Describe the role of industrialisation in shaping of the modern cities in England

Describe the role of industrialisation in shaping of the modern cities in England.

INDUSTRIALISATION changed the form of urbanisation in the modern period. The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and Manchester attracted large number of migrants to the textile mills, set up in the eighteenth century.

  • During the eighteenth century and nineteenth century, London became a centre of international trade and commerce and attracted a large number of traders and merchants from all over the world. It also became the refuge of democrats fleeing from the despotic regime. For example, large communities from all over Europe came and settled in London.
  • London was a powerful magnet for migrant population even when it did not have large factories. According to the historian Gareth Stedman Jones. “It became the city of clerks and shopkeepers, of small masters and skilled sweated out workers, of soldiers and servants, of casual labourers, street sellers and beggars’.
  • Apart from the dockyards, five major types of industries employed large number of workers
  1. Clothing and footwear
  2. Wood and furniture
  3. Metals and engineering
  4. Printing and stationery and
  5. Precision products such as surgical instruments, watches and objects of precious metals.
  • By 1950s one out of 9 people in England and Walse lived in London. It was a colossal city with a population of 4 millon (between 1810 and 1880). In addition after 1840s the building activities intensified in the city (construction of roads, railway lines stations, tunnels, drainage and sewer) and attracted many more workers from outside making the city highly populated.
  • During First World War, London began manufacturing motor cars and electrical goods and the number of large factories increased.