“What was the relationship between industrialisation and the expansion of the British Empire between 1750 and 1850?”
Between 1750 and 1850 Britain had revolutionised internally as a dominant industrial figure in Europe. However, although it would be argued that most advances were constitutional, Britain’s foreign relations also enhanced to a certain extent during this period. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Britain had established itself as the first country to industrialise therefore instantly granting it a dominant position in the world economy, this would continue for a further century. During this time it was also advantaged in acquiring the largest empire seen of its time. This therefore suggests that the two
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Moreover, it proved its status from initiating itself the first nation to rely on the power of steam which in turn emancipated the bomb shell that was the Industrial Revolution opening that window of opportunity for Britain via trade, mass-produced goods and an expanding global market. For example although England was very rich in natural resources, it was in high demand for cotton cloth. This demand could have dangerous implications for the growing economy, however new foreign links with India and the growth in cargo ships allowed for Britain to trade and develop its relations with the empire. However some historians, such as J.R.Ward acknowledge that this in the long term could have possibly harmed Britain’s economy more than achieving good by producing competition with other British textiles therefore possibly damaging the relationship between Empire and Industrial Britain. Morris expressed that “As a blanket term, the Industrial Revolution explains relatively little about British expansion in general at the end of the eighteenth century” moreover, British rule over India was firmly established by 1820, before the industrial revolution could have played any major role.
The industrial revolution had made the further development of the Empire possible, in a sense that Britain at this time had provided a technology gap that non-European nations would find difficult to compete with. They had the technical skill of producing muskets,