The Industrial Revolution which took place in Great Britain between the middle of the eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth transformed British industry and society and made Great Britain the most powerful nation in the world. The Industrial Revolution didn’t happen due to one, single factor but rather to a number of separate yet related developments which interacted to change the world profoundly and completely. Improvements in the production of iron allowed the construction of efficient, reliable steam engines. These steam engines were then used in the production of iron to improve the quality and quantity of iron production even further. Manufacturing became concentrated in factories filled with automated machinery while canals and improved roads allowed raw materials to be brought to these factories and for finished products to be distributed.
During the the Industrial Revolution, people became used to the availability of cheap, mass-produced items transported to the point of sale from other parts of the country or even other parts of the world. However, people also became used to living in large cities and working in factories and mills, often for meager wages and in dangerous and exhausting conditions. Progress made a small number of people very wealthy, but it also condemned a large portion of the British population to living and working in danger and squalor. Opposition to the Industrial Revolution came from skilled workers who saw their jobs being replaced by machines and from influential poets who deplored the loss of what they regarded as an idyllic, rural, agrarian way of life. This opposition was brutally repressed, and even those who tried to champion the rights of workers sometimes found themselves under attack by the British Army.
The Industrial Revolution changed almost everything about the British way of life, and it spread from Great Britain to most of the developed countries of the world. This is the story of a revolution which continues to affect all of us in the modern world.
História Geral / Literatura Estrangeira