social and economic issues in britain

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  • Social and economic issues, 1868-74
    • Britain had been the first country to experience an industrial revolution. In the early 19th century it was viewed a 'the workshop of the world.
      • 1. INDUSTRY
        • there was huge demand for British goods abroad. New technologies in key industries led to a huge boost in producion. While coal and iron became the key industries, textiles remained important.
          • Coal was an integral part of industry as it was required to power steam engines, used by railways amd nearly every other major industry. Railways were a crucial link between mining and industrial areas.
            • Iron and steel also experienced demand. railways facilitated all these developments, as long as more railways were being built, more iron and steel was needed.In 1865 there were 11,451 miles of railway track carrying 238 million passengers.
              • shipping - the availability of cheap iron and steel allowed the British shipping industry to develop new more efficient steamships and monopolise shipping routes. The opening of the Suez canal 1869 gave a further boost to british shipping.
                • All these industries were major employers. These workers experienced wage increases and their improved spending power created a further boost for the economy. The annual growth rate of the economy was at approx 2%.
      • between the repeal of the corn laws in 1846 and the onset of a depreesion in 1873, historians refer to a period of 'high farming'.
        • improved fertilisers were discovered, both artificial and natural. Drainage of land was improved through the use of clay pipes and the government inroduced loans to allow farmers to invest in these. All these methods increased productivity and crop yield.
          • the growing population meant high demand for food, meaning farmeres benefitted from the high prices of meat, milk. butter and cheese. railways allowed these products to reach markets quickly.


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