What Factors Made Rapid Industrialisation Possible In England (British Isles) Between 1750 - 1850?

Spinning mule, Cotton mill, Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution

Many changes occurred in Britain during the period of 1750 - 1850. Consequences of these changes led to what has come to be known as the 'Industrial Revolution'. Rapid Industrialisation was the engine room for such a revolution. In 1750 much of Britain's population were located in rural areas and were in the most part employed in agriculture, by 1850 much of this had changed, by now, the majority of Britain's population had re-located to the urban areas and were employed in various jobs, either in large factories, shops, offices, the railways and other businesses operating to serve the needs of the industrial sector. This shift can be seen by the figures below:

Patterns of employment, income, expenditure and residence (%):


Male Employment in Agriculture = 61.2%

Male Employment in Industry = 18.5%

Income from Agriculture = 37.4%

Income from Industry = 20.0%


Male Employment in Agriculture = 52.8%

Male Employment in Industry = 23.8%

Income from Agriculture = 37.5%

Income from Industry = 20.0%


Male Employment in Agriculture = 40.8%

Male Employment in Industry = 29.5%

Income from Agriculture = 36.1%

Income from Industry = 19.8%


Male Employment in Agriculture = 28.6%

Male Employment in Industry = 47.3%

Income from Agriculture = 24.9%

Income from Industry = 31.5%

There were many factors which contributed to the shift in population from rural to urban areas, coal, iron, textiles, transport and pottery to name a few, they all had a major effect on Britains economy as a whole and enabled her to exapnd her empire and become a major player in the world market.

By 1840, over 200,000 men, women and children worked in the mines. Coal needed many workers in small seams without machinery so families moved into villages and towns in NE England, S Wales, central Scotland, built beside the pits. The Newcomen Steam Engine (and later Watt's engine) made it possible to drain deep mines and extract...
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