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The Industrial revolution

At the end of the 18th century Britain becomes an industrial country, with a great increase of population and a real “Revolution”, called “Industrial Revolution” because the most important inventions involved machinery.

The most important new invention of the industrial revolution was the steam engine, invented by James Watt, that was used to power the factories and pump out the deeper mines. With these inventions, goods were made more easily by the improvement of transports, especially by a network of waterways.

But we can’t ignore also an agrarian revolution, connected to the Industrial one. During the Agrarian Revolution, for example, there were massive enclosure of open fields! In general, it was an unhappy period for many: day by day “mushroom towns” were constructed to house the workers, and women and children were especially employed.

Moreover, in 1873 Britain recognised the independence of the American colonies, and the new Republic adopted a federal constitution looking for freedom and equality, like during the French Revolution (1789-1791). After the French Revolution, Napoleon took power and he declared war on Britain. In Britain the popular discontent culminated in the Luddites Riots (1779), that is a destruction of many machinery.

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