She Stoops to Conquer Historical Context

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The Shift to Industrialism

That said, not everything in this transition went smoothly. The agricultural revolution had begun in the 16th century with developments in farming and animal husbandry. By the 18th century, these improvements resulted in generally greater supplies of higher-quality, lower-priced food. Still, hunger persisted because bad harvests, war, and inflation caused food supplies and prices to vary from region to region. Further, the change from a system of many small farms to fewer large farms drove many farmers off their land and into the factories created by the industrial revolution. Goldsmith's poem The Deserted Village elegizes one such village that became vacant as England shifted from an economy largely rural and agricultural to one more urban, based on manufacturing and trade.

England's mercantile economy provided the impetus needed to drive the industrial revolution, just as surely as inventions like James Watt's steam engine drove the...

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This section contains 723 words
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