The Effects of Industrialization on Manchester, England 1750-1850
England in the 18th and 19th centuries changed dramatically as a result of the Industrial Revolution, which had many effects on the social structure of England and increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Because of this, industrialized English towns such as Manchester were both criticized and admired by poets, politicians, journalists, and outsiders, who were particularly from France. The most powerful points of view were from supporters of industrialization, those who opposed industrialization, journalists, and outsiders.
Supporters of the industrialization of Manchester were typically British politicians or businessmen, impressed by the progress and production of Manchester. One of these was Englishman W.H. Thomson, writer of History of Manchester to 1852. Thomson provides a map that shows the growth of Manchester over a period of one hundred years in which in transformed from a small town into a robust industrial city with railroads and canals. This map shows how industrialization leads to rapid population growth and expansion, making Thomson an obvious supporter of industrialization. Another supporter of industrialization was Englishman Thomas B. Macaulay, a liberal member of parliament and a historian. In his essay, “Southey’s Colloquies,” Macaulay praises industrialization and Manchester for producing wealth for the nation, which in turn would improve the quality of life for the middle class and peasantry. A final supporter of industrialization was Wheeler and Co., which praises the industrious spirit of Manchester in the preface to an 1852 business directory, shortly after Manchester was granted a royal charter as a city. The authors owe the fruits of the city’s labor to its “energetic exertions and enterprising spirit,” which is an unrealistic description of the motivations of the working class, and the preface was likely propaganda, being in association with the Crown. The...
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