Victorian Countryside: Rural Industries in Victorian Britain Lecture

Ref: C2345458

The 'Industrial Revolution' of the later 18th and 19th centuries was not just a feature of towns and cities. On the contrary, until the wider availability of steam power, industrial processes such as cotton spinning were generally located in mills in rural areas, close to sources of water power. Other manufacture, involving women and children as well as adult males, took place in homes or small workshops, while whole new settlements grew up around mines, quarries and other extractive industries. This lecture will look in particular at framework knitting in the East Midlands; nail- and chain-making in the 'Black Country'; straw plaiting and hat-making in the east of England; and mining and brick-making. Who carried out this work, and in what conditions - and how successful were campaigns to limit the use of child labour in some of these processes? It will also consider the importance of canals and railways in the development of rural industries.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the nature and conditions of industrial work in rural areas in the 19th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Compare the nature of domestic industry in the countryside with that of factory work.
  • Give examples of work done by women and children in rural industries
  • Identify some campaigns to limit child labour in rural industries, and assess how successful they were.
  • Develop your skills of critical historical analysis.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

There is nothing that you need to bring.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Victorian Countryside: Rural Industries in Victorian Britain Lecture


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