Revolutionary Times

 

 

We are living in truly historic times.

Please check out the links below

Change is in the air. To some extent it feels like the The Industrial Revolution all over again(not that I was around for the original event). We do however forget what a tumultuous time was experienced by all. Few if any came through unchallenged. Even James Hargreaves, whose invention of the Spinning Jenny revolutionised the weaving industry, did not come through unscathed. In fact his machines were smashed so frequently by the  Luddites that he was eventually bankrupted. Suddenly people were effectively forced to relocate from the country, to the towns and cities, simply to stave  off starvation, as their traditional industries were no longer viable. Efficient machines could do the work of many people.

Conditions were not good. The weavers seemed to fare particularly badly, they faced starvation, which led to large scale protests. Over time people adjusted to the Industrial Revolution, but in the short term there was much suffering. I noted the 1820s brought about major changes in every family line I studied. A long-established line of tanners, which had been so successful  that they were involved in starting a first British Bank, had begun a steady decline by the 1830s, which had eventually led to them seeking their fortune in Australia. By now they were heavily involved in the wool trade, although some vestiges of their origins seems to have remained as one of the migrants(probably the most successful one) had become a bootmaker.

The 1820s started off well for one branch of my own family. My GGG Grandfather established his own school where he was headmaster. However by the 1830s the school had fallen into debt, he had died and his family had been left destitute, The sale of all their personal possessions(including feather beds and expensive carpets) was particularly heart-rending.

The Technological Revolution we are currently experiencing may eventually have an even greater impact. My father once dreamed of the day there would be a computer in every home but now there is a computer in every pocket(mobile phones).

It seems once again we need to adapt to major changes. This may be only the beginning.

 

I have discovered one other post on WordPress about James Hargreaves here