INDUSTRIAL CHANGES IN ENGLAND SINCE 1760
IT was the industrial revolution of the last part of the eighteenth century that changed the "Merrie England" of the Georges to the factory land of Victoria. The tools of the handicraftsman, long the evidence of individual production, were displaced by the machine system of the capitalist during this period of change. The England of hand-production was to become the land of machines; from isolated and loose industrial organization she was to pass to a highly organized, compact industrial nation.
The contrast between the old and the new England is so great that a brief statement of the conditions existing before the revolution will bring the transition more clearly to view. In the England of the eighteenth century industry presented the same general features as in the Middle Ages. Primitive and unsystematic methods of agriculture prevailed, men complained that one-half the land was waste and quarrels arose continually over the rights of the people on the common land. There was no rotation of crops, the agriculture was exceedingly unscientific and unproductive for the amount of work put upon it. Arthur Young, in commenting upon the agriculture of the time, says, "the spring crops are beneath contempt. Much time is lost in travel to the different strips and there are perpetual quarrels over the rights to pasture." But in 1770, the same writer says, "in the