coal has increased. Agriculture remains side by side to proper industry. In the third picture a huge change can be seen.
Industry has taken over from agriculture completely. There is only a small field on one side. There are huge factories scattered all over this, “once upon a time serene” town. The sign of pollution is evident. But why did all this happen? As technology increased the need for things such as coal, and other major products made by the factories, also increased. The goal of industry was for the rate of produce to equal or even exceed the rate of consumption. And thus if the need could be met, then everything would have been perfect. Well for as long as that lasted anyway. And if it ever does, peoples needs and expectations are forever rising. So it’s impossible.
Now I shall discuss agriculture. In the first picture, it is the main industry. There are manual labourers in the field, with horses waiting outside, to transport the materials. The whole town is dominated by agriculture. However there is some land left unused. Nobody cares, what they already have is more than enough. The town on the whole doesn’t need to depend on anyone. It’s independent. Therefore its needs are more than catered for by its own industry. In the second picture agriculture in this town is depicted to be thriving. There are less, and barely any manual labourers. They have been replaced by machinery.
There is much better field division, and there isn’t any unused or common land. The town’s needs have increased so its industry (agriculture and manufacturing) has had to increase their domestic product to meet the demands. However in the third picture agriculture seems to almost have disappeared. There are a couple of small fields on the left side, which are completely machine orientated. Manufacturing industry has taken over on the whole.
The town’s needs were increasing; the manufacturing industry was meeting them better than the agricultural industry, so obviously the manufacturing industry took over this town. Some may say that that’s unfair etc. But its simple, the town’s needs had to be met, and the best way was through the manufacturing industry. The town couldn’t have survived staying completely with agriculture. So that is why it all happened to agriculture in this town. Its increasing needs had to be met, and agriculture couldn’t meet those needs on its own: the manufacturing industry could. There was obviously no choice.
Pen-ultimately I am going to discuss buildings. In the first picture, the houses of people are quite small, are in small numbers and have a simple structure. The biggest house, the manor, belonged to the “biggest” person. There is a church, and there is an inn. At the top of town, there are a few more houses. Generally, it’s a small town. In the second picture, the town has expanded. There are more houses, and there is a row of terraced houses (typical potential slums). The church has been developed, and there is a chapel. The upper part of the town has been expanded; there are more buildings there.
The inn is now a hotel. A significant development is the school. It’s relatively small, and has two entrances: one for boys one for girls. The huge textile factory dominates the scenery. In the third picture lots of things have changed: the structure of the buildings, the number of the buildings (lots more especially in upper part of town) and the type of buildings. The school has expanded, there is a large public library next to it. The church has once again developed. But now the textile factory doesn’t dominate the scenery, the six other factories do. However where the manor used to exist there is now a public park. The town’s population must have increased because evidently the size of the graveyard has! Why did all this happen? The population increased in this town, so the need for more buildings for them to live in, increased as well.
Finally I shall discuss amenities. It starts off in the first picture with not many clearly visible amenities. Trade was one way of getting food. But it was all mainly internal, because the town was independent. In the second picture more amenities start emerging. A hotel for visitors etc and a school for education. Seems very simple to us, but it was a huge leap for them. By the third picture however, everything starts emerging, from streetlights, shops and a public library, to a park and a football pitch. Everything was now available to these people, in this town. Why did all this happen? Basic needs. That’s what amenities are. These basic needs increase, as the town develops.
How and why did Britain change between 1750 and 1900? How, I have discussed. But why, generally, I am yet to do so. Summarizing all of what I have discussed, as peoples needs increase, something has to increase to meet them ie the standard of transport, the state of the industry and agriculture, the amount and quality of buildings and amenities. Peoples needs and expectations are forever increasing.
No matter how far things advance, people want it to get better. People complain, and want more. The industrial revolution was the start. It was a huge boom, an era of discovery and change for Britain. Things are forever developing. A bit of new discovery made people excited at the beginning of the industrial revolution. They wanted things to develop, to change. Towns were independent before the revolution, by the end, they were mostly inter-dependant. Perhaps great things came from it, but some bad things came from it as well ie pollution. If only people’s needs and expectations weren’t as high.