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Britain in the Early 18th Century

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Britain in the Early 18th Century In the early 1700's Britain was a very different place to what it is today. Everything was different; the houses were dirty and smelly even in the few towns. The towns were very small and peaceful. Cars, planes and all mechanical transport hadn't been invented, although they had a horse and cart. The roads were bumpy and muddy tracks apart from some important roads, which were stone, or any natural material nearby. There were no factories as the idea had not been invented and also there was no steam power. Most of the population lived in remote villages - farming or trading. At the beginning of the 18th century the population was about 6 million people living in England and Wales. These figures aren't exact and weren't until 1801 when the first census was carried out. The figure is a good estimate though and was worked out using the parish registers. Most of the population lived in villages or small market towns working as traders or farmers. The south, southwest, Wales and the north above Manchester had a low population density. From just below London, to Bristol and up to Norwich had a high population density. The people lived there because of the fertile farming land, they have resources such as coal, are warmer then the rest of the country and aren't hilly like Wales. ...read more.


Ale was also brewed locally. Other products produced by farms were wool, meat, dairy produce, fruit and vegetables, although meat was a luxury amongst common people. Nobility held the highest political officers, the top positions in the church, army and navy. A nobleman's park usually measured around 80 kilometres around the perimeter. Members of the nobility lent most of their land to smallholders. Gentry were next to nobility in the social scale, they were the major landowners in the country that were not of noble birth. He also lent out most of their land to smallholders. In the village the main landowner was called a squire. He often took part in politics, he kept peace in the village, his manners were the same as the villagers, he spoke similarly and much of his time was devoted to foxhunting. Just below the squire was the parson. In those times the world was a more religious place. The parson helped the parishioners (workers in the parish church), he owned a small plot of land (a glebe), he often taught children and he also received a tenth of the produce of all the other farms. Freeholders came next. These were people who didn't rent but owned the land they farmed this made the socially superior to people who rented their land. ...read more.


Most trades were carried out in the home. The children as young a four years old were forced to work long hours so that the family could stay alive. The centre of industry was woollen cloth it was traded since the Middle Ages and was the main export of Britain. It was sold in Europe, Africa, America and India. Iron was mined and smelted in places where timber was easily available so that charcoal could be mad to fuel the blast furnace. The Manufacturing of metal goods was centred around Birmingham and the west midlands in places like Sheffield, which was renowned its cutlery. Coalmining was well-established and big industry in The Northeast of England especially near Newcastle. It was hard to transport goods because the roads were so poor and the rivers were no use. This is one main reason why industry in the 18th century was only on small scale. Until it improved it was hard to transport goods in bulk. Steam engines were not used to their full potential in the 1700's, they were only used for pumping water out of mines. The main power source was water wheels on streams and rivers all industry used human strength instead of machine. Overall the 18th century would probably have been a horrible place to live compared to today, with crime and poverty so bad. Also the technology was so poor. But they were used to it. ...read more.

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