Transferring labour from agriculture to armaments & industry
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Nov 15 12:18:02 GMT 2014
Britain was the first country to industrialize and used her
manufacturing muscle to become the great empire in the 19th century.
It wasn't just technology, like the invention of the steam engine,
but a national policy of mass urbanization, transferring labor from
agriculture to armaments and industry that put Britain ahead of the
world. Mass evictions of the peasantry, known as enclosures, kept the
wheels turning in the factories, William Blake's 'Dark Satanic Mills'
were filled with hundreds of thousands of homeless men with hungry
families to house and feed, desperate for money for rent and food.
The wider empire was built on one particular invention, the railway.
Moving coal, iron ore, wool and other raw materials as well as
manufactured goods off the canals and uphill, down dale, cheaply and
at speed gave Britain the edge as a massive shipbuilding program
projected Queen Victoria's power across the globe.
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