The growth of the British Empire was due in large part to the ongoing competition for resources and markets which existed over a period of centuries between England and other European countries — Spain, France, and Holland. During the reign of Elizabeth I, England set up trading companies in Turkey, Russia, and the East Indies, [...]
Posts Tagged ‘people’
Long accustomed to a considerable degree of self-government and freed, after 1763, from the French danger, American colonists resented any attempts to make them pay a share of the cost of imperial defence in the form of assorted taxes and duties. They also resented British attempts to treat colonial legislatures as secondary to the government [...]
Most workers lived in desperate poverty, just barely surviving on the wages they earned. In cities, they paid high prices for both food and housing.
If Britain’s economy was to continue to expand, the country would have to seek the markets abroad, while holding down living standards at home in order to keep production costs low. The duty of the poor was clear: it was not their business to spend more. They were just more. A detailed and properly documented [...]
With the industrialization, the British middle class grew larger and more influential as the number of financiers, factory owners and capitalist farmers increased. The upper class still possessed the land and titles, but the industrial middle class had the money. During the whole of the 18th century, the landed aristocracy, which largely controlled Parliament, firmly [...]
During the first half of the 18th century, the population of Great Britain increased by less than 15 percent. Between 1751 and 1801, the year of the first official census, the number rose by two-thirds to 10.7 million. During the next fifty years, the population of the country doubled. The reasons include a decline of [...]
William III had to do much to secure his hold, not only upon England but upon Scotland and Ireland. In 1689 James II landed in Ireland, where he had an army ready to hand, and was easily able to stir up a national rising of the native Catholics against the Protestant “garrison”. In July 1690 [...]
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.
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, [...]
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 [...]