Manufactures before the Industrial Revolution
Recent research on the population of England and Wales suggests that the country was more industrial during the early modern period than previously thought. By 1700, around 37% of men worked in manufactures such as textiles, building and construction, clothing and footwear, iron and steel, and an increasing range of new consumer goods.
Women and children also played a key part in production, much of which took place in the home. We investigate this lesser-known period of British history before the Industrial Revolution, looking at the growing range of British manufactures, and how production was organised before the factory era. What factors created an ‘industrious revolution’ which impelled men, women and children to work harder, and what impact did these changes have on family living standards and population growth?