The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and technology had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. Starting in the later part of the 18th century there began a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual labour based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. In terms of social structure, the Industrial Revolution witnessed the triumph of a middle class of industrialists and businessmen over a landed class of nobility and gentry. Ordinary working people found increased opportunities for employment in the new mills and factories, but these were often under strict working conditions with long hours of labour dominated by a pace set by machines. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. However, harsh working conditions were prevalent long before the Industrial Revolution took place. Pre-industrial society was very static and often cruel—child labour, dirty living conditions, and long working hours were just as prevalent before the Industrial Revolution.
The American revolutionary era began in 1763, after a series of victories by British forces at the conclusion of the French and Indian War ended the French military threat to British North American colonies. Adopting the policy that the colonies should pay an increased proportion of the costs associated with keeping them in the Empire, Britain imposed a series of direct taxes followed by other laws intended to demonstrate British authority, all of which proved extremely...