Historical debate reigns over whether the improvements in education were made because of the Industrial Revolution or the appeals of the public. What do you think?
The Agricultural Revolution occurred at the same time as the Industrial Revolution. But did it take place because of the Industrial Revolution? Or did the Agricultural Revolution allow the Industrial Revolution to happen? Or was it a combination of the two?
Should the Industrial Revolution really be called a 'revolution'?
Historians debate over whether or not the changes made during the Industrial Revolution were revolutionary. Some changes, like those to canals, could be seen as a natural progression that was happening anyway. Education might also have improved because of the existence of charities and the poor laws.
These did not necessarily relate to the Industrial Revolution but could have been brought about by its impacts. For example, the increased number of people living in cities during the Industrial Revolution made the need to educate the poor more pressing – simply because there were now more of them.
The economic developments of the 1800s did not just change the economy – they changed the nature of life, not just in Britain, but all over the world.
You can track through time the facts and impact on Britain's economy, trade and empire by comparing the 1800s to the Middle Ages and Early Modern times and also to the 20th century in The UK economy through time.