The Industrial Revolution marked a dramatic milestone in history, and as well as impacting the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation and technology industries, it forced many people to change their ways of living. Before the Industrial Revolution in Britain, most people lived in rural areas, growing their own food and working on farms.
Only the rich were given proper education and since the only method of transport was horse and cart, people knew very little about the world they lived in. Some people worked in the ‘domestic industry’, also known as the ‘cottage industry’, to get extra income. They would produce textiles on contraptions that worked slowly and inefficiently. In around 1760, machines had been invented that could do these jobs much more effectively, so effectively that one person could do the work of 3000 people. Soon, machines began to replace workers in many different industries.
Few people were needed to work these machines which meant many people lost their jobs. There was no need for farming or weaving to be done by hand, so people migrated to the cities in search of work. People had to travel further to get to their workplace and had to run by times instead of where the sun was in the sky. For many people, it meant a drastic change in lifestyle and often the type of job they were doing. Many people disagreed with this change and there were many revolts against the machines. A group of people naming themselves ‘Luddites’ mainly consisted of skilled weavers and people who had their work taken from them by machines.
At the time, the government had made it illegal to protest or go on strike, so these people met in secret and raided factories at night, destroying the machines that had taken their jobs. In conclusion, although the Industrial Revolution was a time of great change in technology, mining, transport, farming and manufacturing, many people had to move home, change their field of work and often their whole lifestyles,