The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain took place roughly between 1750 and 1850. It was a process described as a series of changes in agriculture, industrial technology, and organization of labour, transport and business. As students of the English language, I hope that you will enjoy reading about this period, as it drastically transformed Britain from essentially rural and agricultural country into a modern, urban and industrial one. Some historians refer to this process as “a thunderbolt from a clear sky” (C. Beard), describing pre-industrial Britain as medieval. But it was agriculture that prompted this process and it remained the most important sector of economy. It was not until the 1850 that manufacturing took its place.

Now, let’s see how it all happened! I invite you to read what I found out about the Industrial Revolution in two very useful books: “Industrialization and society 1700 – 1914” by Neil Tonge and “An Illustrated History of Britain” by David McDowall (you can find the second one online at

Now I want you to go through steps one, two and three, read the texts and do the exercises. These steps will help you see how beneficial was the Industrial Revolution to Great Britain.

Nevertheless, it had a damaging effect on people who worked in factories and coal-mines. After going through the three steps that describe the positive aspects of the process, you last task would be to comment on one of the following pictures (5-6 sentences). You may look up for some information about mining and child labour during the Industrial Revolution before writing your comment.

But let’s first see what made Great Britain so great, and then you can share what you found out about the negative impact it had on workers. Now – Step 1


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