The early modern period began approximately in the early 16th century; notable historical milestones included the European Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, and the Protestant Reformation.
The late modern period began approximately in the mid-18th century; notable historical milestones included the French Revolution, the American Revolution & the Industrial Revolution,
The Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1830)
was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, and many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world’s leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and Africa, and with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution.
The Population of Britain After the Industrial Revolution
In the 19th century Britain became the world’s first industrial society. It also became the first urban society. By 1851 more than half the population lived in towns.
The population of Britain boomed during the 19th century. In 1801 it was about 9 million. By 1901 it had risen to about 41 million. This was despite the fact that many people emigrated to North America and Australia to escape poverty. About 15 million people left Britain between 1815 and 1914.
However there were also many immigrants. In the 1840s many people came from Ireland, fleeing a terrible potato famine. In the 1880s the Tsar began persecuting Russian Jews. Some fled to Britain and settled in the East End of London.
During the 20th century the population of Britain grew more slowly. However by the beginning of the 21st century it had reached 60 million. In the 1950s large numbers of West Indians arrived in Britain. Also from the 1950s many Asians came. In the late 20th century Britain became a multi-cultural society. Meanwhile the population of London reached a peak of 8.7 million in 1939. It fell to just under 8.2 million in 1951 and it has since fallen to 7.2 million. Today the population of Britain is estimated to be 63.7 million.