The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

Archives for the ‘18th century’ Category

Enclosures of the 18th Century

Category: 18th century

The enclosures of earlier times had been made to turn arable lands into sheep pastures. The enclosures of the 18th century were different. They transformed the communally cultivated open fields into large farms on which the new and more scientific mixed farming could be profitably carried out. In addition, much com­mon land on which the […]

Improvements in Agriculture

Category: 18th century

In early 1700′s, British farmers developed ways to improve crop yields. The invention of the seed-drill by Jethro Tull in 1701 became one of the earliest steps in making agriculture more productive. TuU’s device placed seeds in the soil in rows at even intervals, thereby using far less seed and leaving fewer bare spots than […]

Industrial Revolution

Category: 18th century

In 1700 there was only a scatter of industries. Woolen manufacture, the most important, was depen­dent on the rural population spinning and weaving in their own homes. The word spinster is still used for an unmarried woman. Cloth was greatly valued.

Towards the Industrial Revolution

Category: 18th century

The wars of the 18th century were almost all fol­lowed by the acquisition of new colonies. The colonies already established were growing rapidly both in wealth and population. The American colonies had about 200,000 inhabitants, and between one and two million fifty years later.

Population in the 18th Century

Category: 18th century

According to the first accurate estimation made in 1688, the population of England and Wales was about 5,500,000. Scotland had about a million and Ireland perhaps two million. Most part of the English popula­tion lived south of a line from Worcester to the Wash, and a quarter of the total was in and around London, […]

The Conquest of Canada

Category: 18th century

In America as in India the French had consider­able success at the opening of the war. Here the Brit­ish colonies lay in a long line from Maine to Florida, facing the Atlantic Ocean with the Appalachian Moun­tains standing as a barrier between them and the inte­rior. The French had two main settlements, Canada in the […]

Rivalry with France in India

Category: 18th century

French and British possessions lay alongside each other in India, North America and the West Indies. That made Britain concentrate on a profitable war upon the French colonial possessions.

The Decades of Conflict

Category: 18th century

Walpole thought it important to avoid foreign wars, and during his administration Great Britain was kept out of war, and even the relations with France re­mained cordial. That made some people in the Parlia­ment accuse him of pro-French foreign policy. In the late 1730′s, however, a war party emerged in Parlia­ment. Its members wanted to […]

Robert Walpole, the First Prime Minister

Category: 18th century

The king could appoint any person he wished to his government. George I found it convenient to select influential members of Parliament to it. Such was the case of Robert Walpole.

The Privy Council and the Cabinet

Category: 18th century

The House of Commons represented the great land­owners, the great trading interests, the universities, and the professions. The monarchy was limited be­cause the influence of the landowners was far greater than that of the king.

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