Britain 1750-1900

Overview of Britain 1750-1900: the first industrial nation?

An overview of the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution in Britain taken from the BBC’s History File programme. Most suitable for KS3 but provides a good background for GCSE.

what the industrial revolution did for us

Technology in the Industrial Revolution documentary clip

An extract from a BBC documentary “What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us” presented by Dan Cruickshank. This clip explores the ideas and inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shows how they changed the nature of working life.

Tolpuddle Martyrs

Who were the Tolpuddle Martyrs? A short overview.

The industrial revolution, combined with the first of the Enclosure Acts, had seen the earnings of poor farmers plummet. With the radicalism of the French Revolution still fresh in people’s minds, the Swing Riots of the early 1830s had seen agricultural workers turn to violent protest. Adding to tensions between land owners and workers, the repeal of the Combination Acts in 1825 effectively legalised the creation of trade unions.

what the industrial revolution did for us

Medical changes in the Industrial Revolution video clip

An extract from a BBC documentary “What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us” presented by Dan Cruickshank. This clip explores the changes in medicine that occurred during the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution: society in late Victorian cities

A video clip presenting some aspects of life in Victorian cities.

The Battle of Fishguard

The Battle of Fishguard: overview of the last invasion of Britain in 1797

On 22nd February 1797  the last invasion of Britain by a hostile foreign force began when French troops under the command of the Irish-American Colonel William Tate landed near the Welsh town of Fishguard.

Britain joined the War of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France in 1793. Three years later the French General Lazare Hoche devised a plan to invade Britain in support of the Republican Society of United Irishmen under Wolfe Tone.

Two of the three intended invasion forces were stopped by poor weather, leaving only the 1,400 troops of La Legion Noire (The Black Legion) to launch their attack on Bristol. Since the professional French army was serving under Napoleon in Europe, La Legion Noire included 800 irregular soldiers ranging from republicans to recently-released Royalist prisoners. Well equipped, and dressed in dyed captured British uniforms that gave them their name, they arrived off the English coast in four warships. Unable to land in Bristol due to adverse weather, Colonel Tate instead anchored at Carregwastad Head near the Welsh town of Fishguard late on 22 February.

Soldiers and equipment were put ashore as darkness fell, faced only by a small force of volunteers under Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Knox. When dawn came Knox realised that he was heavily outnumbered and retreated to meet up with reinforcements led by Lord Cawdor. By this time the undisciplined French troops had begun looting local settlements where they became increasingly drunk after finding wine from a recently-wrecked Portuguese vessel.

A number of locals soon joined the defence, including cobbler’s wife Jemima Nicholas who single-handedly rounded up 12 Frenchmen and locked them in a church. With his troops in disarray, Tate submitted to an unconditional surrender on 24 February.

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