"Industrial Revolution in Manchester" by De Tocqueville

Essay by Sir DrekHigh School, 10th gradeA-, October 2006

download word file, 2 pages 4.3

Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clérel de Tocqueville was born July

29, 1805, in Verneuil, and studied law in Paris. This french political

writer and statesman, visited, in 1835, the great industrial city of

Manchester. During his stay, he describes in his personal diary, the

many abonible things he perceives, the industrial revolution, caused to

the human race and the environment in place.

Firstly, to explain the rapid urban growth of Manchester, we shall

consider the industrialisation of Great Britain at the time. Starting from

the XVIII century, England is the first country to industrialise. They

began in the industry of cotton textile, and perfected the production by

machines newly invented (perfected spinning process by Kay,

Horgreave and Arkwright). Their production was multiplied by ten

within twenty years, and by 1831 Britain's textile industry accounted for

22% of its GNP.

Manchester's geographical situation could also explain much

more. Indeed, the industrial agglomeration is situated not far from one of

the biggest ports of England, Liverpool.

The goods are then, transported

easily from the city to the port, which makes Manchester the ultimate

solution for a business in the textile industry. Not only it is next to a port

but also close to the coal mines of birmingham, that allow the simplicity

to "feed" the machines.

Industrialisation is at the moment a superb economic gift ("pure

gold flows").

Secondly, as a good observer, De tocqueville, describes a hostile

environment, in which the worker does not deserve to belong in. They

came from different regions, known to be, for most, rural (Ireland) or

poor, they had in mind objective to find a job and take care of their

family. Their dream immediately vanished on their arrivals at the


More than anything, was the geographic segragation put in place.

The workers lived outside...