Describe the role of industrialisation in shaping 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 numbers of migrants to the textile mills set up in the eighteenth century.
- During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, London became a center for international trade and commerce. It 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 : People from all over Europe came and settled in London.
- London was powerful magnet for migrants 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- (i) Clothing and footwear, (ii) Wood and furniture, (in) Metals and engineering,
(iv) Painting and stationery and (w) Precision products, such as, surgical instruments, watches and objects of precious metal.
- By 1950, out of 9 people in England and Wales lived in London. It was a colossal city with a population of 4 million (between 1810 and 1840). In addition after 1840s the building activities intensified in the city (construction of roads, railway lines, station tunnels, drainage and sewer) and attracted many more workers from outside, making the city highly populated.
- During the First World War, London began manufacturing motor cars and electrical
goods and the number of large factories increased.