Founded in AD 79 by Romans, Manchester was a textile and market town until it was affected by the Industrial Revolution. The catalyst for change was the 1761 completion of the Duke of Bridgewater Canal, which brought cheap coal into the city, fueling new textile machinery and leading to the development of the Lancashire cotton textile industry, with Manchester at its forefront. though water-powered cotton-spinning plants were successful in the late 1700s, Richard Arkwright's adaptation of the steam engine for weaving initiated its rapid growth as a factory center.
This expansion of production centers led to a corresponding boom in population.
Laborers were allocated to cheap housing; the shoddily constructed and unsanitary residences began to cluster closer and closer in the center even as Manchester expanded its industry, which was heightened by the Stockton & Darlington and the Liverpool & Manchester railway lines in the 1800s. Conditions for the poor continued to worsen; it was reported that in 1851 only 40% of children reached the age of 5, probably due to poor sanitation or disease. Friedrich engels, who lived in Manchester said that "a horde of ragged women and children swarm about here, as filthy as the swine that thrive upon the garbage heaps and the puddles." The city lost much of its industrial wealth during the second half of the 20th century.
Birmingham was an expanding city in the period after the English Civil War. The city produced iron as well as other varied items such as arms, toys, and buttons. Though it suffered religious and political division - particularly exemplified by the Priestley riots, which protested the expulsion of Joseph Priestley, a church dissenter, from the town - the city prevailed as a center of intellectual life. The Lunar society, a group of scientists and theorists, met to discuss the prevalent ideas of the changing times at Mathew Boulton's Soho residence.
Boulton, together with James Watts, would become one of the leaders of industrialisation by making steam power a viable and effective source of energy. this ushered in a time when transport was crucial, and Birmingham was distinctly successful in this respect. The city benefited enormously from the London & Birmingham railway line. It brought goods, raw materials, and profits to the city, expanding its population and attracting a community of international immigrants.
Leeds developed as a market town and tewxtile center before the Industrial Revolution. Begun as a borough of Maurice Paynel's feudal manor, it was planned to accomodate markets for trade.
Situated by the River Aire, it had a source of water for its textile industry as well as a venue of transportation that connected it with other cities. Eventually it would be linked to the West by the Leeds & Liverpool canal, and to the Humber river by the Aire & Calder canal. Also, the city was supplied with local coal, limestone, stone, and brick clay reserves, in addition to iron ore supplies discovered in medieval times.
In the 1700s, Leeds began to industrialize heavily. It developed an engineering industry under the leadership of Mathew Murray, and an efficient center of textile production.
The history of Glasgow seems to date from a late 6th-century Christian settlement by St.Mungo. In 1451, it acquired Scotland's second university. When in 1560 its last Roman Catholic archbishop, Jame Beaton, was exiled as a result of the Reformation, it turned to civic authority and commercial influences to maintain order. By the 1580s it was engaged in foreign trade, and its population grew rapidly throughout the ensuing centuries, as it served as a channel for imports from the Americas. Industrial expansion began with the invention of the steam engine and the spinning jenny, which involved Glasgow in the textile industry. However, its main business remained trade, as it expanded into the West Indies market after the American Revolution. The River Clyde was deepend by 1772, allowing ships to enter the city itself and increasing commercial activity even more.
Glasgow adapted its ventures to the innovations of the times. With the introduction of steam power, it became a center for the production of steam-ships, turning out about half of Britain's ships by the mid-nineteenth century. It also benefited from railway transportation and from the nearby location of natural resources.
Sheffield is a large Yorkshire town, built across seven hills and five rivers. Supplied with bounteous natural resources and famed for its production of metal goods for decades, it was poised, on the eve of the Industrial revolution, to become England's center of steel production.
While running water provided energy, raw iron, coal, and grinding grit were derived from Sheffield's hills. This caused the town to develop in the pre-industrial era. Sheffield produced household items such as cutlery in addition to tools like scythes, razors and axes that were necessary to an agricultural society.
When Benjamin Huntsman invented the crucible steel process near Sheffield, cutlery makers were initially reluctant to adopt the new process. However, they were forced to change their production methods when they were faced with competition from French producers, who radipdly acquired the process. This allowed them to regain control of the market. It is often noted that the industry was rife with competition and therefore spying, since there were fewer legal and logistical barriers to doing so than there are today. In any case, the city reaped the benefits of the innovation, increasing procuction almost a hundredfold to about 20 000 tons a year a century later. This coincided with Thomas Boulsover's invention of a new method for cheaply plating copper with silver, which made quality cutlery available to the middle class and established for Sheffield a virtual monopoly on cutlery production in England that it retains to this day.
By the twentieth century, Sheffield dominated England's steel industry. With the replacement of water-wheel production by steam power, the city's industries expanded at an enormous rate. Its population grew correspondingly, multiplying more than eight times in 50 years to 409 000 in 1901.
Much of this population was caught up in grueling industrial labor. This naturally led to tension between the workers and employers and to the formation of unions. This culminated in the 1860s with the "Sheffield Outrages", a series of bombings and murders carried out by anarchists and extreme followers of the pro-labor movement and often attributed largely to the leadership of William Broadhead, the secretary of the Saw Grinders' Union. In response, the government established a Royal Commission on Trade Unions in 1866; this commission had jurisdiction over suspected participants in the Outrages and other activists, and dampened union activity. This would be revived later when the Liberal government party came to power in 1871.
Industrial development led to infrastructural as well as societal damage. In 1864, the Dale Dyke dam cracked and collapsed, releasing a torrent of water into Sheffield and causing what is known as the "Great Flood". It destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed about 250 people. After the flood, the damaged buildings were replaced by "terrace" houses, which developed into poverty-stricken and squalid quarters. George Orwell would later say that Sheffield " has a population of half a million and it contains fewerdecent buildings than the average East Anglican village of 500."
Liverpool is an historic port city, originating in about the 13th century as a provider of goods to Ireland.In the late 1700s, the city grew as as a center of slave and cotton trade, and by the early 19th century it replaced London as the principal textile import center. It expanded trade with Manchester during this period, accelerating the vuilding of the Liverpool & Manchester railway line. It was extremely profitable and increased Liverpool 's status as a hub of trade. The city expanded rapidly during this time period, with factories of diversified industries, warehouses, and docks being built. Liverpool ws also a central port for trade with the Americas .
However, like all industrial cities ofthe time, Liverpool was plagued by problems. Housing districts where the laboring class lived were often built without sewer communication or other sanitary facilities, leading to squalor and illness. Like Manchester , Liverpool would eventually suffer a post-World War Two decline.
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