During the late 18th century, around the middle of the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain started started to improve transportation routes in the form of canals, roads, and railroads. It started when the Duke of Bridgewater came back from visiting France and Italy where canal construction has already begun. After witnessing the canals in use, the Duke introduced the idea to Britain by proposing a canal be built in Lancashire to move coal from the mines to other towns more quickly. This idea took form in 1761 as the Bridgewater Canal, the first canal to be built in Great Britain with many more to follow it. Improvement in roads and an increase in road building also occurred during this time period. Due to the high demand for the transportation of goods, turnpike trusts were created for wealthy landowners and businessmen to put their money together in order to fix and make new roads. This lead to numerous of new pathways between towns and cities. By the beginning of the 19th century, another improvement of transportation occurred in the form of railways. What started as iron rails only used in coal mines became a means of transporting goods and people over long distances due to the adaption of the steam engine and use of standard gauge for the tracks. Railroad construction began to happen all over Great Britain and by 1847, over 2400 miles of railway were in service running at the speed of 60 miles an hour.
An economic change occurred with the building of canals, roads and railroads. Since building these ways of passage became so high in demand, more job opportunities became available for the working class. With more working class jobs available, the middle class became a larger class within society. Also, the demand for goods became higher as goods were able to be transported quickly from place to place. Travel was much shorter now due to the speed at which one could travel by canal and train, and the fact the roads were much safer and more accessible.
Along with being able to move goods, people were also able to travel between cities that at one time would have been thought to far or too dangerous to get to. This caused people to develop a more national ideology as they could now access information outside of their home town. People were able to come together from different cities and form a national idea about their country, sparking the idea of nationalism throughout the british people because they no longer were focused solely on their town but rather their country. People became willing to fight for their country, work for their country, and serve their country as a whole due to nationalism.
Being able to travel sparked a change in the ideology of time. Because people were traveling from area to area, a standard method of time was enforced in 1845, replacing the idea local time that had been the norm. Because of this, people became more aware of how their time was used and often woke-up, worked and ate at approximately the same hours.
Wyatt, Lee T. “The Industrial Revolution in Great Britian.” The Industrial Revolution. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2009. 54-58. Print.