• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the Impact of the Development of the Railways On Victorian Society and the Economy.

Extracts from this document...


1. ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RAILWAYS ON VICTORIAN SOCIETY AND THE ECONOMY. The impact of the railways on society and the economy in Victorian Britain was immense. Britain had a growing population and was going through an industrial revolution and increased urbanization. The necessity to move larger quantities of raw materials and goods, quicker and cheaper became of paramount importance. In particular there was a high demand for industrial and domestic coal which was heavy, bulky and often difficult to move, due to location. This produced a need for a more accessible transport system. Locomotive developments had already taken place and, together with the flood of support for the use of the railway as a transport network, provided an ideal opportunity for additional construction and investment. The railways had a profound effect on the transportation of goods and people through out the whole Country. They stimulated the growth of new and existing industries, created new employment and investment opportunities, became a means of communication and distribution and opened up new travel possibilities to many individuals. The initial development of the railways had a huge impact on existing industries. ...read more.


Each railway was run and financed as a separate concern, often competing with each other. Money was raised through private funding and until 1830 was financed by local businessmen who set up joint stock ventures. As costs escalated and financial institutions became aware of the huge profitability and financial return, joint stock banks guaranteed funds and eventually in the 1840s the London banks became involved as railway enterprises reached massive scales. Railways helped the rate of industrial investment to increase because many businesses and individuals, including over 100 members of parliament who had substantial financial interests in the railways, saw the large returns that were being paid and gambled their profits and savings on new railway companies. In the mid-1840s the Stockton-Darlington railway paid investors a 15 per cent dividend and had seen its shares rise from �100 in 1821 to �260 in 1838. Not all railway companies provided profitable returns and many lines were never completed causing investors, both large and small, to lose large sums of money. The railway industries purchased large quantities of land both in towns and the countryside. This had an immediate impact on the landscape and was often met with hostility although many landowners made huge profits on the sale of their land. ...read more.


The railways continued to employ large numbers of workers through out the century. Railways also enabled greater mobility of labour, long distance could be covered in a short space of time and people were able to relocate in areas with more prosperous employment opportunities. The railways had enormous consequences on society, industry and the economy. They stimulated existing industries and provided the foundations for many new ones. Their ability to move people and goods quicker and easier gave the basis for further advancement in an already changing society. Bringing about a more mobile population and the ability to travel to, or move to, areas with better employment opportunities. Being able to bring fresh produce to the entire population and by uniting all parts of the country enabled regional specialization in the production of goods. Railways provided opportunities for investment and helped to stabilize economic growth. Not everything connected to the railways was positive. The demolition of buildings in town centers directly caused many poor members of society to lose their homes. Government legislation was slow and inadequate because of the internal involvement of many members of parliament in the railways. However the railways provided an advanced technological method of transport financed by private enterprise that had a significant and long-lasting effect on society and the economy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    Civil society is characterised by "free" labour and a commodity market, a system of law enforcement and voluntary association. See Engels' discussion of the translation of b�rgerliche Gesellschaft in his Letter to Marx, 23rd September 1852. Early bourgeois thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes (omni bellum omni, the war of all against all)

  2. The ancient civilizations of Central and South America

    When the first European person arrived in the Inca Empire, many invasions occurred. This was around 1525 AD. The Inca ruler at the time died due to some European disease and so did his appointed heir. This triggered a mass revolt, and a huge struggle for power.

  1. The development of Spartan society.

    council played a relatively inconspicuous part.'7 The democratic assembly or 'ekklesia' as Plutarch alludes to, was the 'major organ of the Spartan state (for) every full citizen over the age of thirty had the right to its membership.'8 Such allowances possibly broadened the scope and dynamics of political involvement within the Spartiate community.

  2. How far does Wimpole Hall show the development of country homes up to 1873?

    Henry kendell remodeled the East and West wings and built the stable block. In 1976, when the national trust took over the estate they rebuilt some of the formal gardens at the back of the house. This shows that many changes can take place within a particular period.

  1. Which sections of society were most drawn to support the Protestant Reformation and ...

    few of the rural clergy were aware of the issues raised by the Reformers and even fewer were inclined to support them.3 Many magistrates and civic authorities seemed to be sympathetic to the new ideas from an early stage. The states of Zwickau and Nuremberg are examples of areas where

  2. The Grapes of Wrath

    "A sedan driven by forty-year-old woman approached ....the turtle and swung to the right...now a light truck approached and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it"(pg 14). Along the journey, they were people who got out of their way to help the Joad's

  1. From a reading of Hardy's short stories, discuss how Hardy brings out the aspects ...

    Reverend Twycott on the other hand, knew that my marrying Sophy, he basically 'committed social suicide' as society would totally not accept the marriage between to not social equals who were not of the same class. The quote to prove this is 'their was a marriage-service at the communion rails, which hardly a soul knew of.'

  2. How far do the sources support the conclusion that, during the period 1780-1914, the ...

    Despite the bias that the source incorporates, the source gives a good personal view of the transformation of Britain through a foreign angle. A view which could support the opinion put forward in source 1, would be the statistical figures in source 4.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work