Economy of the UK
Britain’s industrial heritage.
During the 19th century Britain was transformed from a mainly agricultural society into an industrial one. This change has been called the Industrial Revolution. By 1900 Britain had become a major world power. The coal & iron found in the North Sea. The Midlands, Scotland & South Wales provided the power for factories in those areas. The waterways of Newcastle & Glasgow provided easy access to the sea & ship-building industries flourished. Cotton arrived from the USA to be made into cloth in the textile industry. By 1900 Britain was producing over the third of the world’s manufactured goods & had earned the title of “The Workshop of the World”. Decline Change.
The Industrial Revolution in Britain was built on the use of machines in factories. Since the 1950s Britain’s manufacturing industries have replaced the machine operators & this “automation” has led to a decline in the numbers of employees in manufacturing industries. More manufacturing goods are bought & used than ever before, but a lot of these goods are imported. By the beginning of the 20th century other industrial countries like the USA, were competing with Britain’s exports & countries in the Far East have been able to provide cheaper products since the 1970s. Areas where heavy manufacturing industries are located have suffered high unemployment. During the last 30 years there has been a rise in smaller industries, known as “light industries”. These industries use electricity & are not dependent on raw materials so they are “footloose” as they can be located anywhere. Many light industries are located on the edge of towns or industrial estates. They produce such things as washing machines or computers. Some of these industries don’t make anything at all, but provide services such as distribution. The consumer boom of the 1980s & increased leisure time of most Britons has led to rapid...
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