HISTORY: THE HANOVERIAN PERIOD AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
In the Hanoverian period, England underwent profound transformations. The village that until then had been the center of agricultural life and was self-sufficient because, in addition to producing cereals for the population, it produced by hand what was necessary for the local population (in addition to a surplus that was collected by traders who traveled the countryside, crossed by bad roads, with long convoys of pack horses), changed substantially when, beyond the vegetable gardens and the hundreds of sown strips, the open countryside, covered by swamps, moors, woods, uncultivated lands was, to imitation of what had happened in a few areas of England in previous centuries (Kent, Devon, Cornwall, Sussex, Suffolk and Essex), transformed. Canals were dug, the age-old problem of roads was solved, especially of those converging on London which, due to the fact of being the only populated English city (700,000 residents towards the end of the 18th century, whereas Bristol, which is the second by population, barely exceeded 50,000) needed daily supplies of products of the soil; finally, above all, the fencing of the open fields was implemented: the figure of the land reclamation owner was born and the production of grain was increased in relation to the increase in the population. The countryside took on a more prosperous aspect, communications improved, but from the social point of view the small independent farmer gradually disappeared and was replaced on the one hand by the farmer, on the other by the peasant-proletarian who was the laborer. Almost at the same time the so-called Industrial Revolution. Some technical and chemical discoveries, together with the use of steam, found in Great Britain more than in any other country the availability of liquid money supplied by large commercial companies, which allowed the creation of the textile industry, with the consequent disappearance of craftsmanship. in the villages and the impoverishment of the less wealthy rural families who emigrated to the city to form a new class, the urban worker proletariat. With the products of industry and the sale of colonial products transported to Europe by its vast fleet, Great Britain soon conquered the European market; and it is quite natural that in this situation the English scholars supported the freedom of trade, giving rise to the phenomenon of economic liberalism accompanied by political liberalism.
HISTORY: FROM THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA
According to aparentingblog, this peaceful momentum was interrupted by the outbreak of the French Revolution which, initially appreciated in Great Britain as an update of the structures of France to the English model, was fiercely opposed when it became an instrument in the service of French imperialism. Great Britain, which had 16 million residents, did not hesitate in 1793 to take sides against a France of almost 30 million residents that was able, within a few years, to enlist all the forces of the European continent from Portugal to Poland. from Denmark to Italy. Yet Great Britain did not yield: it financed with great sacrifice all the coalitions organized against the French Republic and Empire; resisted the continental blockade decreed by Napoleon (1806) which had the purpose of putting it on the ground causing a frightening crisis of overproduction; in turn he decreed the blockade of the European continent, thus depriving it of the precious contribution of colonial products; finally he sent his own fleets and, when this was no longer enough, his armies to fight wherever the enemy could be hit: San Vincenzo, Abukir, Copenhagen and Trafalgar were splendid victories for Admiral Nelson; General John Stuart’s Maida; Viniera, Talavera, Salamanca, Vitoria, Waterloo of the Duke of Wellington who had the merit of having freed Portugal and Spain, after a long campaign whose importance had initially escaped the British Ministry, and which had the good fortune to give the coup de grace to Napoleon, thus exceeding popularity until then enjoyed by the Duke of Marlborough. The Congress of Vienna (1814-15), which closed a war that had lasted 21 years for Great Britain, consecrated the British political triumph: Europe was modeled according to a scheme favorable to containment of its rivals, France and Russia, relying on the strength of Austria, while the British naval and colonial dominance was strengthened by the acquisition of Malta, the Ionian Islands, the Cape Colony, Ceylon and other minor acquisitions. The economic situation was less happy because with the return to Europe of dynastic legitimism, the position of privilege of British industry did not return: during the conflict some countries of the European continent had also begun their industrialization and after 1815 the new governments had interest in protecting these initiatives with customs barriers that reduced English exports, which found only partial compensation in the opening of the markets of Spanish America in revolt against the motherland.