Industrialisation and Economic Change, c. 1830-1870
1 Contemporary European lifestyle was opulent (as described by Adam Smith in An
Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). He said this was
due to specialisation in "division of labour", and he forsaw a grim future growth.
1.1 Gross Domestic Product Growth Per Capita (From 1820-1870):
England and Wales almost doubled, which is reflected in the data
for the entire UK. The us also grew significantly, however France
and the Netherlands did now show a growth on par with the UK.
1.2 Gross National Product
for the UK: There was a
90% increase between
1830-1870 (2.3% p.a)
1.3.1 The growth was slow compared
to modern standards, however
Britain had the highest per
captia income in the world
untill 1880 (overtaken by USA)
1.3.2 Britain remained the worlds industrial giant:
Evidence for this as in 1860 GB produced 53%
iron, 50% coal, raw consumption was at 49%
and energy consumption at 27%
1.3.3 Britain had 2% of the worlds
population, however produced
45% of the global productive
capacity during the mid 1800s
2 Why Did Britain Become
so Industrial so Early?
2.1 Puritan Ethics
2.2 Peace, order and liberty
2.3 Specialisation: Developement of the
transport system and monetary systems
2.4 Surpassing the energy barrier
which had always limited growth
3 Periodisation: The UKs GNP growth was unconstant. The world trade
doubled from 1800-40, then there was a period during the 40s known
as "the hungry forties", which was followed by "the mid-Victorian
boom, which then grew to the "great global boom" between 1850-1872
(during this time, world trade increased by 260%)
4 Booms and Busts;
Manias and Panics:
4.1 Railway Mania: Between 1844-45, there was a liquidity
crisis, credit contractions and bank runs (1844, 47 and 66)
4.2 Peel's Bank Charter Act (1844): Failed to
prevent future panics in money markets
5 The Railway Age: A private
(not public) enterprise:
5.1 The first railway to open was
in 1825, and first entirely
Liverpool-Manchester in 1830
5.2 Railway Development in
GB Between 1840-1880:
5.2.1 The # of lines open in
terms of miles grew from
just 1,497 to 13,388.
5.2.2 Between 1850-70, the # of passenger
journeys grew from 67 to 322 million.
5.2.3 In just 10 years from 18860-70,
freight loaded doubled.
5.2.4 By 1873, GBs railways employed 275k
people, and the technology exports were
growing (from 1% in 1830s to 7& in 1900s)
6 Service Sector: There was a huge service sector as
well as the industrial. This involved building,
finance, transport. It grew rapidly (by 1881 it was
30.2% of GBs labour force and 42.1% in the SE)
7 Winners and Losers:
7.1 Regions: In 1881, 18.8% of Irish workers
were employed in manufactoring, while
42.3% and 45.5% in England & Wales and
Scotland respectively. There was little rural
industry, mos was concentrated in towns.
7.2.1 'Real wages' rose by 30% from 1780-1850,
however there was also an increased family
size, poor public health, and reduction in
poor law relief, therefore there was really
only a 10-15% increase during this period,
followed by a more sustained increase.
7.2.2 Between 1820-50, income inequality rose, however fell
thereafter.( Development of WC holiday resulted in improvement)
7.2.3 NOTE: WC did not prosper. 40-60% of their
income was spent on bread alone.
8 A Trading Nation?:
8.1 What does Britain Import?: Until 1870, Britain was
the largest international trader. (1840, GB imports
40% of the worlds exports and 1872-3, 31%.
8.2 1860 saw UKs peak in world trade. In
1876-85 its manufactured goods comprised
of 38% of the worlds total output.
8.3 From 1840s-70s, GBs exports as a share of national income doubled
8.4 There was a long-term reorientation from advanced
manufacturing to raw materials (after 1870).
8.4.1 Coal: 1% exports in 1830-9
compared to 10% in 1900-9
8.4.2 Iron and Steel: 11% to 14% between 1830-1909
8.4.3 Textiles: 72% to 38% between 1830-1909
9 A Rentier Economy: During 1880s, only
10% of farmland was farmed by owner
occupiers ie 90% paid rent to landlords
10 The Agricultural and Industrial
Changes in Victorian Britain
10.1.1 There was a huge change in agricultural productivity.
Medieval England was reaping the same as they were
threshing per day, this changed by 1850 to around
doubling the reaping than threshing.
10.1.2 There was a decline in agriculture
after the highpoint of 1851
10.1.3 Between 1801 to 1901, the % of labour force
employed in agriculture shrunk from 35.9% to 8.7%.
This decline is also seen in the % of GPs national
income, from 35.5% in 1801 to 10.4% in 1881.
10.2 Trades and Industry:
10.2.1 There was also a huge change in % of
labour force employed in GB, from
29.7% in 1801 to 43.5% in 1881, which
is paralleled in the % of GBs national
income, from 23.4% to 37.6%
10.2.2.1 Technological innovation was also limited to select industries as water
power was not replaced by steam as principle energy source until 1870s.
10.2.2.2 In 1831 only 10% of the
male workforce were