December 23rd, 2010
Episode 115 of 550 episodes
In the first of two programmes, Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Industrial Revolution.Between the middle of the eighteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth, Britain was transformed. This was a revolution, but not a political one: over the course of a few generations industrialisation swept the nation. Inventions such as the machine loom and the steam engine changed the face of manufacturing; cheap iron and steel became widely available; and vast new cities grew up around factory towns.All this had profound effects - not all of them positive - as an agrarian and primitive society was turned into an industrial empire, the richest nation on Earth. But why did this revolution take place here rather than abroad? And why did it begin in the first place?With:Jeremy BlackProfessor of History at the University of ExeterPat HudsonProfessor Emerita of History at Cardiff UniversityWilliam AshworthSenior Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool.Producer: Thomas Morris.