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Analyse the main factors, which contributed to the rise in population in England and Wales 1750-1850.

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Analyse the main factors, which contributed to the rise in population in England and Wales. 1750-1850 The population of England and Wales was already on the increase when King George III came to the throne in 1760. It was the beginning of what was later to become known as, 'The Industrial Revolution'. England was on the brink of new discoveries in agriculture; advances in health and the inventions of water powered and later, steam powered machinery. The start of an era, which in time, would alter people's lives forever. Although food was scarce, the population more than doubled over the next century. An explanation of what caused this increase has been an on going argument between historians for many years. We shall consider the facts behind these claims, for it is an argument in its own right whether the population did indeed rise at this time. There had not been a full census, until 1801. Before that time, the population was counted using several different methods: Muster rolls were used to count men in the army; around 1086, William I ordered the compilation of the 'Domesday Book': which was a detailed survey of all the counties in England, this showed the amount of people in each area and how much livestock and land they had. 'for centuries it survived in two manuscript volumes: the first, known as Little Domesday, covers Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk; the second, Great Domesday, covers the rest of the English counties south of the River Tees, but in less detail. ...read more.


This, it is said, was the main cause of infections being spread from patient to patient, although, there were still a high number of deaths of people in hospitals. Despite this fact, the death rate in England and Wales in the late 18th century was still on the decline, and the birth rate still was on the increase. It could be argued that improvements in agriculture were the primary reason for the rise in population between 1750 and 1850. Working on the land had been the main source of income for two thirds of the population of England and Wales in the middle of the 18th century. New methods of farming were being developed all the time. The planting of barley, rye, wheat, turnips and potatoes, became wide spread practice. Enclosure of the land, which transferred land previously used by all, to private ownership and plant rotation, was found to increase yield. The introduction of new breeds of livestock and the use of horses to pull ploughs, and later, steam powered threshing machines. Men, who had been tied to the land, had to move away and find a home of their own. Along with the vagrancy laws being relaxed, young, unattached men could leave the villages, and go in search of work to the towns and cities. By the late 18th century there were changes in the way young men completed their apprenticeships, instead of taking seven years, ...read more.


The possibility of child neglect coupled with wide spread misery and despair, which would have been caused by over indulgence. Combined with the belief that Idleness and immorality were also caused by gin drinking, this must have been a dilemma for the authorities. Several acts of legislations were brought in to curb this drinking problem, but to no avail. In 1750 the price of barley and malt went up, the fields, where it had been previously been grown, were now being used to grow the food requirements of the ever-growing population of people and their animals. Gin was now too expensive to buy. 'Total domestic consumption of spirits fell from 7,886,000 gallons in 1745, to 5,453,000 in 1752, and 3,243,000 in 1758. Practically all the reduction can be accounted for by a fall in the volume of British spirits.' Evidence shows that there was a rise in the population from 1750-1850 and when investigating why this rise occurred, it seems that all of the following facts should be considered. Without the extra food available, there would be no extra people. With out the extra people, there would be no one to work in the ever, increasing factories. Without the factories there would be no money for the extra food. The rise in the birth rate, fall in the death rate and infant morality, along with the improved food production and hygiene, have all played equally significant parts in the increase of the population. 1 Carole Stanton History with Sandra Pattison ...read more.

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